Best Practices: Run
“I run because it’s so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought.”
Allow me a word of advice: Run. That’s it. Just go run somewhere. I will not bore you with all the details about why running is great for your physical and mental fitness. Just trust me that they are both legitimate.
But aside from the physical and mental benefits, there also can be a business benefit.
If truly you want to get to know a local submarket or area, try jogging/running it.
Throw on your Mizunos and your running shorts, drive to a nearby parking lot and jog around the area you are trying to get to know.
Running not only allows you to release your tensions from the day, but it also allows to observe the trends and rhythms of the area if you pay attention and know what to look for.
Who is driving in and out of the parking lots? What is traffic like? How does the architecture fit with the area? What type of landscaping do the properties have?
These are all questions that you can answer while jogging that you may miss when blowing by in your Jeep.
When you casually jog by at 5mph you can take time to notice the landscaping around each property and how they compare to the others in the area. You can see that neoclassical architecture of Building A vs the renaissance style of Building B.
Why does this apartment building have Corinthian columns while each of the other 5 on this street have Ionic columns?
Why are there no cars in the parking lot at lunch time?
There are literally thousands of questions you can ask about an area while jogging through it. I have found that when I do that, I don’t need any music to keep me going. I am usually working through these questions in my head and trying to figure out if there is a potential deal to be done on the property I just passed.
You can certainly do most of these things while driving, but, as I said before, you go by much faster in a car and have very little time to stop and think about what you are seeing and the trends you have noticed.
So, take the time to jog around. Take different routes. Go at different times of day, month, and year. I guarantee that if you do that for a year you will become an expert in that particular submarket.