The Hereafter

Since this past weekend, I have thought a lot about the hereafter. I had a good friend pass away on Saturday and he was far too young to have left us.

You will see and hear many people say and or write that there is nothing after death. I could be wrong, but I believe people say those things when they themselves are in health, bills paid and when life is good, and they are safe. I also believe that when those very same people find themselves at the one-yard line of life looking into eternity, I don’t think they really believe what they have been saying. Its like a soldier saying there is no God while he is still safe in his cot on base, but I suspect that very same soldier will start praying when he is in the heat of battle.

This morning I talked with an old friend of mine and he told me about when his wife passed away. He said “Keith, I was holding her hand and she looked up and said, there are two men coming to get me and then closed her eyes for the last time.” He said, “anyone that doesn’t believe in God and the hereafter should have seen my wife’s face relax in complete peace when that moment came.” He went on to say,” I have always believed in God but that day, and at that moment, I knew with certainly it was real.”

He also said something to me that I have never thought about. He said. “there are people that go through life tight-fisted, not letting go of money and sometimes hurting others to keep control of money.” He then ask me, “have you ever seen a body after death with their fists clenched?” No, you haven’t because regardless of how you live your life, with open hands you will leave it all when you pass away.”

Here is the thing, regardless of what you have been taught or believe, that moment is coming for everyone. For some, they won’t have time to make those final decisions so why not make them well in advance. KT

Eyewitness

I have a vivid memory of numbers, dates, times, people, and events. I could tell you the price and the buyer’s names on most of the hotels I have sold. It’s just a thing.

Funny story – Elaine and I were heading home the other day and were firsthand eyewitnesses to a car accident. Literally right in front of us. We pulled over and went to see if the parties were ok and called 911 with the location etc. As we were leaving, I asked Elaine if she remembers which way the lead car was traveling and where the other car came from? I told her I couldn’t remember it exactly. She said, “you know I was thinking about the same thing.”

Here I was, a person that can remember detailed numbers from three decades ago and I couldn’t (with certainty) remember what just happened in front of me. How is that possible? There must be some trigger in our brain that possibly blocks out certain events.  I am sure it is something to do with watching a disturbing event happen that maybe clouds the memory. I don’t know but we have all watched cop shows where they say that eyewitnesses are unreliable. Well,,, it may be true. KT

Remember who you’re talking to

How many times have you heard someone speaking to a group or gathering and seemingly forgot who they were talking to? It’s like telling people who already have a job, how to apply for a job. There is a lot of other social topics I could use but the point is, really look at and understand who you are talking to.

Years ago, we were selling a hotel to a very well known and respected publicly traded hotel REIT. The owners were two family members and were feeling their oats thinking they were about to make the deal of a lifetime. I remember the introductory conference call like it was yesterday. Ha. While the sellers only had this one hotel, the public REIT had bought or sold 500+ hotels. To say they knew what they were doing is an understatement. So, we are about five minutes into the get-to-know-you stage of the call, when a very minor issue arose. One of the sellers (a little full of himself) said to the buyer (REIT) very seriously, “have you guys ever bought a hotel before?” The REIT quietly said yes and thanked the seller for their time and just never called back. The sellers forgot who they were talking to and tried to show how smart they were.

I learned on that call 14 years ago to never ever lose your cool because once you do, very seldom can you take it back. I once taught a young couples Sunday school class at church for a good five years. They were all young couple trying to figure out life and I remember tailoring my lessons to things that would interest them and life lessons that were important to them.

I love watching old NCIS shows and the main character is Jethro Leroy Gibbs. He still uses a flip phone and is old school in every way. His staff will try to explain some technical computer situation and every time he holds up his hand and says, “in English!” Ha.

Before you get on a conference call or speak to a group it is usually a good thing to really remember who you are talking to and use terms and use subjects that will matter to them. KT

First Listing

I have been mentoring this young want-to-be hotel broker for the last 18 months. He hasn’t earned one dime or been hired one time. I think he needs a better teacher. Ha

He reads the news and hears about this big deal or that big deal and he wants so badly to skip past the average deals and only focus on the big deals. Clearly this is the recipe for failure, but he hasn’t come to the point of understanding it. He has heard it from me multiple times, but it hasn’t gotten down inside of him yet. He is educated, talented, engaging, young, fancy suits, gelled hair, pointed shoes, the walk, the talk etc. You know the type. The problem is he doesn’t have any money because he hasn’t fully listened to me yet.

This week we were talking, and I ask him the following four questions. How long have you been trying to be a hotel broker? Answer- 18 months. How many hotels have you listed? Answer – none. How many hotels have you valued?  Slow,,,,,, answer – none. How much money have you earned? Answer – none. I then ask him if he was really to listen to me. He said yes.

I then proceeded to teach him course 101 of hotel brokerage. I told him to push everything he has been trying to do aside and purely focus on one single objective. Go get one listing. Don’t try to get 20, go get the first one. Then I told him when you are exclusively hired and you market that one hotel correctly, you meet 50-100 buyers. From that one listing you will get you 2 more listings and those 2 gets you 5 and those 5 gets you 10 etc. That’s how you build a career in our business. I have pounded on this young man for 18 months and finally this week he heard me. He had to try it his way first before he was ready to listen.

Isn’t it that way in a lot of areas of our lives? Financially, relationally, physically, socially etc. You must start somewhere and you (most times) can’t skip to the good stuff. If you are a runner, you don’t go out and just run a marathon. You must pay the price and start with something that is achievable, like run one mile. If you are painting your house, you don’t just grab a brush and start painting. There is a lot of prep work that must first happen. It’s the same with our children, jobs, spouses and even your dog. A dog must get to know you a little before he puts his full trust in you. Its like wanting to read a book so you skip to the end first. No, you must grind through the first 300 pages before you get rewarded with the surprise ending. So, in life don’t skip the necessary steps (building blocks) because they are the foundation you need. KT

Seek respect, not attention. It lasts longer

Respect lasts for a long time. Attention lasts about a minute.

There is no lack of people in the news that seek only one thing, attention. They don’t understand that every time you do something that attracts attention makes it more difficult to get respect. Being respected is much more valuable than attention.

I am working this deal that has been difficult and last week we had a zoom call with the principals. As these things often happen, it started off with a little ego getting in the way but after 30 minutes, I watched as the momentum changed and was replaced with respect for the other party. More times than not this step is often needed in any merger, sale, JV, or transaction and its not taught in any real estate school or any management courses. It is instinct and knowing the nature of people.

Far too often we see and hear from someone who has an active social media account and all they want is a sound bite and some short-term attention. When you get attention that is all you get. Short term gratification.

The bible tells us to be wise and redeem the time we have. There has never been a better piece of advice. I suspect that at your funeral, you will not be remembered for the moments of attention, rather your history of respect. That is what you will be remembered for. Respect takes much longer to achieve but it lasts oh so much longer and flows through your generations to come. There couldn’t be a better lesson to teach (and show) our children and grandchildren than to seek respect. Its not the kid that always gets mad on the playground rather, it is the soft spoken, levelheaded, mature kid that goes on to do great things in life. KT