Coming In Second

As I was watching the end of the Super Bowl last night, I felt a bit of sympathy for the Denver Broncos. Truth be told, I was rooting for the Seattle Seahawks, but given the context, I would have felt bad for either team.

The Broncos had a great regular season. Peyton Manning had a record-breaking season and won his fifth Most Valuable Player Award. But they fell one step short of their ultimate goal.

Years from now, very few people will remember anything about the Broncos' 2013 season except the individual records that Manning set and maybe the fact that they didn't win the Super Bowl.

There's no glory in finishing second in professional sports. There's less glory in coming in second in real estate.

Real estate deals are not dissimilar to sports. It takes a team, working in unison, to complete any deal. The landlord, the attorney, the broker, the architect, the project manager, and others all have to be aligned and responsive to a tenant's needs. Any weak link in the chain is an opportunity for another landlord, another attorney, another broker, to win the deal.

Last year, I worked on a deal on behalf of one of my landlord clients. We negotiated back and forth with the tenant for eight months. We sent over a dozen written proposals. In the end, we came in second and the tenant made a deal with another landlord.  No deal, no glory, no commission, and certainly no accolades from the client for a good effort.

While we won more than our fair share of deals last year, coming in second on the one I mentioned sticks out. Not because of the size or the potential commission, but rather the time we spent and the amount of work that went into it. In some ways, I would have preferred being eliminated from consideration earlier.

Some fans say that they prefer their teams being knocked out early rather than losing the Super Bowl so they don't get emotionally invested.

I empathize with the Broncos and their fans today.  Coming in second sucks.