Path to Commercial Real Estate Passes through the Donut Hole

The following is a post by Lynn Kaiser Conrad, Brand Ambassador

Midlife often triggers change. This may mean change your car, to a sporty model; or change your hair, to a new color and style, and on occasion change your career. Coldwell Banker Commercial is an ideal landing space for those considering such a move.

His family was into making dough, lots and lots of dough. Literally. When Bob Rand was in his teens, his dad bought a doughnut franchise business. Prior to that decision, Bob’s father was a controller for a large corporation in the northeastern U.S. Bob’s father sought out various business opportunities and franchises. While still investigating and before selecting the doughnut franchise, Bob travelled with his father getting quite a firsthand education about the world of business.

While in high school, Bob worked at the shop and his legacy of making dough began. After high school, Bob went to Florida State University and majored in accounting and launched a career in the insurance industry. Like his dad, Bob worked for a large firm.

It wasn’t too many years after Bob graduated, that his dad asked him to join the doughnut business. Both Bob and his brother worked in the family business. First, owning one franchise then another, expanding from one shop to three. Bob and his brother sold their franchises and opened up their own independent doughnut shops.

Having worked for large corporations, been a franchisee, and a small business owner, Bob was amassing a skill set and a mindset of an entrepreneur, among many other things.

In 2005, Bob earned his real estate license, but didn’t decide to work full time in real estate until 2008, after he and his brother sold their doughnut shops. In hindsight, 2008 may not have been the best time to enter commercial real estate. Though, he believed, once again he would be making dough, just a different kind of dough.

Bob’s wife was earning a good income, so the risk of straight commission was mitigated. Unfortunately, Bob’s wife was diagnosed with a brain tumor in December 2008, and three weeks later she passed away. It was a tough time. With two teenagers and a new career, during the great recession, and with the loss of his life partner in his late 40’s, Bob forged forward.

Bob became part of a four person REO specialty team. The team would present their asset preservation platform to manage, sell, and assist in repossessing commercial real estate to banks, including Wells Fargo, SunTrust, Regions and several community banks. Their persistence paid off, and Bob learned if he sent his introductory letter or a proposal in a Fed Ex envelope, it was opened.

Through the REO process, Bob received a broad commercial real estate education and indoctrination into the industry. By 2012, Bob’s business was expanding beyond the REO specialty. Through the relationships he cultivated, he was primed for better economic times. In 2016, Bob earned his CCIM designation, and in 2017, Bob hired a business coach to help him continue to grow his business. That year, Bob focused on industrial investment properties, which continues to be a niche market for him.

It is 2020, and Bob as hired a new coach. Bob wants to expand his geographic business footprint, using a systematic process. He plans to be consistent and targeted in his approach to building his business. Bob has set a goal to increase his personal production by 30% year over year. In addition to serving his clients and continuing to develop those relationships, Bob is making dough for his customers. Literally.

If you’re considering making a midlife change that includes launching a new career, like Bob, you, too, may find success in commercial real estate at Coldwell Banker Commercial.

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