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February 21, 2018

Random Thoughts for February

By Jonathan Zimmerman

Since I started doing a monthly blog for our company website and the Intelligent Office Blog in 2015, I generally have been successful in coming up with topics fairly easily. This month? Not so much.

I have piles of random thoughts rolling around my mind–some commercial real estate related, some not–but none detailed enough to pull off a 500+ word article. Therefore, out of desperation if nothing else, I hereby present to you a series of arbitrary ideas, points, and opinions. Let’s call this “Random Thoughts For February.” Away we go.

• Anyone else get thoroughly confused/annoyed when someone calls, emails, and texts you the exact same message within a 30-second span? And then why do I always seem to pick the wrong means to respond?

• When given a choice, I will always select a small, local business over a national chain to do a job. Us mom-and-pops need to stick together.

• A personal message to several individuals who own real estate in the downtown Chicago market: Why is it so hard for you to keep your word? If you sign a commission agreement committing to pay someone by a certain date if a series of events transpire, follow through on your promise. I did my job, now you do yours. When one of your tenants is late with rent, you put a 5-day notice in front of them on day 6, yet when I inquire about a tardy commission payment, I need to be more patient and show more compassion. Of course I do.

• For those owners who do keep your word, I appreciate you more than you will ever know.

• I used to like cold weather and snow. As I get older, I dread it more and more each year. I now understand the snowbird concept.

• Charleston, South Carolina is the most underrated city in America and has the best food on the planet (with the exception of pizza). My next career move will be to retire there and open a Lou Malnatti’s franchise.

• If I get something for free, I really have no right to complain about the service, do I?
• For my money, there is no nicer building in Chicago, from the outside (and in the lobby), than 77 West Wacker. It is a true masterpiece and I never get tired of staring at it.

• I no longer feel guilty when I bump into someone who has his or her head buried in their phone, not paying attention to where they are going. Just watch where you are walking! It is not too much to ask.

• Along the same lines, to the person at Ogilvie Transportation Center this morning who thought it would be fine to stop inches in front of a revolving door to send a text with at least 40 people trailing close behind, get a clue.

• Anyone know a broker looking to make a change? Willard Jones Real Estate is looking for a few good people to join our gregarious team.

• While I love everything about Amazon, can you please make a second headquarters decision already.

• No, Mr. Tenant, I did not secretly insert language into the lease that you signed 3 years before I even started representing your building without your knowledge.

• It takes very little effort to be nice to others. Just treat people the way you want to be treated and you can never go wrong.

• Am I a fool for starting to get excited about the possibility of the Loyola Ramblers making the NCAA basketball tournament, or am I just setting myself up for another disappointment? My motto of “no expectations = no disappointments” has always served me well with LU basketball (not to mention the Bears, Bulls, Hawks and Sox).

• I really need to find a way to get more sleep.

Finally, my most important thought of all. The real estate world lost another superstar recently when Cindy Freese of the Cloverleaf Group passed away in December after a heroic battle with cancer. Cindy, along with her business partners Michael and Jonathan Basofin, will forever be towards the top of my favorite client list. Cindy was one of the nicest people you will ever meet and was always more concerned about others than herself, even after her diagnosis. Before talking business, she never failed to ask for a status report on me and my family. Cindy was a deal maker at heart, always trying to find any and every creative way to shoehorn a potential deal into the 174 North Michigan building, which to be honest, was not an easy task. Even though my dealings with Cindy ended when Cloverleaf sold the building in 2015, we continued to stay in touch and I am heartbroken to learn of her passing. I will always fondly remember how wonderful Cindy was.