By Chris Keeley
Phoenix Commercial Brokers

My daughters Grandpa (Papa) died today. He had a long wonderful life and nothing to regret. But that doesn’t remove the sorrow to those who loved him. It’s hard to hear your daughter with such tears. He was a wonderful man and lived a full life but the pain of losing him is unbearable to us remaining. My daughter asked through her sobbing; “ How do people do this?” Of which I had no answer. And: “Why doesn’t the world stop for a while, am I supposed to just move on, keep going?” And of course the answer is: Yes, the best you can.

Last night I finally watched the movie Only The Brave about the 20 Granite Mountain Hotshots where 19 were lost battling the Yarnell Hill Fire. I read the book, Granite Mountain written by Brendan McDonough, the lone survivor, a year ago and it took me this long to have the courage to watch the movie. I can’t even imagine a gymnasium full of the families that have the same question as my daughter. How do people do this? The pure anguish and gut wrenching loss is beyond bearable. I was on the Tucson Fire Department for 22 years and it hit home for me. The losses that I’ve seen people experience is beyond graspable sometimes: Mothers, Fathers, brothers and sisters and friends alike. The sudden loss of life, especially a young life, can rip the heart right out of you. The grief is palpable and unbearable. I, and every fireman I’ve ever met, have run out of an emergency room in tears sometime or another to grieve, on our own, away from those families living through their private nightmare. Brendan McDonough, I grieve with you and am so sorry for your loss brother.

What does any of this have to do with commercial real estate? Nothing! I often times remind myself that real estate is just business. I hear so often people tell me about their bad days, bad days in real estate or bad days in their business. I’ve seen bad days and I’ve had bad days in business and in real estate. Heck, I’ve had bad weeks, months and I’ve even had bad years in real estate. I’ve never had a day as bad as that mom and dad had standing over their six year old lifeless daughter that I brought into the emergency room all those years ago when I was a medic. I remind myself of that moment and many others like it when I start feeling sorry for myself about business.

It’s business. It’s not life or death. Life goes on. There’s always another day tomorrow to work on business. I’ve never lost a deal so big that even approached the loss of a loved one and I’ve lost some big deals. The last day of 2007 I lost a deal so big that it would have paid a years salary in one closing. That’s how life is but no one died that day and I did not grieve. My daughter that mourns today was still with me and still is today.

The commercial real estate market in Deer Valley Airpark is good today. I can’t predict how it will be tomorrow. I can work hard and represent my clients to the best of my abilities. But my message today is simple: cherish the gifts in your life; those loved ones that are dear to you. Business will come and go, on and on, but our loved ones will only be with us for a limited time. Treasure your time together and grieve for any loss of your true gifts. All the rest is background noise.