The 2019 NAR REACH Commercial Class. It Became Personal.

The 2019 NAR REACH Commercial Class.

Biproxi  Trove  Lulafit  COEO  CRESimple  TwoFold

For those of you that have not followed what I have been up to recently (and shame on you), I am the Entrepreneur In Residence for the National Association of Realtors REACH Commercial Program. What exactly is that job description? Well, to simplify it, it’s just me being me and how amazing could that possibly be!

Without going into a long drawn out story, most if not all of my journey into all things commercial real estate and tech started with the NAR, so in some cosmic way it seems to have come full circle and for that, I could not be happier. #JeanStrong. The opportunity to work a diverse set of companies and the people behind them and take that dynamic across the country and ultimately the globe with the help and support of the NAR was something I just had to do.

The NAR Reach Program picks six sometimes seven companies that they think have great potential and that also will provide a benefit to their membership. It also matches the companies with mentors in the industry and introduces the companies to key decision-makers that the companies and the NAR identify. Now, that is a generalization and brief summary of what the NAR REACH is and of course, it’s far more complex and in-depth than that.

The first actual meeting with all the companies in one room happened at the NAR offices in Chicago. I did not have any say or in any way influence the picking of the companies included in the first class. Why? Hell if I know, you would think maybe but then again no! But, in hindsight, I am glad I was not asked to be involved because of the ultimate outcome and my ability to not show a bias throughout the entire process.

There were, of course, the usual pleasantries and introductions with various entities and representatives of the NAR, and then we flat out got down to business with one on one mentor sessions with each company. I have been doing this kind of thing how long? Longer than I would like to admit so you could easily imagine how the sessions may have gone. Absolute brutal honesty. What’s the point otherwise? What did they think they signed up for, well maybe the didn’t know that I was going to come at them that way but, Welcome To The Jungle that is commercial real estate.

Without going into great detail I left the first meetings with some trepidation and concern for what these companies might be able to accomplish. The daunting tasks ahead were many and the execution of those same tasks well, that’s another thing altogether. One of the brilliant pieces of the program is the ability to interact on a more personal level via predetermined networking events along with email and yes, believe it or not, phone conversations. (Remember those?) It’s the understanding of the motivation of the individual CEO’s and their philosophical approach that helped me gain a better grasp of who I was dealing with and how we might be able to work together. I know this sounds pretty basic and obvious but none the less immeasurably important to what lie ahead for us all.

After the meetings in Chicago, there were various events out and about on the planet that NAR had decided were good fits for the companies to attend. To have the chance to see how the companies interact out in THE REAL WORLD  was and is beyond fascinating. The emotional roller coaster that is #CRE #Tech and #Life will never be boring. But to the point of this article in the first place, I want to address people, real live human beings.

After the first meetings as I mentioned, I had met all the CEO’s and some of the team members of each company. I had formed a gut feeling about what I thought each of those people was going to bring to the table and I thought because of my “experience” I was not going to be too far off from being correct. Well, guess what, I was oh so right and I was dead wrong.

What happens when we travel and interact with all kinds of people who have diverse backgrounds trying to achieve a common goal? We get to know them well and we also get to know them personally. That’s where it got personal for me. I became vested in these people as individuals and also into their ideas and companies, which made it all the more fulfilling frustrating and daunting all at the same time.

We all want to win, we all want to get behind people that win, we all want to be associated with winners and as the world is what it is not everyone can be a winner most of the time at the very least. Who picks, who chooses, who ultimately decides? You say the market decides. Is that the only measurement we have? No one I know wants a participation trophy, there are no places to earn except first place. It is the harsh reality of the world most of us live in.

One thing did happen for me during the 2019 NAR Reach Class for me. I gained what I hope are lifetime friends. I gained a different perspective that I will carry forever. I gained insight I never had before and I did by all accounts WIN.

I won because of the people involved, the people with dreams, goals, and, aspirations who are putting their hearts, souls and entire lives into all of the above. And for that, the best I can do is say Thank You, it’s not near enough but I gave it all I had and then some. 

The 2019 NAR REACH Commercial Class. It Became Personal.

And I’m ready for MORE!

See You in 2020!



Bob, Thank you, sir.

Mark, Thanks, dude.

Tyler, Global Legend.

Dave, Global Legend.

Ashley, Goddess, of all Goddesses.

Todd, how would it all ever work without you?

Johan, starting to grow on me beyond just the numbers.

Bob, you are not funny, seriously.

Jeff, Kumbaya my man Kumbaya.

Collen, Stone Cold Killer.

Jorge, how do you fuck this up? You can’t. YOU CAN’T

Kim and Shelia, afraid to write or say anything without wearing a protective cup? #Sausagefest.

Anja, you have it all, never ever stop!

Gordon and Yan, at some point you two need to pick up a check, seriously! And thanks for having my back because that’s who you both are!

Laura, being real estate brillant and hiding it is not your strong suit. We need to hang some more because there is no way we should.


Add comment