Apartment Professional catches up with Donald Trump:
AP: Why real estate?
TRUMP: My father was a developer and I learned to love the business by being around it as a child. Going to construction sites always excited me, and my father would take me with him.
AP: With the President’s mandate for an ownership-based society, what importance do you feel apartments have in the real estate landscape?
TRUMP: Great importance. Cities are becoming vertical by necessity, which means apartments versus houses.
AP: Is The Trump Organization a family business?
TRUMP: Now that Don Jr. and Ivanka are on board, absolutely.
AP: What is your legacy?
TRUMP: A high quality brand name that translates to “the best.”
AP: What is the next big thing?
TRUMP: Further real estate developments, nationally and internationally, including Dubai.
AP: You once considered running for President. What’s the first thing you would change were you president? Any lingering political ambitions?
TRUMP: I was solicited by the Conservative Party to run for president. I would look into the 2000+ American deaths in Iraq to discern whether or not they were necessary. I have no lingering political ambitions, I am too honest to be a politician.
AP: What is your forecast for 2006?
TRUMP: An improving economy, a stronger dollar.
AP: Do you still own/manage your father’s multifamily portfolio?
TRUMP: No, all of his properties have been sold.
AP: Why did you choose to develop in Dubai?
TRUMP: It’s a very exciting and innovative new destination.
AP: Now that you and Melania are expecting, will your priorities change in the next years?
TRUMP: Not really. I’ve always been very much into my family.
AP: What do you look for in a development deal?
TRUMP: It has to be profitable, challenging and aesthetically pleasing.
AP: How do you define “the best” when developing a property?
TRUMP: Every detail will be scrutinized to give it the necessary polish required to make it the best.
AP: Will you always build for the affluent and upper class?
TRUMP: My name and aesthetics lend themselves to affluence, so most likely, yes.
AP: Where do you get your inspiration?
TRUMP: I don’t have to look for it, it’s just inside me. I’ve always been inspired just by being alive.
AP: What have you learned from your failures? Your successes?
TRUMP: I’ve learned to see failures as blips that happen, not catastrophes, and to move on. My successes have given me pleasure. I’ve learned to be circumspect with both success and failure.
AP: You were among the first to brand yourself. What’s the secret to keeping it fresh?
TRUMP: Not to become complacent. Always try to best yourself.
AP: The golden rule?
TRUMP: Know everything you can about what you’re doing, and do your best.
AP: Is there anything an Apprentice hopeful could do that would result in sudden death? Do you have a soft spot for certain types of individuals?
TRUMP: People who abandon their team are not loyal people. They go. I respect people who maintain their equilibrium by thinking creatively and being loyal at the same time.
AP: What’s your strategy for today’s domestic and international real estate market? What will give you the edge?
TRUMP: The same as it’s always been, to do good deals in good places. There are hot markets nationally and internationally. What gives me the edge is that my name has become synonymous with quality and is recognized nationally and internationally.
AP: What are the primary differences/concerns in domestic and world real estate markets?
TRUMP: When going into an international market, your research needs to be very thorough and it helps to have partners and/or advisors who are indigenous to the area. I don’t like to make guesses or to take unnecessary chances. Needless to say, I have the pulse of New York City and other places in the U.S.; I require more research elsewhere.
AP: What are your plans to boost The Apprentice ratings? Any new production ideas in the works?
TRUMP: We will be filming The Apprentice in Los Angeles. I have a golf course that fronts the Pacific Ocean in Palos Verdes, which is near Los Angeles, and am building 75 residences there as well.
AP: You mentioned that your father worked hard to protect his brand. What was it specifically and what things did he do to protect it?
TRUMP: He made sure that his name was synonymous with quality and integrity. He was a good businessman and he was fair. He made sure to have a personal involvement with everything he did, which equals quality control. I’m very much the same way.
DONALD TRUMP: UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
AP: Most beautiful place on earth?
TRUMP: My Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.
AP: Someone in history you want to meet?
TRUMP: Abraham Lincoln.
AP: Favorite designer?
AP: Next vacation?
TRUMP: The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach.
AP: Best quote?
TRUMP: “Know everything you can about what you’re doing” – my father, Fred Trump.
AP: Favorite musical artist?
TRUMP: Tony Bennett.
AP: All time best moment?
TRUMP: Marrying Melania.
AP: All time worst moment?
TRUMP: Losing my brother Fred.
AP: What is life really all about?
TRUMP: Life is mysterious. I’m not sure if we ever really know. But to me it’s simple: do your best, and love your family.
AP: Best way to spend an evening?
TRUMP: I like going to dinner with my wife Melania, and sometimes we join family and friends.
AP: What’s more important: beauty or brains?
TRUMP: They are each wonderful attributes to have, and you can have one without the other, but having them both is the best.
AP: One thing no one knows about Donald Trump?
TRUMP: The same thing they still don’t know.
AP: What do you think about your new daughter in law?
TRUMP: She’s lovely, she’s intelligent, and she’s making my son happy.
For more, see our featured article on Donald Trump.