One Good Idea?

Industry veteran Steve Felix shares his thoughts on the value of patience.

As a consultant over the years, when I’ve met with a client, I’ve always felt that once a client said, ”Gee, we hadn’t thought of that, that’s a good idea”, I should immediately leave, feeling that I had delivered and anything beyond that could only go down hill.

Fortunately, at the present moment I am not a consultant and don’t have to feel obligated to come up with good ideas for others.  But, that doesn’t mean that I’m not working on the next good idea.

Notwithstanding what may be announced in the global financial space in the 48 hours between my writing this and when it’s published, one good idea may be to just be patient and let things settle down a bit.  Of course, if you’re an opportunistic investor (I’d include hedge fund investors but from what I gather most of those will be gone by 12/31/08) you must adopt the “who hesitates is lost” philosophy.

Felix: wait and see

So, if you say that waiting is not really the one good idea I’m looking for, the next good idea may be to use this time to sharpen your communication skills, to keep your investors informed and to look inside your company and see where you can find opportunity in some of your assets or in your asset/property management functions.

Clearly, we’re in a time when the basics of real estate operation, leasing and management are what are going to add value to assets. Even if we don’t really know what the value of our assets are, it’s a good thing if we do whatever we can to add to that value, right?  For those of us who were actively involved in the RTC period, this situation is looking a little familiar but not exactly. That’s where the patience again comes in as there will be a wait to get access to troubled assets.

But, from the direction we’re headed, your patience will be rewarded, even if there are a number of investors competing for the same troubled loans and real estate.  And, as those of us who have been investing in real estate for some time know, you make your money on the buy, buying right.

So, while ‘everyday is a winding road’, I don’t think we would want it any other way.  We were spoiled and bored by the day-in, day-out ability to make deals that seemed too good to believe; to get financing that in a fundamental way didn’t make sense (but we took the money anyway) and always knowing that someone would pay more for your asset than you did, sometimes the very next day.

The good idea?  Be realistic, keep your expectations low and be patient.  You can only be rewarded if you choose to follow these suggestions.  But then again, maybe I’m just promoting this philosophy so that you won’t be competing with me as the opportunities evolve.