Defiant Committment

Recently, we in Louisville, along with many across the eastern United States, have experienced the joys of January - snow and temperatures far below freezing. It actually began for us with over 24 hours of rain and mid 40 degree temperatures last weekend, which then plummeted into a 30 degree sleet/snow “wintry-mix” bundle of fun. From there, the weather ventured into single degree temperatures which the streets and highways iced over as quick as I’ve ever seen. A story which had been written before, but this one certainly was filled with “fun” depending on who you ask. Slipping and sliding, caution certainly had to be taken, or damage and loss could ensue whether you’re a walker, passenger, or certainly a driver.

Such is life, eh?

I’ll digress and just say, yeah, this scene is quite different from the December summer sun in Australia for me. Ah, the beach…

So back to this weekend in the USA. All of these events took place on Saturday, which meant the next day would be most likely a cautious day for most staying at home. No harm, no foul here - Sunday is after all a day of rest for many. It is most of the time for me, after all! The next day, of course, was Monday and with continued low temperatures, the roads were still icy and it was still somewhat dicey to travel on side streets until reaching major thoroughfares. Yesterday was also MLK day, so many were taking the day off in observance of the holiday, which is completely respectable. I definitely made it a point to spend time honoring Dr. King for all the progress his influence brought this nation during the civil rights movement. Again, a digression - indulge me!

Ok… Tuesday (TODAY!) comes; news flash: it’s still cold. Some spots are a little icy, but travel is manageable 99.9% of the way and movement is 100% reasonable.

Mind you, we’re 22 days into 2019 and New Year’s Resolutions, goals and dreams of the good life should still be fresh on the minds of most. One of the first signs of challenge show up and many say, ‘forget it. I’m not making it out today. I’m not risking it. It’s warmer in here anyway, and Netflix will help me forget about any troubles I have in my life. I know I set that goal, but this is an excuse I can convince myself of it’s validity. It’s too cold. It’s too dangerous. It’s definitely not convenient.’

“It’s too HARD.”

Look, I know many can block and tackle their ways towards their dreams in many different environments. They don’t have to go into an office. But I’ve had so many tell me this couldn’t be done, that had to be delayed, and so on, because of the most minor inconvenience over and over and over again.

How many roadblocks will you face on the path to reach your life’s goals? The weather is just one of thousands of factors that will attempt to throw you off from the path you’re on. As it relates to my world, in real estate investing, you might make a bad hire on a contractor or a property manager. You might miscalculate the cap-ex budget for your new acquisition. You might get sued. You might find out your partner had poor integrity or simply doesn’t add the value you thought was probable. You might have a massive vacancy that causes your cash flow to evaporate over night or even require you to support the asset until the ship turns around. A lot of this isn’t uncommon. All of these things, and more happen to real estate investors on a daily basis. It’s not a business for the faint of heart. If these investors give up with every challenge that comes their way, they definitely will not build a portfolio that provides financial freedom or much more, I can guarantee that.

In your life, there are so many things that happen to you that can derail you. Unexpected bills. Unexpected health crises. Family problems. The list goes on and on. Can we expect a life without difficulty at times? I’m going to go out on a limb and say absolutely not.

What I’ve learned is that these circumstances in life and in business are a blessing and not a curse. They are prime examples of life happening “for us” and not “to us.” The piece that we can control is how we view these circumstances. Do we have the victim mentality and woe is me? Or do we embrace the mindset of challenges create champions? Something else to consider is that whenever a problem is presented to you, likely a new opportunity is awarded if you’re patient and devoted enough to your ultimate outcome.

The world, the universe, life, or whatever you choose to call it, is testing you to see how committed you are to your dreams. How much do you want it? WHY do you want it so bad? Is it a strong enough reason? These obstacles are placed in front of you as checkpoints to make sure you’re fully committed to getting on the other side, where all of life’s treasures exist.

You must exude defiant commitment in times where it’s not at easy as you thought it would be setting out on this path. Commit to the mindset that anything that gets in your way will be overcome, and it will. Always be willing to adapt, absorb the blows, and push forward with gratitude for the lessons and excitement for the hidden blessings.

To me, defiant commitment means an aggressive pursuit of your objectives in the face of all adversity. It represents a relentless persistence towards getting the job done regardless of the challenges, roadblocks and imperfect circumstances. I am encouraged that God and the universe respects the wishes of my desires to test me so frequently.

This re-framed perspective can make all the difference. Here’s the best part - it’s not just a mind game - it is beyond true. Have faith and test it out yourself.

Join me and plant your flag that you will do whatever it takes, whenever it takes when the relentless challenges, struggles, or inconveniences continue to test your will. I’ll see you on the other side!

Unapologetic

Do I make mistakes? Absolutely. Every single day. In fact, it’s usually multiple times a day. I am sure, if you’re being honest with yourself, you will absolutely agree that you do too.

It’s never my intention to make a mistake. However, I do firmly believe that if you’re not making mistakes you’re not learning, pushing your limits, growing and evolving into the person you could be. I believe we’re all human and it’s a part of the process. However, I was taken aback recently when an individual whom I thought was somewhat of a mentor to me indicated that he thought I was “going too fast.”

There have been times in building my real estate brokerage and investing business that I wanted to avoid mistakes like the plague. To go slow and to be as careful as possible. What I learned is that mistakes were still made going slow and being overly cautious, simply because I didn’t know what I didn’t know. It was the process for which I gained wisdom and experience to not re-create that mistake again in the future, to create principles and develop systems. I’ve recognized that most mistakes could be rectified in some way, through honesty, diligence and attention. I also recognize that serious mistakes can be extremely costly, whether it is an emotional burden or financial loss, so care and vigilance should be demonstrated throughout the process.

However, over the course of my trajectory thus far, I’ve decided that most mistakes won’t be fatal, so I could move at a more swift pace, again, with diligence. The primary intention remains to do the right thing, offer value to others, and bring my talents and expertise to a larger audience. I believe it is my duty to do so and anything less would be an absolute tragedy. To me, this is an invigorating growth process that has given substantial purpose to my life!

As more time has passed in building my business, I have gained more confidence due to the experience I had gained and the information I have collected along the way. I’ve decided it is in my best interest to enhance the speed at which I grow my business, and in all directions. I learned from many of my role models, including Grant Cardone, that unless you expand your mindset, your actions, and your effort by at least 10 times, you will get crushed in our world and especially in this business. Those in the middle get squeezed, as I have experienced in my life already, and I have no interest in being in an average position. Everyone has to make decisions for their lives, their family and what circumstances they are willing to accept. I am 100% certain in what outcome I am willing to accept.

Which is precisely why I am decisively, brutally and powerfully unapologetic for the “speed” at which I live my life and build my business. I also believe that no one should judge someone else for how they govern their life. We all have different goals and destinies in our life. Yours in undoubtedly different than mine, which is different from everyone else who is reading this article.

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Please enjoy a few quotes that I believe speak to this rationale below, excerpts from “The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure,” by Grant Cardone:

“I suggest that you become obsessed about the things you want; otherwise, you are going to spend a lifetime being obsessed with making up excuses as to why you didn't get the life you wanted.” 

“Weak and overwhelmed individuals respond to others' success by attacking it.”

