I Walked Away from the Biggest Real Estate Deal of My Life… Here’s What I Learned
CEO | Investor | Entrepreneur
Casey LeBlanc is the CEO of New Venture Escrow. He is a serial entrepreneur that has led several small to medium sized businesses that have experienced rapid growth and scale. He is also a business development addict that thrives off of innovation and promotes healthy leadership.
Last night, I was sent an article about a deal I had been working on that fell apart at the closing table. This was the biggest real estate transaction of my life, I can’t stop thinking and reflecting on what I originally thought was a huge opportunity missed.
One week from closing on what would have easily been my biggest real estate project….6 months of tedious work….the deal terms changed and I walked.
How did that happen? What did I learn?
Legally, I’m still bound by an non-disclosure agreement so how it happened will be a story for the next time I catch you at a cocktail party, but I can share the top 5 lessons I learned…
1. The Bigger the Deal, the More Complex the Deal.
Seems obvious, but I learned a hard lesson thinking this deal would be similar to smaller ones I had previously closed.
Key takeaway? Ask a TON of questions and don’t be concerned with anyone’s opinion of those questions.
Keep asking and keep learning and keep understanding!
Try to not let pride and ego get in your way as I did. Pretending to know things when you clearly don’t is useless and ultimately destructive.
2. A Good Broker is Essential in Any Real Estate Transaction.
The primary job of a broker is to bridge healthy and useful communication between buyer and seller with the expectation of both sides acting in good faith to execute agreed upon terms.
Key takeaway? Work with a broker who works like you.
For me, that would be someone who over communicates, works extremely hard, negotiates well, has tact, and can navigate tricky deals when they get difficult.
Also, use a broker with capable assistants and a team around them that will support the transaction when people get busy, or are not immediately accessible.
3. Always Be Willing to Walk Away from Any Deal.
Useful in life, even truer in real estate! Some sellers will try and overplay their hand and push buyers into a corner.
Key Takeaway? Be prepared to walk and ALWAYS know there will ALWAYS be another deal. Trust the numbers and never get emotional.
4. Trust but Verify.
I am the only one responsible for the success of a deal I am involved with. Period.
I take responsibility for the wins and losses. No one else.
When this deal fell through I started to blame. That’s a losing game for losers.
I recognize now that I must rely on myself to hold others accountable and trust that they will do what is required but always verify that they have!
Key takeaway? Accountability is King, and holding people to clear deadlines is an absolute must.
Manage the process! Don’t be a bystander! Stay active!
5. When You Play Outside Your Comfort Zone, You Better Be Prepared.
With every level up there is a new standard, new rules, new people, and new challenges. For a first timer, none of it makes sense.I was unprepared for this visceral experience, lamenting deeply the loss of a deal that I really wanted to close so badly and watching it slip through my fingers at the very end. All the time and effort I had spent left me mad, frustrated, and upset.
Key takeaway? Today I am grateful for the experience and feel battle-ready for the next. We lose in life. It’s ok. Get the F up and find another opportunity. NOW!