Excelsior’s 2021 in Review
“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” – Willie Nelson
The alarm shrieks me awake at 4:10 in the morning. My faithful corgi, Tango, greets me at my bedside, and I groggily make coffee while I gather my bearings in the kitchen. My usual morning routine is interrupted by the note I left myself the previous evening to remind me of the priority for the day given to me by my marketing people: “year end gratitude post.” My initial thought is of despair. This time of year is filled with verbal tripe; vacuous, unoriginal prose with the strong odor of obligatory rote and decorated by emojis and hashtags. The commercial real estate industry has a tendency to be polluted with annual summations about assets gained, distributions made and worlds conquered (don’t worry we have a post that contains all of this headed to your LinkedIn newsfeed in the near future), all while boasting of evere greater peaks to be summited the ensuing year.
That is not to say we lack ambition or discourage celebrating achievements, but after more than a decade in this business I prefer reflecting on a line from Brene Brown for these types of things:
“A good life happens when you stop and are grateful for the ordinary moments that so many of us just steamroll over to try to find those extraordinary moments.”
The exceptional milestones are self-evident, the big victories largely take care of themselves. In my experience, the real magic is in the mundane, daily grind. The extra effort put forth by our acquisitions and asset management colleagues. The long nights spent on prepping quarterly reports. The double, triple and quadruple review of our underwriting even after everyone has signed off on the deal. The hard conversations with investors when an investment hits a bump in the road. The call or in person meeting that could have easily been an impersonal email. The planes, trains and automobiles (and related delays, traffic, rebooking, lumpy hotel beds) to see the property, do the comp set tour, talk to local brokers and owners.
Hardest of all for me is how to verbalize my gratitude towards our investors. I worry that if I start on this path of thanks that I will inevitably meander into a dark alley full of cliches and hyperbole that will come off as flippant and disingenuous. Our partners are the bedrock of the firm and our role as Sherpas helping guide people through the morass of commercial real estate investing is one we take gravely serious. Synonyms for gratitude include gratefulness, thankfulness, thanks, appreciation, recognition, acknowledgment, hat tip, credit, regard, respect, sense of obligation, indebtedness. All of these nouns pulled together may be a start in describing our sentiments over the last twelve months.
Brian C. Adams
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