By Chris Keeley
Phoenix Commercial Brokers

‘Tis the season to be thankful and I’ve been blessed with some of the best clients any real estate broker could ever wish for. The friendships I’ve made in the business are the true blessings I’m thankful for.

When I first met my partner in my real estate company, he was investing in a small commercial building I had listed. The first thing he said to me was: “Nice to meet you and by the way, I’m not looking for any new friends.” Not only did he become one of my best clients and partner in our real estate company but also, despite his initial resistance, we’ve become the best of friends. This friendship is so much more valuable to me than the deals, that I can’t even compare. My wife refers to him as “the angel in our life.” He certainly is! I’ve learned so much and I thank God we met. Thank you Ray.

That’s how the real estate business has gone for me. My clients have become my friends. Almost all. I’m so thankful and blessed for the friendships I’ve made through my real estate business.

My very good client Tony says it was God’s will that put us together. He says everything we touch turns to gold. He says as long as we keep doing deals together, God will look after us. We’ve been blessed since our first meeting, that’s for sure. I’ve learned more about God’s will than real estate through Tony. I’ve been blessed with Tony’s wisdom and I’ve learned so much from him and mostly, I treasure our friendship. Thank you Tony.

I never expected to end up friends with Steve. When we first met he told me how much he hated real estate brokers. I used to say to his assistant; “Steve doesn’t cuss does he?” She said, “No, he doesn’t.” So, I said, “Then why does it feel like he’s always cussing me out?” That’s how our relationship started. Now he won’t shake hands with me without giving me a hug. I feel exactly the same way about him. He and his wife have given us so much business, that they’ve had a profound affect on my family’s security…but to become friends with Steve despite all indications otherwise is very gratifying for sure. Thank you Steve.

I think Tim and I started out friends almost immediately. He’s been around the real estate block many times and doesn’t need much advice from us professionals. When we met, he already knew what he wanted and was only looking for a little assistance, but I think we hit it off almost immediately. I really appreciate his trust in me and love to hear his stories…mostly non-real estate stories. The real estate almost seems secondary and it’s such a pleasure doing deals with him. Thank you Tim.

John and Mark believed in me enough to invest heavily at a time when almost no one would get in the market, mostly on my recommendation. Our monthly meetings started out as all business and more recently have become more of a social gathering. They believed in me and stuck with me when things didn’t go exactly as planned. Thank you, John and Mark. It means a lot.

I’ve only given a few stories but there are so many more, Joe, Mike, Jerry, Belinda, David, Natasha, Rick, Ron, Don, Bruno, Lavona, Ronny, Gloria, Tom and so many more. I am thankful to all who have given me a shot and please know I treasure your friendships more than I can say.

The commercial real estate business is a great business to be in. I never expected to make the friendships I’ve made, and I value these so much more than the deals. I came from a fire department background where there’s truly a brotherhood with lifelong friendships. The real estate business, to my surprise, has given me the same kinds of bonds I found in the fire service. I certainly have been blessed in my life and have so many to be thankful to.

As I’ve told my kids often, you can’t take the stuff with you, but the love and friendships will stay with you forever. Business has been good; my new friendships have been better.

Thank you all and Merry Christmas.