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Why did the Real Estateur Cross the Road?
This opportunity ain't gonna find itself
Tell me what you pay attention to and I’ll tell you who you are.
- José Ortega y Gasset
3 traits of an effective operator:
1) A noticer - effective operators notice things.
Atlanta has plenty of pedestrian-spiteful streets and years ago I found myself navigating one with a pal. There was no sidewalk, just an uneven narrow path we walked single-file yelling “what?” over the roar of passing cars.
I stopped mid-yell when I saw him dart from behind me across four lanes of traffic because he noticed surveyors setting up across the road.
2) A connector - whether people or dots, the effective operator combines the disparate and creates something new.
The surveyors told my pal (an effective operator) that the state department of transportation was trying to improve the intersection but had to coordinate with the feds (because of an adjacent interstate) and take some private property.
The surveyors had a copy of the schematic plans and the effective operator saw, as the intersection was to be reconfigured, that the opposite corner would morph from small and unusable to tremendous and valuable - but only if combined with an adjoining parcel now occupied by a fast food joint.
The effective operator knew the fast feeder’s real estate representative and called her while cutting back across the street. He learned the subject property was a good location but undersized and the fast feeder would love to improve and rebuild the restaurant if they could get more land.
3) A doer - effective operators see dots, connect them, and then do something.
By the time we got back to my car, the effective operator found the owner of the unusable land and set a meeting.
Within a few weeks he had a contract to purchase the land (priced as unusable). He had the fast feeder do a new site plan incorporating the additional land. They loved it and agreed to lease from him - when it comes to land, effective operators prefer leasing it rather than selling it.
The lease rate allowed him to pay off the entire purchase (seller financed) in 18 months, and he’ll be collecting a fat rent check for at least the remainder of the 20 year term.
As he reminds me often, I too should've crossed the road.
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