Ben Stein- The Glory Days Will Return

Real Estate will return to its glory days, its just  a question of when. So said Economist Ben Stein to nearly 3,000 at The Building Owners and Managers Association 2010 International Conference. The Lawyer,Columnist, Author, Professor and Humorist served as keynote session speaker Monday morning at the three day event.

The time will come when Real Estate is a glorious subject again rather than a dismal subject. Stein assured the audience.” It always come back.”

Stein pointed out that building owners and managers fight struggles with banks, fight difficulties such as trying to get a tenant, then trying to collect rent from that tenant, then trying to resolve complaints, lawsuits and other difficulties on a day to day basis. “You have every conceivable roadblock in your path. You face an uphill battle evey day. But things will get better.”

Stein encouraged the BOMA attendees to take heart in how they have lasted despite the difficulty of the job. ” You have lasted, You have persevered.  And the fact that you have presevered, is in itself, a miracle,” he said.

When people go to Egypt, they want to see the pyramids. When people go to Rome, they want to see the Coliseum, Stein said “it is the Real Estate, the shopping malls, and the buildings that carry over our culture from each decade to the next. It is these buildings that people will look back on and learn about 21st Century commerce and behavior.”

The Challenge of being a Building Owner and Manager is harder today than ever, Stein pointed out. In 1933 for example, “If you wanted to buy a building, no one cared about environmental leadership, or LEED Ratings or the right greenness.” he said, ” Now, God forbid if there are any artifacts near your site”

Stein pointed out that there is no such thing as a recession that goes along forever and ever.  “All Recessions end,” he said ” It is already happening even if it is not as fast as we would like.”

The Bedrock of getting through the Recession ? The “watch words” according to Stein , are patience, frugality and trust. “your career is not defined by one year or two years. There will be a few 2005s in everyone’s career. Money will still be snowing out of the sky once again someday, but it takes patience to get there.”

He continued” You have to trust also that are certain basics in life. Everyone needs space. You can sell or lease anything. Eveything has a price ,” he said ” Meet the Market in price and everything will start flowing.”

Stein added that the job of a building owner and managers is to be responsible to themselves. ” You have to count on yourselves.”

Stein took a step back and looked back at his childhood, growing up in Silver Spring, MD to put where we are now into perspective. Back then, he said ” The world was segregated, Hitler was still in power in Germany, a woman being the head of a giant corporation was unheard of, and terrible horrific events were happening”  Now, things have changed dramatically he said “Where we are now is serious progress.”

He pointed out that “yes, this is a serious recession, but things have been worse.” But he said that if you look back and think about the poverty that we use to have here in the USA, the conditions have changed dramatically for the better. “If you look at some of these old houses with the tiny closets, it is because people didn’t have rooms and rooms of clothing.” He also pointed out there is a greatly more civilized discourse in Congress and that medicine has registered unbelievable progress. ( credit to daily news)