“One of the major differences between successful and unsuccessful people is that the former look for problems to resolve, whereas the latter make every attempt to avoid them.”

“Average is a failing plan! Average doesn't work in any area of life. Anything that you give only average amounts of attention to will start to subside and will eventually cease to exist.”

These thoughts very much speak to me and the way I govern my life, and run my business. They may not speak to you, but I am sure you can appreciate the fact that we all have our own path and direction for our lives. I honor and acknowledge each of our unique life stories, which all have a distinct purpose.

I know for certain that my actions will lead to great things not only for my family and my colleagues, but for the millions of people that I will impact with my work. I steadfastly reject a slow down mindset. I reject anything less than greatness, because there are people counting on me to help them. I have been blessed with many things in my life and I believe I have been called to help others in a massive way. By the way, it’s important to me to reiterate the fact that I will never compromise my commitment to doing the right things along the way - my promise is to serve others with conviction, be honest, and avoid cutting any corners. It’s all about the long game, and I want the long game to be as pure of a victory as possible.

As always, I appreciate you reading my blog, and for the relationship that we either already have, are growing or may have the opportunity to begin in the near future. I am wishing you an abundant Holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Let’s work together in 2019. Subscribe here!


Interview in CIRE Magazine - "Multifamily Momentum Continues"

It’s always a joy to contribute to CCIM, an international powerhouse in the commercial real estate industry. I found great satisfaction on being a part of the conversation on where the multifamily market is heading. Take a read here or on CCIM’s site for more resources!

Multifamily Momentum Continues

The robust development pipeline has not dampened investor appetite.

By Beth Mattson-Teig | November.December.18

The multifamily housing sector is defying gravity. Property fundamentals and investor appetite are holding steady under a heavy load of new deliveries.

The multifamily market already is several years into its bull run, generating strong property performance and a surge in supply. Yet renters continue to absorb much of the new inventory coming onto market, with national vacancies rising only 10 basis points in the second quarter of 2018 to a 4.7 percent average, according to Yardi Matrix.

“We see the U.S. multifamily market as being dynamic, especially over the past year,” says Doug Ressler, director of business intelligence at Yardi Matrix in Santa Barbara, Calif. Approximately 875,000 new units were completed between 2014 and 2017, with another 140,000 units in the first half of 2018. Most construction occurred in the top 30 metro areas, with a high concentration of class A luxury apartments being built.

Some markets are showing softening in the high-end segment of the market, especially in the Midwest. Yardi Matrix is predicting that overall performance is going to be fairly consistent and positive in most cities, Ressler notes. In fact, high-growth metros such as Dallas; Charlotte, N.C.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Denver all saw an improvement in their occupancy rates during the first half of 2018, with vacancies in all four markets hovering at around 5 percent. “With deliveries in their third year of cycle peaks, the increase in occupancy rates demonstrates the resilience of apartment demand,” he says.

The big question is how metrics will hold up, especially with a significant number of projects still underway or planned. “Development remains strong in all sectors and all submarkets here in Denver,” says Rick Egitto, CCIM, principal of capital markets in Avison Young's Denver office. “Vacancies have ticked up a bit to just over 5 percent, but given the large amount of product delivered, this is not significant,” he says. 

Yet the players have changed in terms of who is actively building. Some early groups constructing apartments in Denver in 2010 to 2013 have slowed their activity, while other national firms have stepped in to pick up the slack, Egitto says. Developers also are less active in the core of the city and now are taking a bigger step into suburban markets, such as Aurora, Parker, and Golden, to find new opportunities.

Rising Costs Create Added Pressure

Developers recognize the impact of rising construction costs and moderating rent growth. Although there has been a slight pullback in units under construction, the pipeline of prospective projects actually is climbing, Ressler notes. “We think those challenges are going to play to the larger, established industry veterans,” he says.

Developers are being more selective in where they build, too. Development is continuing in gateway markets and metros that are dense enough to handle large fluctuations in supply. Conditions also remain favorable in secondary markets that are leading the nation in employment growth or where population growth is driving demand, including key markets in Florida and the Southwest, Ressler says. Areas with strong growth potential, like Austin, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; and Miami, and strong secondary and tertiary markets with good economic drivers, such as a growing technology hub like Boise, are attracting developers as well, he says.

Decatur, Ga., is a tertiary market where rents are “going through the roof” due to new construction that is delivering at higher price points, according to Jim Brewer, CCIM, broker and owner of Decatur-based Brewer Agency LLC. “I have never seen this much new construction in this small a market in my life,” he says. Decatur started working on a pedestrian-oriented community about 30 years ago that's now in full blossom, attracting young, upwardly mobile renters, he adds.

Construction costs are perhaps the most significant headwind developers are facing. In some cases, costs for materials and labor have risen nearly 30 percent in the past 18 months.

Rising construction costs are “squeezing the juice out of the yield” on development, says William A. Shopoff, CCIM, president and CEO of Shopoff Realty Investments, an apartment developer and investor in Irvine, Calif. Construction costs have moved at a multiple of inflation over the last two years, while rent growth in many markets has been slowing. “We are seeing developers show a higher degree of caution and approaching their underwriting for future deals with a little less optimism,” Shopoff says. 

Rising interest rates and higher construction costs are putting more pressure on land prices and making it more difficult to make the numbers work on new projects. “Construction costs have risen significantly in Denver, and it has really caused the market to adjust to the new rents that have to be obtained,” Egitto says. For example, it is not unusual to see urban rents in the $2.50 to $3 per-square-foot range, and some unique locations approach $4 psf, while suburban projects generally can work at a lower $2 psf rent, he says.

In some cases, developers have built projects in Denver with an expectation that they can collect the higher rents, and they have continued to see projects lease up quickly even with these higher rates, Egitto says. Part of the success is due to the significantly different amenities compared to the older product, even though existing price comps might not have supported that price point, he says.

Investors Vie for Value-Add Deals

Investors still have a huge appetite for value-add acquisitions, even as buying opportunities have become increasingly difficult to find. “We think the value-add market is extremely competitive,” Shopoff says. Although the firm works on value-add projects nationally, it's been more than a year since the company has taken on any new projects of this type. “Markets cycle, and there will be opportunities again, and we are always looking. But right now the yields we can achieve on value-add you can find in a better arena,” he says. Instead, Shopoff has redeployed its capital to focus on development projects, as well as pre-development projects where it buys and entitles land for multifamily and then sells to other developers.

With value-add deals getting picked over in the gateway markets and largest secondary markets, investors are looking at smaller secondary and even tertiary markets. “We have a tremendous amount of interest from investors nationally and internationally for value-add deals in the Louisville market,” says Tyler Chesser, CCIM, vice president of commercial real estate investments at Gant Hill & Associates in Louisville. “We have gotten to a point where those deals are fewer and farther between than they were a few years ago, but opportunities do still exist,” he adds.

Competition has motivated some investors to embark on value-add 2.0 projects, essentially taking a property that already has undergone some improvements and going back in for a second round of more in-depth renovation. “We have gotten to a point where most investors who are capturing opportunities are very savvy,” Chesser says. Some of these veteran value-add investors can readily identify repositioning opportunities that others don't recognize. They are comfortable paying very aggressive prices because they see the potential to add more amenities or reduce the expense load on the operating side, he says.

