Resilience in Real Estate and Life

As we navigate our way through the holidays and hopefully spend some well-deserved time with family, I always find it a good time to reflect. 

The following blog post is an exert from my monthly insider newsletter. I thought it fitting to post as we stare down the barrel of what looks to be another turbulent year. 

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I'm writing this email still recovering from a couple of days with family for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Now, I'm in need of a vacation -- it's great to spend time with them but definitely exhausting.

Portia and I hosted this year. Both sides of the family joined for a meal -- at one point we even had 4 generations of family and 5 dogs (who didn't quite get along) in the house. Packed for sure, but nice to enjoy each other's company and seek a respite from the madness of everything else. 

But I more enjoy the holidays because they're a great time for a mental reset.

I'm a goal setter, and slowing down allows me time to reflect - reflect on what's happened the past year, what we've accomplished, where we fell short, and how we'll adapt and grow to achieve next year's goals.

I find it's important to have those conversations with the people you trust and respect. Hopefully, they'll lend you an ear and offer some objective, unadulterated feedback of their own.

And through the course of those conversations last week, I thought about some of the challenges we're facing right now. Some of the challenges our clients and their businesses face. Some of the challenges we've faced launching the firm this year. Some of the challenges low and middle-class American's face in rising home prices, inventory shortages, and price inflation.  

They're a unique and different set of hurdles for sure, but they're hurdles all the same.

So I thought, not another email about supply chains, politics, apartment vacancy rates, or current events -- let's talk about something applicable regardless of your walk of life -- whether you're starting a business, managing employees, investing in real estate, developing property, or just dealing with life -- and that's resilience.

Resilience is learned... and necessary to succeed in real estate... or just life

I served 5 years in the Army as an Infantry Officer -- we spent weeks in the field, months away from home, long hours in the office. The job wasn't easy.

But I wouldn't consider myself a naturally "tough guy". I like my creature comforts, enjoy my sleep, don't like being too hot or too cold, don't like the rain, and don't much like sleeping outside. But I learned to deal with the discomfort. Because that's what the job required. 

And through the physical discomfort came mental toughness. A confidence that I could solve complex, seemingly unsolvable problems, despite the odds. An attitude that even though a bad day may last 24 hours, the sun will come up the next day (hopefully), and any challenges would likely seem a little less daunting.

Well, the other day, I needed to draw on some of that resilience I've developed over the years.

You ever have weeks where it seems like everything you touch turns to gold? Good for you -- because this was not one of those weeks.

And I let it get to me -- my attitude took a turn for the worse. And wouldn't you guess, the failures and bad news only compounded. I was stuck in a self-fulfilling prophecy of self-pity and negative thoughts.  

But now that I'm a couple of nights sleep removed, I can actually look at the experience with a bit of objective criticism. 

The real estate business, much like life, doesn't reward those that throw their hands up and exclaim it can't be done. The business is hard. It's not easy to find quality investment opportunities or landowners who want to sell. It's not easy raising money or corralling clients, or pleasing needy bureaucrats.  

But that's also why there aren't many people who do it and even fewer who do it well. If it were easy, investing in real estate or developing property wouldn't be such a great opportunity.

We're in a unique market today. There's more available capital looking for a home than at any time in history. More investors are knocking on doors, dialing the phone, and sending postcards than ever. Asset prices have inflated to the point of making many projects prohibitive.   

And with all the odds stacked against you, it would be easy to grumble and complain. But that's where you need to be resilient. Develop a process to out-compete, out-smart, and out-work your competitors. Don't lament the challenges or the deals lost. Instead, take rejection and missed opportunities in stride -- use them as a catalyst to win the next deal... and the deal after that. 

Sure, having money helps, but there's always someone with more of it. Of course, having local political connections helps too, but a solid plan and good story are often more compelling than being a political insider anyway.  

So as I reflect this holiday season on the past 11 months, I am reminded about resilience. Marsh & Partners has missed some deals this year. But we've won some deals too. And more importantly, we're proud to have a small part in helping shape some amazing opportunities for the local community and small businesses across the U.S. 

I challenge you to take some time over the next couple of weeks to reflect. Don't let past misfortune dictate the outcome of future deals. Instead, be resilient in whatever it is you're passionate about -- investment, development, your small business, or just life.

Stick to the process and you'll be rewarded.


As I read the tea leaves, 2022 is shaping up to be just as challenging as 2021. Throw in an election cycle, more government lockdowns, and accelerating inflation, were facing challenges many of us haven't seen in our lifetime.

As you reflect on your last 12 months and plan for the next year, think about ways that you can effect change in your own sphere of influence. Ways you can protect your assets from dollar debasement. Ways that you can create rare and marketable skills that will be resistant to the major cultural and economic shift we're about to see.

We're here to help. If you want to chat about real estate strategy, entrepreneurship, or just bounce ideas off each other, book some time on my calendar and we can get started.