While on vacation in Yosemite, I was on a nature walk talking with a Park Ranger. As we talked, it became clear to me just how much managing real estate has in common with managing parklands.
Most businesses view commercial real estate and facility decisions as very simple, when the reality is that they are filled with complexity and a poor decision will cost the business valuable resources. Talking with the Park Ranger brought this issue to a new light for me. Think about this:
What better surrounding than Yosemite could there be for fishing enthusiasts? Why not stock the lakes and rivers with more fish to reward fisherman a greater experience? On that basis, fish hatcheries spawned, no pun intended, in the Yosemite proximity.
As word got out that fishing at Yosemite was one of the best fishing experiences in the world, abundant fish surrounded by breath taking scenery, Yosemite became a vibrant destination point for fisherman, while also becoming an economic driver in the region.
Fast-forward a number of years. Fishing at Yosemite is almost non-existent. Why? Well by stocking the lakes and rivers with the abundance of fish, both native and non-native, the fish fed on many of the native animals found in aquatic ecosystems. Fish also compete for the food of frogs and snakes, and of bats and even some birds. Predation and competition by the fish has decreased the populations of many of these animals, most notably frogs, and has altered the aquatic animal community, decreasing the resilience of the aquatic ecosystem. Within in a few decades of fish stocking, researchers noticed that frogs and fish were rarely found in the same lake or stream. The outcome was no fish, and thus no fishing.
So how did my mind wander during this nature hike? Well I related the seemingly beneficial early decision of stocking fish to early decisions made in the real estate process. What seems beneficial early on does not always translate to long-term value, as in the case of the Yosemite fishing disaster.
You must look at the impacts of every decision even if it appears to be appealing. I now communicate this story to clients, and express how important it is to be advised early on about how to navigate The Real Estate Ecosytem™.
As for vacation, I absolutely love spending time away from the distractions to spend time with the most important and rewarding things in my life, my family and friends; and my clients love it too.
-Ken Traenkle, co-Founder and Principal of Verity Commercial