For example, Chesser recently represented the buyer in the purchase of the 83-unit Lofts of Broadway in Louisville for $6.8 million. The Downtown Louisville warehouse was converted to loft-style apartments in 2005. In this case, the buyer sees an opportunity to further upgrade units with additions such as granite countertops and add new on-site amenities. “We believe that this is going to be an incredibly successful project because of the demand for this type of product,” Chesser says.

Investors Still Favor Apartments

New supply has not put a damper on investment sales transactions. Multifamily sales volume reached $69.8 billion in the first half of the year, up 11.5 percent year-over-year compared to the $62.6 billion in properties that traded during the same period of 2017, according to Real Capital Analytics.

Many capital investors still in the market are interested in multifamily buildings, especially those who plan to hold assets for the long term. Yet investors are keeping close tabs on supply growth, decelerating rents, and interest rates in what most agree is a mature stage of a prolonged growth cycle. Many investors are being selective in what and where they are buying, and some metros are still seeing a big gap between buyer and seller expectations, which is slowing transactions.

“Caution is being exercised by most to ensure past mistakes of a previous cycle are not repeated,” Chesser says. In Louisville, investors are concerned about oversupply and slowing rent growth, and the current lease up and stabilization of new communities are being monitored closely. However, the reports of outpaced performance to expectations continue to fuel demand in the Louisville market, especially among national and international buyers looking to achieve higher yields than they can find in some gateway markets and larger secondaries. “We have found that our market has really struck a chord with investors. We have yield and a diverse market with employment across many different industries, population growth, and many strong indicators that folks like,” Chesser says.

Other markets have seen a notable shift. Buyer sentiment has changed radically in New Jersey's Gold Coast market over the past six months, along with higher interest rates, while seller expectations have not changed. That disconnect is causing stagnation in the market, says Chris  Cervelli, CCIM, president of Cervelli Real Estate & Property Management in North Bergen, N.J. “Properties are starting to sit around a little bit longer,” he says. Investors are not oblivious to headwinds such as rising interest rates, slowing rent growth, and a still-active development cycle. In addition, the trade wars and tariffs are making some investors nervous. “Everybody feels like the music is stopping, and no one wants to be left holding that bag when it does,” he says.

The flip side is the abundant debt and equity in the market, and many investors and lenders like the risk-adjusted returns on multifamily units relative to investment alternatives.

“There is still a tremendous amount of equity - both institutional and private equity - that loves the multifamily space,” Shopoff says. “If good product comes on the market, there are multiple buyers for it.” Interest rates have moved higher, but rates are still relatively low. People can still buy a property at a 5 percent cap rate, put debt on it at 4.5 percent, and have positive leverage and rent growth, plus some tax shelter and inflation protection, he says. “I don't think there's any shortage of buyers today. That shine could come off at some point, but we don't see it,” he adds.

Interview for "20 People to Know in Real Estate"

It was a sincere honor to be spotlighted as someone to know in real estate by Louisville Business First! I wanted to share with you some of the content of our recent discussion.

Why did you get into the real estate business? I got into the real estate business because I was always inspired by the possibilities of urban development and ultimately the economics of a community. As a child, I was always energized in seeing the city grow, and as I matured, I wanted to become a part of that growth and use my talents to open up opportunities for others. Building deep relationships, which is the centerpiece of this business, has been the most rewarding part of this growth and culmination of inspiration.

What are some up-and-coming areas to look out for in Louisville real estate?In Louisville, we’re blessed to have many different up-and-coming areas to keep an eye on. I am most intrigued by the enormous amount of growth possibilities that continue to exist in our urban corridors of NuLu, Butchertown and Clifton. 

What makes Louisville an attractive area for people/companies looking to relocate here? Louisville is attractive for many, many reasons. We are a community with an inherent logistics and distribution advantage in terms of our geography. Additionally, our culture is extremely unique in its history and I believe is one that incubates honesty, individuality and creativity. I also believe that the economic ecosystem in Louisville is much more collaborative than other cities, and most participants can attest that they have a great support of others to succeed. 

What barriers must be addressed to make Louisville a more attractive place to live and do business? Priority No. 1 must be to support the growth that is in such high demand for our city. For too many years, the hugely vocal small group of individuals have intimidated and blocked many projects that could have provided an opportunity for the city to prosper beyond our past results. We must become vigorously engaged and support legislation to make it easier for developers to create jobs, amenities, housing opportunities and ultimately the tax base. This is hugely imperative so our city can be competitive and reach its full potential as a true city in the 21st century and beyond. I firmly believe that we either grow or face a decline — there is no in-between. 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to build a real estate portfolio? I would advise those who desire to build a real estate portfolio to first set goals for why you are intending to embark upon this venture. This may sound elementary, but it has to be the very first step because the road is extremely challenging and if you have a strong enough reason for why you are building this portfolio, you will not give up in the process. 

Describe an experience with a client that was very gratifying to you? Anytime I have an opportunity to work with a client, I am grateful for the opportunity. I had a deal recently where I represented an organization that disposed of an apartment community that had served their purposes extremely well for several decades. At the point in which we sold the property, we were able to locate a local investor who took the baton and is tremendously excited for the opportunity to reposition the property even further. I love how real estate transactions can help solve problems for one set of individuals and create opportunities simultaneously. 

What do you wish more people understood about the way your business operates? I wish people understood the amount of behind-the-scenes work it takes to get anything done in this business. Whether it is years of building a relationship, months of market and financial analysis, months or years in negotiating a deal and so many more processes, I think those with extreme fortitude are the ones who ultimately triumph. I respect so many people in this business that have exemplified this perseverance for decades. They deserve all of the rewards of that effort. 

Think

“Why?” - said no one ever…it seems.

Have you ever just stopped to think this simple question?

Think. Think, damnit. Do any of us spend time in thought anymore or do we just “do?”

Do you ever just stop and seriously think…maybe reconsider everything?

Why am I doing this?

Why am I here?

Why am I even alive?

Okay, yes, that last one got a little deep. Nonetheless, this topic spawned from my recent read of a book that many of you probably have heard about; “Start with Why,” by Simon Sinek. A book that had been recommended to me years ago. Honestly, it had been a book that I had passed over for quite some time as many others just seemed much more interesting to dive into prior. Ultimately, a mention of it in Tim Ferriss’ “Tribe of Mentors” got me motivated to move it to the front of the pile. I took it’s reference as an omen to re-organize my “next up.” By the way, if you follow me on Instagram @thetylerchesser, you always get to see what book is next up in my story.

I think the reason why this book had lost precedence to me was that it seemed obvious that we should live life and conduct ourselves with purpose, and the premise to me wasn’t so groundbreaking or very exciting. Let’s be honest, most of us Millennials (and the billions of people that we influence to want to be just like us - I’m just kidding, baby boomers) know that we should be living a life with purpose. I honestly didn’t feel that there wasn’t much else to be said on this concept. Now that I have contemplated this thought in a much deeper fashion through reading the book, I must say that it’s a much more profound idea to follow than I had considered originally.

Long story short, read the book.

But while we’re here, let me just say, flipping the conventional wisdom on how to conduct your life, because of “WHY” you exist, is profound. The same can be said about your business, occupation or organization.

