After 12 years in the commercial real estate business I have more than enough money to retire.
I have been lucky.
And I have made some good choices. During the run up in prices prior to 2007 I held a portfolio of office, retail and some warehouse space of varying degrees of quality. Business was booming. Cash was coming in faster than I could find a place to keep it. My wife of the time loved me more than anyone ever has. Honestly, I thought that this is the way life is supposed to be lived and there is no point at all in changing it. I would collect rents for the rest of my life.
Then in late ’06 offers for property started coming in. Brokers were calling daily asking what would I take for this? What would I take for that? Got me thinking. Either they knew something I didn’t, which I doubted, or they were a johnny-come-lately crowd that sooner or later was going to go over a cliff.
When the little brother of an old friend told me how he’d signed a contract on a condominium and then sold it for double what he paid, three times, I was convinced the jig was up. It was time to take my chips to the cashier.
To make a long story short I got out of everything that I was heavily borrowed in. (If I had it to do all over again, I would have refinanced. More on that later).
I got hung out on a couple of properties when it hit the fan, but all in all it was nothing compared to what a lot of over-leveraged people suffered. Believe me I’m grateful. And lucky.
My confidence level is high and my spirits generous. It’s time for me to do what I can to help out he next person who wants to embark upon a career in commercial real estate.
Due to a number of professional factors and two ex-wives, I can’t tell you my name.
Just call me Rob.