Year 2020 – A Tenant Rep Broker’s Story
Downtown, My Home
I wanted to take a different route and talk to you guys more on a personal level about business. This year has been quite tumultuous for most people, including myself. My story is the same. Only the details are different. I think we all came into 2020 believing the turn of this decade would bring magic and wonder in the form of new opportunities…but all we’ve really seen is chaos. Who would have thought the world would end up on this path? My own journey through this has been interesting. I’ve been at three different brokerages in my career and, alas, I finally found my home. In mid-March of this year I started working as a tenant representation broker at my dream brokerage, however, my first day was the day they shut the offices down for the pandemic. It was an eerie feeling. I found myself sitting in the lobby waiting to be called upstairs and, despite that the building itself is 41-stories tall and there’s a waiting list for the parking deck, I was the only one there besides concierge and the cleaning crew. I wasn’t sure how to feel or what to expect, but I certainly didn’t think I’d be writing this blog post 3 ½ months later from my home office.
Navigating the commercial real estate industry is tough enough but when you add a pandemic plus rioting, it tends to complicate things even further. It also doesn’t help when the bulk of the rioting took place in your chosen submarket of focus. Since things are unsafe on so many levels, I usually only leave my house to buy groceries and to take clients out on tours, but I made an exception last week. A client needed assistance with site selection, so I had to venture out to my submarket of choice. I decided to bring my son, a future broker, along with me so he could take notes and get some exposure and real-life training. I thought it would be great to take him to my favorite taqueria before we got to work. I found some street parking and we started our walk to the restaurant. As we turned the corner to get to the street we were looking for, my heart sank.
Am I really not getting tacos today??
It was as if I wasn’t aware of all the rioting that took place there. Maybe on some subconscious level, I momentarily blocked out what happened in order to enjoy that moment of walking to my favorite Mexican restaurant with my son. I’m not sure what it was exactly, but when I saw at all those amazing restaurants boarded up, I became deeply sad. Knowing destruction is one thing. Experiencing it is another. Then I thought about my career. “How am I going to navigate this storm?” I couldn’t let myself get down in front of my son, so I decided to discard the bigger gloomy cloud and focus on the smaller one. “Am I really not getting tacos today??” Even though it looked like a boarded-up ghost town, I decided to start walking down the street anyway. Right as I was about to apologize to my son about the food, I saw two college students walk out of the restaurant. The joy I felt was immense (nowadays, it’s all about the little things)!
My first thought was, “Yay…I get food!” My next thoughts were about hope.
Going into that taqueria and ordering the same thing I have always ordered from the same man for the past 4 years gave me hope. It renewed my belief that there is always a positive outcome if you try hard enough. It showed me that even though there may be barriers in life right now, beautiful creations are still cooking within those walls, even if you can’t see it. It reminded me that I can find some peace and stability in this, and you can too. All you have to do…is keep walking anyway.