Many of us grow up thinking “what will I be when I grow up?” or “I want to be an astronaut, or a firefighter, or a policeman, or a pilot, or a nurse.” (Side note, I hope my future children say they want to be a real estate investor!) Ultimately these are all examples “WHAT” we aspire to be as adults when we are children, because it’s the line of thinking we’re continuously exposed to. “WHAT” project should I take care of first, is a question I ask myself every day. The question of “WHAT” is continuously asked to us in a professional sense - what product does your company sell, what do you do for a living, what do you do for culture building, and the list goes on. You get the picture.

Additionally, there are endless discussions of “HOW” things are done from “how do you distribute your product?” to “how do you market your services?” to “how do invest your money?”. I promise I am not intending to belabor this!

So I go back to the questions that I posed to you at the beginning of this post. How about instead of starting with what, how, or who and starting with the question of “WHY” and truly operating from that place?

Why do you do what you do for a living? Why do you invest your money the way you do? Why do you believe what you believe? Why do you walk out the door every day and face the world? Why does your organization exist? Is it just to make a profit? Why? Why? Why? Keep asking and keep exploring.

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If the “Why” doesn’t get to the core of who you are, it isn’t the right answer. You will know it. Your friends, customers, partners, and family will know it. So I’ll say it again - think, damnit. If you get this right, you will know it - your customers will flock to you, partners will beg you to do business with you…again, you get the picture.

The answers to these questions, I believe, will lead you to the life of your dreams. I think you’ll be fascinated that your answers may cause huge changes in your life. Don’t shy away from them - follow your heart and ultimately your life will become a life to be proud of.

They will ultimately lead to creating a purpose (and even a product or a service) that is so wildly successful that your competitors cannot touch you.

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”


Friedrich Nietzsche

The Top 3 Books Anyone in Business Should Read Right Now

I am frequently asked about the books that I am reading, I believe, because all of us are inherently curious about exploring and further understanding the world we find ourselves in and the complexities it presents in our lives. This is precisely why I devour so much literature across so many spectrums. I am always thrilled to share things I have learned along the way and am working to apply in my life.

I was recently asked, by a new friend and innovative entrepreneur, to write about the “top three books that anyone in business should read right now.” You may be surprised at my resulting book topics that many would even not consider of the business genre! In fact, you would never find any of these three in the business section at your local bookstore or even our favorite corner of Amazon’s unending search engine. However, I believe the ideas and behaviors these illuminate ultimately impact the success in which you can expect to achieve in any industry, or in any area of your life for that matter.

Here are three of the top books I have read in 2018 that have had the most impact on my life and even in my business.

Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food by Catherine Shanahan, MD

Our bodies are the vehicle in which we are blessed to carry through our life’s purpose. We’re only given one, and I believe most of us are mis-informed on how to properly care for this complex and miracle-laden machine. When thinking of priorities, protecting the asset (ie. your body), and cultivating a healthy lifestyle should be #1 or very near the top of the list. Many of us are ignorant to the importance of nutrition in life and are not educated properly on what we really need to be eating and what extremely prevalent compounds we must be avoiding. Dr. Shanahan explains that the legacy and intricacies of deep nutrition, the pillars of a human diet, have been intuitively passed down and perfected by our ancestors for tens of thousands of years. Only recently have so many new compounds been introduced into the modern western diet, and it is crucial that we pay attention to their potentially insidious affects upon not only our life, but even our children and their children through what’s called “epigenetics.” Through this book I have been able to transform my diet and consumption habits, and I hope that with this foundation I am able to continue to offer my gifts to the world and impact it in a maxed out capacity. Highly recommended read for anyone and everyone!

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The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success by Jeff Olson

I loved the simplicity yet profundity of this book. Ultimately, The Slight Edge, illustrates how our lives and destinies are shaped in the moment of each and every single decision. Each day, mostly, our decision making begins at the moment the alarm clock rings. What’s easy to do many times is to hit the snooze button. What’s also easy to do is to go ahead and get up and decline a snooze. Our decisions, across all areas of our lives, ultimately compound upon each other day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year to help us follow the path of success or failure. This illustration is a great reminder that the results of our lives are up to us in each and every moment of decision. Sometimes just realizing that our inner voice tells us that making a good decision is more difficult than it really is, makes all the difference in creating a lifetime of discipline and good choices.

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Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation by Daniel J. Siegel, MD

This outstanding book discusses how integration between both sides of our brain, our heart, and relationships with others through empathy can help us achieve exponential personal transformation. I found it to be incredible with which the ability our brains have to grow and be resilient, no matter what challenges we have faced in our lives. We may not realize it, but much of our behavior stems from how we were raised as children, or what hyper emotional events have occurred at various times in our lives. Once we have a higher level of awareness of these factors, we have the ability of taking a more controlled direction of our life through through integration.

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I hope you enjoyed my brief recap and invite you to dive into these books and follow your curiosity to learning more about what you inherently know is important. Please give me a feel for how these impact your life and always feel comfortable sharing any of your recommendations with me. It’s a pleasure being on this journey with all of you and I look forward to connecting with you soon!

Cheers, Tyler


Profit or Loss?

“Prosper Louisville”

A Movement for those that want more from our community

“Profit or Loss?”

…It’s a question our entire city should be asking ourselves right now.

This week is paramount in the beginning of a series of events that could either make of break the future of the city of Louisville and the lives of our fellow citizens. Tonight, the domino starts to fall as public meets to discuss a proposal for Top Golf to redevelop the old Sears location at Oxmoor center. With a premier entertainment destination in a redevelopment of an obsolete big box retail property, the 21st century has graciously opened it’s arms to invite our city to join the party. The series of events continues in the near future as our city leaders consider “One Park” redevelopment of Lexington and Grinstead, one of the most iconic Louisville parcels. From there, a grassroots movement to bring the NBA to Louisville is grasping for steam, the bid for an eventual MLS franchise is on the fringe, and many other opportunities are within our grasp. But we must choose to own these opportunities and consider the downside of staying silent.

We have a choice tonight and over the next few months in this city:

1. Overcome fear, embrace faith and support a bold vision for the future which includes prosperity, opportunity, and expansion for the lives of all in our community.

OR

2. Succumb to fear and oppose any such change and improvement to our community that may not appear to be a mirror to our past.

Those in camp #2 may pay an heightened focus on potential downsides of growth, and believe that unremitting miscalculation that growth brings along negative consequences. It’s a quite frequent criticism that new development such as these proposals bring fears of increased traffic, decreased access, increased noise and even crime.

I would argue, without having the gusto to move forward with progress and prosperity, we’re opening ourselves and our community’s future up for decay, decline and blight.

You either grow or you decline, there is no stagnation, even what may be fantasized by the most average minds - in life this is true as well as in economic growth. Many neighborhoods, including a handful in Louisville are over run by graffiti, gang activity, homelessness, drug use, and many other undesirable activities due to economic decline. I could mention several locations in our city that have experienced these undesirable transgressions over the years due to decline in opportunity and dis-investment.

Our world is changing and we must be prepared to adapt before it’s too late. I am asking my friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens - let’s be bold and OWN the growth our city and allow our people to prosper and live the life they can live through increased opportunity and limitless potential. OWN the prosperity of your family’s future. Tonight, October 1st at 6:30 pm, please show up and speak up at the Top Golf hearing at UofL Shelby Campus. Let’s set the dominoes in the right direction as tonight may prove to be much more significant than having the ability of swinging a golf club. This is a signal to others that our city is ready to become what it is destined to be.

