I love learning new things…

One thing I love about being in the commercial real estate industry is you’re allowed to be a lifelong learner. In fact, I’ve found the most successful real estate professionals have an insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.

Recently I toured the region with Michael Brennan of Brennan Investment Group. In addition to being one of the most active acquirers of industrial real estate in the US, Michael also serves as the Executive Director of the Grasskamp Center for RE at the University of Wisconsin.

As Michael opined on real estate deals with a nearly limitless creativity and contacts, it got me thinking about a book I am reading, How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci. Michael Gelb boils down da Vinci’s genius to 7 principals:

  • “Curiosita” – An insatiably curious approach to life and unrelenting quest for continuous learning.
  • “Dimonstratzione” – A commitment to test knowledge through experience, persistence and a willingness to learn from mistakes
  • “Sensazione” – The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to clarify experience.
  • “Sfumato” – I willingness to embrace paradox, ambiguity, and uncertainty
  • “Arte” – The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination “whole brain thinking”
  • “Corporalita” – The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness and poise.
  • “Connessione” – A recognition and appreciation for the connectedness of all things and phenomena. Systems thinking.

This is a great book. Not long ago I visited the home of Leonardo just outside Vinci on the foothills of Montalbano in a village called Anchiano. But the book reminded me what a well rounded and ultra curious fella he was. He would make a great modern “bohemian” real estate thinker – Michael Brennan is a great example of that spirit!

Real estate transactions can be fraught with frustration and pitfalls.

Sometimes the hardest part turns out to be working with your broker, the person who is supposed to help you through the complexities. Veteran commercial real estate broker and client advisor John Culbertson discovered that brokers’ interests aren’t always aligned with those of their clients. He realized there was a better way to advocate for clients and get the deal done.


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