Commercial Real Estate Is All Straight White Males and That May Never Change.

Commercial Real Estate Is All Straight White Males and That May Never Change.

You Are Not A Man.

Almost a year ago to the day I wrote 10 Reasons You Will Never Become A Commercial Real Estate Broker.

I had no idea at the time but since it has been posted it has gone on to be by most definitions “viral.” It is read and clicked on more than my home page. I just looked at my stats and it is at the top of the list for views today this week this month this quarter and this year.

There may be many reasons for this but one sticks out at me and if my email is any indication it’s because of #4 on the list.

4. You are not a man. Yes, I said it. Do you want me to repeat it? You are not a man. It’s a man’s world……. most of the time…….. except sometimes.

Well, obviously the ladies took exception.

Stephanie West

“Whenever I receive an off-putting remark about being a woman in CRE, it just makes me work that much harder. Thanks for the bump in motivation, I’m sure my competition will not appreciate it.”

“Oh really Mr. Duke Long. As a woman, aka. Bitch in heels, you have inspired me to work harder (If that’s possible). As a representative of a non-baby boomer generation, I will remember your words, when all of your “boomers” are retiring and or going into nursing homes… generation will be right behind taking your jobs. Let me tell you, non boomers are MUCH different from your generation… is no longer a “man’s world.” Intimidated by a powerful woman perhaps? It’s a good thing you are a boomer, because I don’t think you could survive working with a newer generation with that mentality. It’s a new age, get with the times old man! Yes, I said it!”

The next one is pure gold.

“Duke you are an absolute idiot! I know your type and you exhibit signs of NPD ( let me spell that out for you…Narcissist Personality Disorder! Good news is that in your mind “you” are “NEVER” wrong. The BAD NEWS THAT THERE IS NO CURE for NPD and you will never see that you have a problem.”

Fair Enough?

“If you stand up on the soap box be willing to take the hits.”

Duke Long 2012.

White Man Privilege.

It’s a general statement and one that is not disputed but commercial real estate is made up of mostly ALL STRAIGHT WHITE MALES.

The boomer generation. THE MAN. Mid fifties white educated men who do deals with each other and live in a completely white male world. They live in white houses. They drive white cars. They have white wives and white kids and I have seen this personally——– they have white dogs——without a care in the world.

They don’t have the problems that everyone else in the world has—-because they are STRAIGHT WHITE MALES.

And here is why.

1. They come from money. It’s called generational wealth. Property as in land houses and yes commercial buildings. Stocks bonds mutual funds fixed income instruments and that never-ending steam of wealth that is grandma and grandpa. Inherited passed on invested and leveraged into a base to operate from.

2. Social connections. People connections not the internet kind. Educated family and friends. Extended family and friends in high level positions across various industries. Advice mentorship and that “phone call” to the right person. The latest computer the nicest clothes and a free car with unlimited gas. The friends and family culture of success and the environment set up to make sure it stays that way.

3. The benefit of the doubt. Leaders born leaders. Tall white born leaders. Is there any question? You smile automatically. Always in charge, no question. Always a plan and a mission to accomplish—-and you will follow. Access and priority at the best restaurants the best hotels the best seats the best service. The best deals the best prices the best products and the best technology without a doubt.

4. The suit and the military. The blue suit. It’s the uniform. The respected white business uniform. The suit speaks for itself. The suit and a smile that’s all it takes. The military. The untouchable military. Do not dare not speak against the military. The full camo fatigues bloused trousers crystal black boots beret and a tight clean haircut military. Yes, that is what I use to wear everyday and how dare you question the uniform and all it represents. Did I just shame you quiet? Do you feel the need to validate your patriotism and acknowledge my blue suit and military uniform?

5. A financial head start. Loans for education? What are loans? Education loans? No way. Education paid. All paid. Everything is paid. No jobs to make ends meet. No distraction away from the task at hand and the networking relationship building all paid for education. No burden of repaying. No burden of debt. A clean financial head start.

6. Self-sufficiency and time. The money made, where does it go? To family to friends to “help out?” Do they need it? Even if they do is it really a “need” or is it just a want. How bad can it really be? Time to not work just to make ends meet. Time to expand and grow personally and professionally. Time to decide what to do with that precious time.

So You Want In Anyway!

Or not. You do want in commercial real estate on your terms. Your own terms.

Not the all straight white male dominating terms.

The “playing field should be the same for everyone.”

“It should not matter the color of the skin the persons sexual preference the gender or religion of that human being. The building doesn’t care.”

Duke Long 2015

Acknowledgement of Difference.

I am a straight white male and how edgy is it to put that out in public?

How else am I suppose to relate? It is my experience.

If things need to have to and will change what is the starting point for my straight white male ass?

How about this:

“If you want equality in commercial real estate you have to first acknowledge that things are not equal, they are not equal for women, people of color or persons with a different sexual preference and that those people have problems that straight white males do not.”

Duke Long 2015

Acknowledge that the systematic and oppressive environment of straight male white privilege exists.

Also acknowledge that for anyone other than the straight white male everything–everything is different.

It’s 2015 and this is an issue that commercial real estate needs to address. It always has been.

This is not an issue that is imagined or that has already been dealt with.

Maybe it has in your mind—-your straight white male mind.

How many unjustices has someone suffered at your expense?

How many people have suffered unjustices at your expense without you even knowing?

How many people have suffered unjustices at your expense without you even caring?

The Weight of the World?

Am I putting all straight white males into one big group?

Are we the only one’s responsible for the oppression and unjustices?

Is it too easy for me to be a part of the group and then stand back and light up the flame(George Carlin) throwers?

Is it up to the straight white males to provide a solution?

How about just part of the solution?

How about just dying off to solve the problem once and for all?

Where is your solution?

Commercial Real Estate Is All Straight White Males and That May Never Change.


+1 How many people do you think will watch what they say in front of me now?

+1+1 All I deal with everyday are straight (as far as I know—–wink) white males.

+2 Born and raised in one of the reddest states in the United States. Click on the military pic go ahead. See I just shamed you quite again.


Duke Long