OWN LOUISVILLE’S GROWTH. MAKE IT HAPPEN - Top Golf, One Park, NBA to Louisville, Legalize Gambling - let’s allow the list to expand. We’re facing a tipping point in the community right now and we’re called to step up. We have a choice to either expand, share opportunities, or remain small minded and face mediocrity or worse, decline. Choose prosperity over fear and join me in the future which will be beyond our imaginations better than our past!

Join the movement by using the hashtag #ProsperLouisville!

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When Lightning Strikes

Have you ever had something occur in your life that seemed so bizarre, so unbelievable, so unexpected, that you just couldn't quite understand how to respond? Something that happened which never would have crossed your mind otherwise? A moment or turn of events that made you think, 'wow, maybe now I have seen it all?' Well, that something happened to me recently, and of course I wanted to share it with you! 

Recently, we had arrived to the end of a transaction for acquisition of a sizable apartment complex. We had completed 73 days of hard, grueling work since the executed purchase and sale agreement which permitted a total of 75 days to close this transaction. With so many moving parts, we genuinely squeezed the value out of just about every single day of our alloted time - from financial/lease audit, environmental inspection, physical inspection, construction budget creation, structural engineer reporting, concession negotiation, appraisal, equity raise, debt placement, insurance selection & bonding, management transition, and really many more items. As a side note, if you want 73 days to pass quickly, just get into a purchase and sale agreement (PSA) for an income producing real estate asset. None of this takes in to account the many back and forth negotiations we had on terms and conditions prior to entering into that agreement, but that's a discussion for a rainy day. Regardless, we're proud of what we were able to accomplish during this timeframe.

Now that I've set the scene, let me do my best Bob Ross and paint the picture a little clearer for you on the glorious day 73. Leading up until this day, we were focused on aligning pro-rated rents/other revenue and security deposits to be transferred to the buyer from the seller along with other lender required items. We continued to dig down to these specific figures as other loose ends were tied up during the closing, which occurred through expedient attorney communication during most of the day. As loose ends continued to get tied up, we arrived closer to officially closing the deal. With so many various moving parts to be finalized, unfortunately we were unable to officially close the deal on day 73, as one remaining item had yet to be finalized by the time the end of business rolled around. Not to worry, we will close on day 74, tomorrow, after all we have a full 75 days which is why we scheduled two days ahead of time. In case the unexpected occurs. See y'all tomorrow morning... said everyone...

Cue, mother nature.

The next morning, while everyone is excited to close out the deal, to move forward with plans and to officially capture the opportunity that we had been working tirelessly towards for 74 days, we learn of the nights' insidious events. I am alerted by e-mail that the building had been struck by lightning and all fire alarms, key fobs and security cameras are all down across the entire 80,000+ square foot community. WHAT?! We successfully overcame every other challenge (at times many seemingly insurmountable) and now you're telling me God and his vast and all encompassing universe is sabotaging this transaction or something with the force of mother nature? Okay, maybe I am getting ahead of myself, but really?! Throw this dog a bone. This dog being yours truly and all my comrades. 

Long story short - this out of the blue event threw another wrench in the plans of completing this deal. All with the unexpected, untimely, and inconvenient nature of something we had never even considered. I won't bore you with the gory details on how we were able to solve this problem, but we did. It wasn't easy, and it was nerve wracking for all involved. To cue you in on another insiders piece of information, we finally closed it out on the 75th day around 3pm or so. I definitely don't recommend this business for the faint of heart. But certainly for those who want to tell a good story. One major takeaway - even if you expect the unexpected, expect to be surprised. You literally never know what might happen along your journey.

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Everything worked out and everyone is now happy since the dust has settled. Life is sometimes so crazy!

I hope you have a Happy Labor Day and are enjoying time to re-charge and make memories with friends and family. I hope the unexpecteds in your life make for good conversation and a good story and at the very least keep you on your toes. This one certainly did for me!

Most real estate or investment related blogs are canned and uploaded for SEO purposes exclusively. Let me just quickly say that I write these blogs to connect with you and to hopefully bring value to your life or business (or, at the least some entertainment!). If you find value in this blog please share with someone you care about. Pay it forward!

Cheers, Tyler

Podcast Interview "Finding a State of Equanimity"

It was a true pleasure being interviewed on the "Income Over Expense" Podcast: The Entrepreneur Spotlight, with Jordan Phillip, who is located in Thailand! 

Please enjoy the discussion where we touched on the behind the scenes of my life and approach to business. We deeply investigated "under the hood" of what it means to succeed in business and in life. I continue to explore this every single day.

Listen to the interview on Soundcloud

Listen to the interview on iTunes

Thank you for listening! If you found value in this discussion please share with your network and let's continue to learn and grow together.

Does Progress Require Discontent?

I love quotes, inspiration, self discovery and personal development. It's somewhat of a passion of mine. Therefore, many times you hear from me here or elsewhere, these are the topics I am usually exploring or contemplating. Label them hobbies, if you will, because I believe that sharpening the tool of your own skill set is central to how you achieve anything of significance and live the life you desire. I came across a quote today that really spoke to me in several ways that I wanted to explore with you:

"Discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I'll show you a failure." - Thomas Edison

This thought really stopped me in my tracks. Thomas Edison, a man that most of us would agree left a legacy and significant impact, might be onto something here with this bold and controversial declaration. 

As I reflect personally on this, I realize I usually am driven by continual improvement and a sense of discontent with where I am and where I want to be. However there are times in which my inner voice tells me I am too demanding on myself. Perhaps this conflict arises from some external forces at work causing me to believe I put too much pressure on myself to push forward, on to the next objective or to immediately become the next best version of myself. The dominant self talk in my head constantly encourages me to seek to reinvent my skills, to improve my knowledge, further my expertise. Sometimes it seems there are two voices fighting for my attention - one saying "keep climbing, no matter the price" and another saying "slow down, the pain isn't worth it!" I know which voice is dominant for me and can't say for certain it's the right approach, but Thomas Edison's quote has me considering.

The feeling of discontent, which is a dominant driving force in my life, causes a constant sense of tension physically within my body. At times it makes me feel like I've got weights bearing down on me. It makes me feel uncomfortable. It makes me feel stressed, rushed or even confused at times. I have become somewhat familiar with these feelings, but I do observe nonetheless how being discontent makes me feel. I frequently listen to the alternative voice telling me I could be better off abandoning this line of thinking. Maybe the alternative, satisfaction, is a more enjoyable life. 

Like many of you, I have audacious goals. Mostly, they serve as an inspiration for my daily actions. Occasionally, they serve as a reminder that I have a very, very long way to go. The tension continues. Good and bad. Hero and villain. Discontent and satisfaction. I recently heard the suggestion for people like us to live with a sense of "blissful dissatisfaction," which resonated with me tremendously. Maybe the thought is, we can be discontent and satisfied with the growth, the progress and the process all at the same time? Perhaps that's the secret sauce. Let's keep traveling along the path together and find the answers to these questions. 

Let me hear from you in the comments. Which camp are you in - discontent or satisfaction?

