One punch can change everything

Today, a number of top REITs are harnessing all manner of psychological influence to enhance leasing and build revenue. It is both intriguing and statistically-compelling.


Association, after all, is pivotal to human existence.

We touch on the association of smell and its impact on leasing apartments in our story, “Clearing the Air,” and promise a deeper dive on the topic in our next issue.

In the scheme of things, association not only forms how we lease, but provides cues on how we do business, and even live life.

It is fascinating what compels us before we so much as turn on our conscious minds. It is, after all, how our brains are designed to remember: Cotton candy and county fairs. Tanning lotion and vacation. Boxing and multifamily.

I met Fred Feary in the 1980s.

My career in multifamily was just beginning as Northern California was fertile ground for developers and owners with names such Kaufman & Broad (KB Home), Lincoln Property Company (Legacy Partners) and SummerHill (Essex Property Trust, Inc.)

Fred was my assigned feature story for a corporate newsletter. I was as green as the day is long, and just beginning to build associations that I would embrace for decades.

Fred was in his 70s, sharp, handsome, and alive with passion. He was a lot of things, but mostly he was a boxer. He dropped names like Madison Square Garden and Jack Dempsey like jabs in a ring.

Fred had won the National Heavyweight Championship in Madison Square Garden and went on to take the bronze medal at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles during the Depression. He turned professional, casting an impressive record of 40-2. His enthusiasm was riveting and Fred is where I got my first taste of the energy and human drive behind this unrivaled sport. I began to understand why boxing carries such an overarching association in life and business.

So, when Oscar De La Hoya stepped into the multifamily ring swinging, (cover story) it made perfect sense. Like boxing, multifamily is a pure sport. It’s transparent. Earthy. It can, at times, be a complete challenge of body and mind, while passion delivers the edge on the end game.

And like multifamily, boxing is won in the rounds. Through the buzz and the build-up, it still comes down to step-by-step execution.

With all his charm, desire to change urban landscapes and reach back to elevate ever-growing Latino neighborhoods into thriving and productive communities, in multifamily, Oscar De La Hoya sought an endeavor that would stand up to a level of game to which he is accustomed.

Consider this: If a football team is losing by three scores, they need four scores to win.

Even if a boxer has lost all nine rounds, he needs only one punch, a knockout, to win.

Whether in business or in the ring, Oscar comes prepared, and knows that one moment, or punch, can change everything.

Now that’s living.