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The True Definition of Value – Good vs Great – I’ve Seen it

medium_ink_blot.gifThere is no doubt that I love real estate, I love the art of buying and selling, I love the people, and I love to win- I just do not lose. Let me give you a bit of back story here, because it is the back story that will help you to understand the ending.

For the better part of 60 days, I have worked with two of the country’s all stars in real estate, one in the mortgage industry, and the other in the investment brokerage business on a mega investment deal. During those 60 days, a certain development and developer fell into our laps- literally and figuratively. Now, the price was incredible, the location is impeccable, and the builder was right for a conversation about liquidity versus a hardline stance on their profit. Needless to say, we looked at the big picture and decided to take it head on- not every pick is perfect when the equity proposition is beyond your wildest return dreams- it must be molded and shaped into a cash flowing masterpiece. Now for those of you who are thinking you could have closed this sort of deal with the problems we’ve had in a shorter period, let me correct you now- it simply could not have been done because you simply do not know what we now know about this project. Meaning, I’m imagining that had it been a team of anyone else, you probably would have walked away 72 hours into the project based on the sheer magnitude against the odds of success- I’m sparing you the gory details- and those details have nothing to do with the A Class property investors we’ve had the pleasure of serving.

Working with these two legends in the business means several things- it means, you had better bring your A game, or find yourself sitting on the sidelines, it would mean elevate, or sit down and shut up- you simply let the masters work. As time went on, the frustrations grew, but the temperament was cool, there was a solution in experience at every turn- we spoke a language you would not believe possible. It was one of artful application of process, practice, diplomacy, magic, and a knowledge of the law of numbers that would boggle the mind of any buyer or agent. A process all would have abandoned is now going to docs. Sublime is the only way I can describe it.

As we the team move forward to our next several projects, and I can now take an overnight mental break from the trauma of such an ordeal, and tend to my battle wounds, it got me to thinking about disintermediation. I now know what I did not understand about the Giants of Real Estate, and why they fear not the proposition of disintermediation. Why many times in previous conversations they laughed at the mere mention of competitive business models and disintermediation. I now know that there is no way on earth when the going gets rough that you on your own as a consumer would have made it 24 hours in such a complicated transaction. I realized what value beyond that of the normal means to real estate- what the difference between good and great means. On one hand I am sad that my profession seems to have lost something in the eye of the consumer, but when I experience a greatness of this magnitude I feel a much better. One cannot afford what these gentlemen cost for not only their reputation, but the skill, knowledge, understanding of nuance, and the brilliance of grace under pressure. They have mastered their art, and you simply cannot put a price tag on brilliance.

Anyone (especially my clients) that knows me, knows, I’m pretty damn good at what I do, I bring solutions to the table my buyers and sellers never dreamed possible, but Greatness is not yet on my business card. My first step is to realize and acknowledge that Greatness is given in nature, but time seasons and polishes it into the brilliance I’ve witnessed. I’ve learned that I can still grow.

Today, I am in love with my profession, and my goals in this business are now redefined- to learn half of what these gentlemen have forgotten would elevate me as a professional beyond the idea that any business model can define my value.

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Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.



  1. Mariana

    November 28, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    Wow. “Greatness is not yet on my business card.” Well, it should be.

  2. Jeff Brown

    November 29, 2007 at 1:43 am

    Benn is being far too modest.

    As the guy on the ground, he carried the water. Benn knows many things, but fear isn’t one of them.

    All he wants to know is — “What needs to be done?” It’s my firm belief he goes to Starbucks with a Plan B AND a Plan C, just to ensure he walks out with his coffee. No lie. ๐Ÿ™‚

    There are, as I recently told Benn, great sports heroes. There are those whom the Lord chooses to bless with great natural talent. There are those who became great by shear force of will and a killer work ethic. Then there are guys, like Jerry Rice, who was born with 1 in a million talent, AND worked like a demon to become as great as he could be.

    Benn, in my opinion, is a natural who works harder than most I’ve known.

    Remember his name.

  3. April Groves

    November 29, 2007 at 8:05 am

    As is the norm – I think what Jeff thinks (Jeff – does it feel weird to be right so much of the time?)

    BTW Benn – I think your inkblot was hanging on the wall in one of Athol’s recent bad MLS pics of the day…seriously – the Nov. 26th one.

  4. Benjamin Bach

    November 29, 2007 at 8:26 am

    Great work Benn
    I have some clients looking down in Texas too – holla at ya boy !

  5. Benn Rosales

    November 29, 2007 at 8:45 am

    Benjamin, I’m already working for you, get on the horn with Brian, and I’ll be calling you on Friday!

    Jeff, you are to kind… Thanks

    April, I hope that it caught his eye too doesn’t mean I’m as insane as he is!

    Mariana, I’d like to think that because I surround myself with greatness such as yourself, Jeff, Brian, April, and Benjamin that little bits rub off on me.

  6. Chris Lengquist

    November 29, 2007 at 11:05 am

    Nicely done.

  7. Brian Brady

    November 29, 2007 at 11:27 am

    Aw, Benn,

    Lani and Debra did all the work- we just took the credit.

    Nice work, cowboy

  8. Jeff Brown

    November 29, 2007 at 11:28 am

    April — >As is the norm – I think what Jeff thinks (Jeff – does it feel weird to be right so much of the time?)

    I’d love to introduce you to my wife. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. April Groves

    November 29, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Jeff – Please refer to Mariana’s post yesterday – #14…your request will require at least one side of a reasonable commission

  10. Marian Brown

    November 29, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    OMG! I didn’t realize what a genius son I raised!…Jeff’s mom

  11. Benn Rosales

    November 29, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Marian, it is a pleasure to have you by agent genius. And yes, Marian, two things come to mind- morally and ethically your son is sound, but his mental health is askew. I blame that on the lead paint chips he eats with his coffee in the morning. ๐Ÿ™‚ Seriously, that’s a great kid you’ve got there and his son isn’t to far off the old block.

  12. Benn Rosales

    November 29, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Brian, I would have to agree that we may have washed our hands 24 hours into it ourselves had it not been for Lani & Debra…

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