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Check out My Recent Interview on Monumental Podcast!

It was a great honor to spend time with Evan Holladay discussing "Investing in Real Estate and Yourself" on the Monumental Podcast. In this week's blog post, I am sharing content for you to listen to my ideas, instead of reading them. I'm a fan of switching things up from time to time, so hopefully this week's content adds value to your life and business in a different way. 

Listen to the episode  HERE

Listen to the episode HERE

Today’s guest is Tyler Chesser. Tyler has quickly become a good friend of mine over the past few months. He has taught me so much about real estate and self-development that I had to have him on the show.

Tyler is a Commercial Real Estate broker and Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Investments at Gant Hill & Associates and the President of Growth Real Estate, LLC. Starting out in real estate in 2013, Tyler has worked in all facets of real estate, and has quickly produced over $30 million in commercial real estate sales. He was recently recognized as a “Rising Star” Under 30 internationally in commercial real estate by CCIM Commercial Investment Real Estate (CIRE) magazine.

In today’s episode we cover how to get into real estate and not be a “success zombie”, how reading can take your success to the next level (keep in mind he’s on pace to read 52 books this year!), and how to invest in yourself and be more happy and aware every day.

Book a FREE 30-minute call with Tyler to discuss your goals and getting into commercial real estate: www.tylerchesser.com/subscribe

Tyler’s website: www.tylerchesser.com
Tyler on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thetylerchesser/
Tyler on Twitter: https://twitter.com/thetylerchesser
Tyler’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/iRealEstateofLou/

 https://www.ccim.com/cire-magazine/articles/2018/03/rising-stars/?gmSsoPc=1

Intro/Outro Music by The Pass: https://soundcloud.com/the-pass
sonaBLAST! Records: http://www.sonablast.com/

Subscribe to the podcast and emails from Evan: www.evanholladay.com

Follow Evan on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/evanholladay/
Follow Evan on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EvanHolladay/
Follow Evan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/EvanHolladay

Get a free 30-min coaching call for multifamily investing with Evan, email him at evan@evanholladay.com

Winning the Race

I'm well aware it may appear that I am toeing the line of the overly cliche and predictable with the writing of this blog post. However, I feel called to shamelessly touch on a topic that is front and center on the minds of Kentuckians and many Americans as we embark upon the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby: racing.

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Known as the fastest two minutes in sports, the champion is immediately is cemented into the history books as a legend of the sport. Owners, partners, trainers, jockeys, and those lucky gamblers rejoice in the glory of financial success of association with the winning horse. The "Run for the Roses" kicks of the Triple Crown of Horse Racing and the winner is rewarded additionally with millions in prize purse. Let's not forget that it's host, Churchill Downs, rakes in hundreds of millions on the Derby alone - now that's an attractive real estate investment. But what creates a winner in horse racing may or may not correlate to what creates a winner in business, real estate and in life. 

In my opinion, the quickest to the finish line does not necessarily create a winner outside of horse racing. Many might even say to you, there is no finish line in business and in life - we should be constantly raising the bar to test our limits. Others may remind you to celebrate the wins you define for yourself and to recognize your own achievements along the way. Regardless, I believe there are two main ways to "win the race" in your life and business. 

#1 - Don't Compete, Create

I believe the best of the best realize that we're only racing against ourselves. I read recently that elite performers don't compete, they create. What does this mean? For entrepreneurs it may mean that they create products or services that are not offered in the marketplace. This allows them to create demand and perhaps a new market in which they don't need to differentiate on price or quality. They create demand through innovation and creativity (see what I did there?). High level professionals focus on re-creating themselves daily and sharpening their skills through personal development, experience, and research rather than studying the competition intensely. They are certainly aware of what would normally be considered their "competition" and deeply understand the market in which they operate, however, these individuals focus on creating what may not be readily apparent to others. 

#2 - Focus on Consistency

Consistency is the key to finishing, surpassing and rising to new heights. If you're not moving forward, you're moving backwards. Each day, the best of the best focus on what they can control to further their interests. They don't attempt to move a mountain in one day, but chip away at one component of an overall big idea or goal daily. Winners realize that moving .001% forward consistently on a daily basis compounds to a tremendous amount of progress over time. They focus on maintaining consistent energy and effort over the long term by going slow and steady.

What other components do you believe are vital ingredients to winning in real estate, business and life? I invite you to engage with this post in the comments below and to connect with me further. Let's win together!

Without this, nothing else matters...

You can be a world class negotiator, analyst, property manager, broker, general contractor, attorney, banker, accountant or all around investor, but if you don't master this one skill, you will 100% fail in real estate. None of these otherwise highly valuable skills or disciplines matter if you cannot truly and genuinely build and develop deep, trusting and meaningful relationships. 

People want to know that you truly care about them and the challenges they are facing. They want to trust and feel that you will do the right thing to serve their best interest and help them reach their goals. It's also a two way street - once trust has been granted it's your job to deliver and verify their trustworthiness with action towards helping them achieve their goals. The approach that I have found to be useful for guiding my clients in selling or buying income producing real estate is discover their intentions, build a process or strategy, and execute in their best interest in an effort to create a relationship for life. The missing and most critical piece in this is to build a deep and meaningful relationship beyond the numbers, bricks and sticks. Without this, nothing else matters.

I want to share a quick story with you that made me pull the emergency brake in my tracks and reconsider completely how I am handling relationships in my life. I recently was at a property inspection with all parties in attendance; buyer, seller and various contracting professionals. As we inspected the properties I proceeded on a usually tried and true failing technique otherwise known as multi-tasking - checking e-mail, voicemails, calendar, responding to messages all the while coordinating and ensuring our access was granted and objections were overcome with integrity for each component of the property. If you're a broker, you know what I mean. We're constantly juggling several responsibilities at once and it can be a challenge to focus. However, it's common knowledge now days that if you're attempting a multi-task, you're not effectively accomplishing anything. 

As we continued through the inspection I noticed the genuine quality of the questions the seller asked the buyer and vice-versa. They seemed to truly have interest to get to know each other as a person and about their families, without any other underlying agenda. The buyer asked the seller about his children, where he was from, what it was like where he grew up and what his family is like today. I suddenly realized, after working with both of these gentlemen for years, that I learned more about each of them in those 5 minutes than I had ever come to realize in several years and many real estate transactions together. I became truly disappointed in myself at how much I didn't know about both of these men! I realized the topics of our discussion over a long period of time related solely to investment real estate.

Never along the way did I actually get to know these men, and it really caused me to take a look in the mirror. Why didn't I slow down and take an extra 5 minutes to take an interest in the personal lives of these men? Was I really so busy that I couldn't spend any time to understand who they are as people and what makes them tick? When I actually write these questions here I realize how ridiculous it is to not take the time to know these men, their families, and their goals and life aspirations. I also realize how much I've been missing out on by not genuinely building these friendships! 

To conclude, not only is life richer and more rewarding when you have genuine connections, but business is also better. After all, we're all in this thing called life together and we're all connected in some way. Undoubtedly, it's easier to negotiate a mutually beneficial deal when you truly understand the parties involved and their perspectives. I'm challenging myself to take an extra five minutes and get to know the people in my life and I'd be interested to learn ways you're applying this to your life as well!

