This may come as a bit of a surprise to many, but in the coming weeks, my family and I are about to embark on a bit of an adventure into the Great American Southwest. Some family business necessitates a move to the great state of Texas, fortunately one of the few areas of the country that has been little affected by the current economic climate. And although the economy is not our main reason for relocation, we are glad to be headed off toward a state that is doing well, at present.
That being said, I do have a few things to say as we head off on our journey. First of all, I thoroughly believe in everything represented by Callander Commercial. It has been an incredible place to work, and I am not sure that I will ever experience working with such an incredible group of people, led by such an excellent and intelligent leader in Ellie Callander. In my time here, we have lacked nothing in the way of tools, instruction, and support in our efforts to market our listings to the public. Consistently we were given new tools, better technology, and a wider reach by the company. This has been the result of constant research into new platforms, tools, and technology. While the technology changes, the means of digging into it and the resources devoted toward determining what is flashy and what is effective are hallmarks of a successful endeavor. I am confident that Callander Commercial will continue to be a leader in the tools they provide for their agents and brokers.
Over the past year especially, Michigan has endured some challenging times in commercial real estate, and I do not presume to make predictions about where we are going or how we will get there. But I do believe that the brand of Grand Rapids has only improved over the past year. We are seeing development, we are seeing a wonderful culture emerge in many ways here in town, and I think that will continue to grow and prosper. I will enjoy being able to visit and to observe the changes and improvements as they continue to happen. Grand Rapids will always be my hometown, and I am proud to be from here. I think we have a great culture of giving back to the community, and I believe that is the result of some outstanding people taking the lead in doing that. I hope to see that continue here, and I hope to be able to observe such a quality in people when we settle down in Texas.
Over my time here, and especially over the past year, I have been able to enjoy some new relationships that I did not think existed in the world today. I have gained friendships through work and through community involvement that I will continue to appreciate and hope to maintain, even if we no longer live in this area. People are beautiful; their qualities are not hard to find and the diversity that we have started to see growing here in town is a testament to that. I have learned a great deal about acceptance of diversity over this past year. It has been a lesson that was long overdue in my life, but one that I am glad to have finally gotten my head around more thoroughly. Individuals here in Grand Rapids have been instrumental in helping me to overcome personal biases that I did not even realize that I possessed, and they have helped me to leave them where they belong: in the past. I would not be the person I am today without the influence of some of the great people that I have come to know here in Grand Rapids. I hope they realize the positive impact they have been able to have on me and others as they get to know them.
Of course, there is always room for improvement. There are and probably always will be people that continue to promote intolerance. There are groups that work to enforce an unquestionable authority system, and that work to quiet any dissent. While such groups can achieve a temporary success, eventually free people will overcome, and those individuals that were unable to have their ideas questioned will find their ideas lacking in substance. Any sound idea can withstand criticism; those that believe that criticism of an idea is wrong simply support weak, unsound ideas. I hope to see the people of Grand Rapids and West Michigan continue the trend that I have observed in moving away from ideas that do not stand up to critical thinking and examination.
The commercial real estate culture here in Grand Rapids has grown in this area specifically, and I hope to see it continue to do so. While it started slowly, the inertia that the commercial real estate industry in Grand Rapids has been building, especially in area of technology, has been increasing with no indication of slowing down. I have appreciated being able to be involved in some of the changes that have had a broad effect in the commercial real estate world of Grand Rapids. I hope to see those changes and adaptations continue to take root, to develop and be refined over time. Good change is seldom quick, so I hope to see people continue moving in the right direction; I have no doubt that they will.
Greg Mahalick and I have had the great privilege of working with some outstanding clients, and I am working on letting each one know about my plans to relocate. If you are a client and I have not yet been able to reach you, I apologize and will work to correct that as soon as possible. I will be leaving you in good hands with Greg and the rest of the team here at Callander Commercial in Grand Rapids. You can be assured of the best possible service and the widest possible marketing net being cast for your properties.
To Diane Karns, Jeanne LaSargeBono, Pamela Collins, Melissa Saylor, and my listing partner-in-crime Greg Mahalick; it has been an absolute pleasure to work with all of you. You are a unique group with outstanding qualities, and I have appreciated the privilege of having been able to work with you over the last years. Thank you for being such wonderful teachers, business partners, and friends! To my colleagues at Callander Commercial in Kalamazoo, keep up the good work as well! You own the market in Kalamazoo; continue providing the level of service that you have excelled at through the years that has brought you to the level you have reached!
To the rest of Grand Rapids and West Michigan – keep an eye on this space! I am working on some things in Texas, when I have them set up, I will point you in my direction. In the meantime, thank you for everything; thank you for reading this blog and for your interest. I wish you the best in everything; this is and will always be my hometown – keep putting it more prominently on the map as you have been. I look forward to seeing great things come out of this part of the world!