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Take the Stairs

Greetings and welcome back! I've missed you, and I am excited to discuss a seemingly obvious, yet valuable, discovery that I've recently made. To state my intention, my overall goal on this blog is to share my experience and perspective so you can draw your own conclusions and perhaps take direction from the things I am learning. I want to help you get better at what you're doing and live the life you are imagining, or perhaps one that you haven't imagined yet. Whether that's through real estate investments, brokerage, or personal development. Join me on this journey and let's take our lives to the next level.

Before I start, I have to mention recently I was in Las Vegas attending the 10X Growth Conference. The shift that occurred for me during those three days is something I cannot explain, but hope you experience it one day. I've been pondering a long list of topics I could share with you from this game changing experience, and I will be coming out with various posts on this over the next several weeks/months. If you'd like to discuss with me personally, reach out and we can set up a one-on-one meeting or call. Plus, I'd love to connect with you!

Anyway, onto today's topic. This morning, as I exited the gym after finishing my daily morning workout, I bumped into a girl whom I've observed has recently been attending sessions with one of the personal trainers at my gym. With admittedly entirely limited information, my perspective tells me that fitness is a new undertaking for her and something that has not been a consistent life choice. Nonetheless, I am always inspired by seeing people make changes and course correcting for the betterment of their life. After all, it's never too late to make that shift in your own life whether it's fitness, health, personal finance, career and personal development, relationships, mindfulness, or anything else. Back to the story: as I walked out of the gym she was exiting the elevator, we both said 'good morning' cordially with a smile and went on about our day. Then it dawned on me - she took an elevator to skip one flight of stairs on the way into her personal training session...am I the only person this is ironically bizarre to?!

This immediately sparked an internal dialogue within myself. How many things am I doing that are simply checking off the boxes to say it's been done? Am I changing myself internally or going through the motions? This caused me to realize many times in my life in which I have cut corners which inevitably spilled over into other parts of my life. In Charles Duhigg's book "The Power of Habit" he calls this concept 'keystone habits' which relates to the domino effect certain choices have on others. For example, when you exercise, notice that you generally eat healthier, have more confidence and naturally focus on putting in hard work in the other areas of your life and business. It's how we're wired as humans. The 'keystone habit' principle can be expanded upon immensely, but I will go ahead and recommend that you pick up his book to learn more and how you can really choose your habits. After all, your habits are what your life is ultimately made of.  

A quote that I believe is so relevant to this is what I came across in a book I am currently reading by the legendary basketball coach Phil Jackson called "Eleven Rings." How crazy that this quote presented itself to me the same day I run into this apparent parallel in the gym.

"The way you do anything is the way you do everything." - Tom Waits

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I am using this experience to genuinely look in the mirror and audit my actions. The question I'm asking myself is "What am I doing today that is spilling over into less than excellent work or results?" I am challenging myself to make sure I'm not taking the easy way out on personal life choices as well as real estate related items such as market and financial analysis, negotiation, due diligence management, client relations, property prospecting,  asset management,  and of course many more. Perhaps there are several areas I can identify that by making small course corrections on I can take my real estate business and life to the next level. 

When you cut corners on one thing, everything else suffers. It's just the way we're wired as humans! Drop me a comment and let me know what you've noticed you're "taking the elevator" on in your life, business or real estate investments.  What ways can you "take the stairs" and do the right things that will spill over to other good habits? Don't be ashamed - course correction is the key to a successful life! Let's create a community that's open and honest with each other that can have each other's back and watch each other grow for the better. I look forward to hearing from you and connecting soon.

Staying Power

I strongly admire men and women who have proven longevity in their careers despite the roadblocks and challenges that they faced throughout their time. We all have challenges, but some people prove to rise above them time and time again, over an extremely long period of time. Specifically, in commercial real estate brokerage and investing, those who can outlast the inevitable and continuous transitional nature of market cycles are generally those who succeed. After all, success isn't success unless it's lasting, in my opinion. Being in year five of my #CRE journey, I wouldn't say I have yet achieved "Staying Power" by this definition, but it is an intention and objective for me nonetheless.

The question is, how do professionals stick around and have success in the long haul? I believe the following traits are some essential parts of the tool kit to achieve success in real estate investing, brokerage, and life in general.

Consistency

In my opinion, daily consistent actions in every moment is one of the most over looked or unrecognized traits in highly successful people. To achieve lasting success, I firmly believe you must consistently make the right small and minute decisions and take the right actions in our continuous moments of decision. Our society trains us to believe massive success stories are created overnight by huge, sudden breakthroughs. I believe those with true staying power have developed consistency in their practice and in their life over a long period of time. 

Personal Development

Those who achieve staying power focus a tremendous amount of time and effort in developing themselves. They "sharpen the ax" far and away with greater effort and time than they do in "swinging at the tree," as the saying goes. They seek guidance through books, trade publications, mentors, digital sources such as podcasts/video training/social media, conferences, seminars, and of course through raw experiences. The ones who last take what they learn and apply it to their lives immediately, while receiving feedback, making continual adjustments and constantly growing.

Philosophy

I believe people who stick around and rise above the competition for the long haul have a philosophy or principles for each decision they make. They have a guiding direction which helps them make quick decisions based on their own research, experience or collective wisdom. These philosophies are developed over time and are intentionally formed. Those who lack such guiding principles make inconsistent decisions and experience inconsistent results. 

Authenticity

People with staying power discover and embody who they really are at all times. They don't change their beliefs, opinions or expressions thereof based on who they are around or what may seem popular at the time. In fact, I believe those with staying power influence others to their line of thinking, at least for the short term, but perhaps I'm digressing. They are comfortable in being transparent because their beliefs and actions have a strong rooted philosophy of why they are such. They know they will never be able to please everyone, so it's much more efficient, effective and generally satisfying to just be themselves.

Healthy Habits

To build anything substantial, it must be originated in consistent healthy habits. Those with staying power know the power of their subconscious mind and know how to manipulate it to consistently do the small things essential for success. They don't think about and expend valuable willpower energy on working out, eating well, protecting & feeding their mind. They just do these things habitually. The energy saved with this type of life on autopilot creates continuous momentum and a compound effect with huge results.

R&R

Those who are impactful over many decades realize that this game is not a sprint, but a marathon. High performers realize that if they are not mindful, they could risk burnout and the detrimental effects of this. Rest and recovery is a consistent element of lives of those with staying power. They systematically schedule activities that feed their creativity, energy and emotional well-being. They take time to enjoy the moment every day and additionally focus on implementing systems and processes that allow them to step away from the day to day on a regular basis, even if it is a short time. 

In real estate investing, it is a very long and sometimes arduous game. It is not a get-rich-quick scheme and it's not a cryptocurrency frenzy, lottery, or luck of the draw rags-to-riches concept. To achieve the great life benefits that real estate can provide, I believe you need to embody these traits to achieve the staying power that ultimately will deliver the highest rewards. My approach is to embody these personal traits to ensure my "staying power" is achieved and I hope you will join me. 

"The people living on top, those who take responsibility, live a life that is in some ways uncomfortable. Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do, and that often means living outside the limits of one's comfort zone. The people on the other side are hanging with the masses, and their lives are often more comfortable during that long early stretch. But they become more uncomfortable later on. By contrast, those on the success curve end up ever more comfortable as their lives progress, because over the course of time they continue to have the finances, the health and happiness, the relationships, the success. This means changing your thinking about the comfort zone." - Jeff Olson
"Doing the right thing sometimes seems to be more 'expensive' at the time but it always ends up being cheaper than the repercussions of doing the wrong thing." - Andy Frisella
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Rent is Due

Depending on who you are, the phrase "rent is due" can either evoke an emotion of anxiety, fear, surprise, excitement (if you're the owner collecting the rent), or perhaps you're an auto-pay type of person that doesn't let bills provoke any emotions through systematization. Most likely, you have some experience with this phrase and you automatically have a feeling when you hear it. Good or bad, the phrase to me means a few things. Of course, as a real estate investor, there's no business without rental income. The real estate & operational expenses would not be covered and there would be no opportunity for profit (which is an investor non-negotiable when a business risk is assumed). Additionally, the "rent" is due every day in our lives, to achieve the various goals we are after. 

"Success is never owned. It's leased, and the rent is due every day." - JJ Watt

I believe in this philosophy wholeheartedly. There have been times in my life where I believed that I could work hard for a period of time, then slack off and reap the fruits of my labor later. While a part of this concept is generally true, I have found that the times of less effort creates a delayed period of less than desired results. Especially in my business of income producing real estate sales, if I am not constantly on top of current transactions, prospecting for new business, building client relationships, researching on and off market deals, sharpening my analysis and negotiation skills, there comes a point to which I could get so overwhelmed that nothing happens at all. In other parts of life where I strive for success such as physical and mental health, personal relationships, finances, spirituality, the rent is additionally due every day. "Paying the rent" daily also creates momentum, which allows each day to get easier and easier.

"Recreate yourself daily." - Unknown

I have made this an ongoing objective for myself - every day is a new opportunity to recreate my health, relationships, friendships, network, knowledge, finances, business and relationship with my higher power. Every day I have made it a priority to recognize the opportunity the day presents to go above and beyond in an effort to live a life that I can be proud of. Each day I can improve my client services, my real estate expertise, my systems and processes, and my efficiencies. We all have days where we're more motivated or inspired than others, but the simple realization that we must re-create what we want daily has been a great motivating force personally. 

While in each day, we are called to get after it and "pay the rent" in the various parts of our lives that are important to us, I want to leave you with one final quote that I've found powerful as well. If we are looking to achieve big things in our life, we should remember that life is completely comprised of moments. What is important is that our attitude of each moment remains consciously positive, no matter what we're going through. I believe by adopting that approach, we can build a business, strong relationships, excitement and live a life to be proud of.  

“Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen. We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live.” - Anna Quindlen

 

It's Still Ugly

Over the past few weeks I have been blessed to receive a few humbling awards for contributions in the commercial real estate brokerage industry. These moments have been beautiful, shiny, clean, tremendously appreciated and quite frankly, unexpected. The plaque for achieving the CCIM designation, "Rookie" Kentucky Real Estate Exchangor of the Year for 2017, and Kentucky Commercial Real Estate Alliance Multi-Family Broker of the Year for 2017 are now nicely displayed on my bookshelf. The beauty of these recognitions caused me to remember that the process has been anything but beautiful.

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I have to admit it's been really ugly getting to this point and it continues to be ugly on a daily basis. My commitments, ever-growing responsibilities, daily tasks, packed schedule and the overall work-in-progress nature of my business seem unsightly to me.

Being in year five of this business, it's been a hell of an up hill battle. The many hats worn by a commercial real estate broker (that's also an aspiring real estate investor) are sometimes seemingly insurmountable. Each transaction has a tremendous amount of minutia to work through, with a laundry list of impacted parties and challenges around every corner. It is not rare to overcome a long list of challenges yet to meet a ultimatum that critically kills the deal in the 11th hour. Remembering that no deal is better than a bad deal in those circumstances is hard, to say the least. At the same time, we're contending in a very competitive space where deals are extremely timely and pressure filled. Additionally, there is a business to keep organized, with many personalities involved from top to bottom. All the while, we are challenged to remain focused on goals, open minded to set new ones along with action plans and accept or reject certain opportunities that may or may not fit our objectives. Not to mention the requirements to be experts in local market knowledge and somewhat practicing economists with a focus on how global markets impact every move. I have a friend writing a book on the challenges, dreams and prayers of a commercial real estate broker. I will leave it to him to describe in eloquent detail all of the simultaneous stresses of our business. 

During times of challenge, when it seems nothing is going right, I find myself working overtime swimming upstream to get back to a point of momentum. I have found that momentum is tremendously important in this business - I am not sure if it is due to the fact that your energy is transferred or felt or if you simply just operate better from a mindset of winning. Now that I have momentum on my side, I refuse to give it up. I will continue to sludge through the ugliness of this daily practice to make sure it is beautiful for my clients, partners, prospects, friends and family.

The sacrifices are worth it and I am eternally grateful for the opportunities this beautiful business has created for me. I am proud of the person I am becoming from the mold of these pressures because it gives me an opportunity to provide opportunities for others. As long as we stay committed to doing the dirty work, the people that need us will continue to have beautiful results, which is unique to everyone who involved. My purpose remains to provide those opportunities, and I will relentlessly chase them with a persistent and resilient approach. So, I'll be up again tomorrow morning starting at 5am, rinsing and repeating with this purpose top of mind. 

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Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays and a Happy 2018!

Prepared for Anything

It's been a bit since I last posted and it's been a hectic period of time in my life. Last week my plan was to write about my trip to Toronto and completing the CCIM designation, describe what that meant to me personally and professionally, and outline its importance of enhancing the value of my real estate practice from an investment and advisory perspective. However, my body had a different plan as I took a trip to the ER which resulted in an emergency surgery to remove my "angry" appendix (angry was the adjective so eloquently coined by the doctor). I've been told to always be ready to improvise and be nimble in life, and this was a great example of such a lesson. 

When I was told I needed to undergo an emergency surgery before the appendix potentially ruptured, my first thought was "I have a lot of appointments today and I need to get so-and-so task done - can't do it today." My second thought was, how long could it be before I am back to taking care of business? How long is this going to knock me out? Additionally, I wondered, how bad is this going to hurt and what's the likelihood it does not go as planned? The pain was to a point where there was not much of a choice for me to make but rather to face the inevitable road in front of me. It caused me to think of the many other life circumstances where we have limited choices but to proceed through potentially painful circumstances whether literally or figuratively.

I immediately notified all parties of which I was currently transacting that I would be out of commission for at least the next 24-48 hours. Support was offered through many different avenues from my family, colleagues, vendors, partners, friends and even current negotiating adversaries. This outpouring of support was overwhelmingly appreciated at the time at which I felt useless and helpless. 

This experience reminded me that unexpected events in life, business and real estate should be expected. There's a great quote that says "life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans." It's always smart to have a plan and a method as to how you are going to achieve your goals personally, professionally and financially. This experience re-iterated the fact that even though we have plans and intentions we need to be ready to implement contingency plans at any moment. Let's face adversity with the perspective that we expected it and we will have the capacity to handle it at our best. My hope is that whatever life throws at you over the closing months of 2017, you will be ready to face the unexpected and turn those challenges into opportunities.