Richard Morean recently was enjoying lunch with some real estate buddies at Seasons 52 Wine Bar & Grill in Park Meadows.
No surprise, the conversation turned to politics among the friends, who lean both to the right and the left of the political spectrum.
“Hey, remember that article about you, ‘Trump’s loss is Denver’s gain’?” asked one of Morean’s friends.
I wrote the article, with the headline “Donald Trump’s loss is a gain for Denver,” in July 2013 for the Colorado Real Estate Journal.
It was a profile of Morean, who had opened the Denver office of ScanlanKemperBard Cos., where he is a principal and executive vice president of Capital Markets.
In a nutshell, around 1987, Morean, armed with a newly minted MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Phoenix, was partying with some friends and his future wife, Barb, in a hotel-casino owned by Donald Trump in Atlantic City.
After playing Blackjack and craps for a few hours, Morean decided to really play the odds. They rode the elevator to Trump’s management office.
Lady luck was shining on them, as the door was unlocked.
He, Barb and his friends left a copy of Morean’s resume on each desk with instructions to “Forward to Trump in New York City immediately!”
He never heard back from Trump and soon after launched a career with an even bigger commercial real estate icon at the time ⎯ Trammell Crow.
When Donald Trump was a mere real estate mogul, he autographed “Trump The Art of the Deal” for Richard Morean.
Although Trump didn’t hire him, it recently dawned on Morean that there was another chapter to his (attempted) close encounters with the man who is now the 45th president of the United States.
In February 1988, for his 25th birthday, his sister, Donna, sent him a copy of Trump’s “The Art of the Deal.”
“Think Big, Aim High and go for The Big Deals!” Donna inscribed in the book, wishing happy birthday to “a future tycoon.”
Morean, who at the time was working for Trammell Crow in suburban Chicago, mailed the copy of the book to Trump’s New York headquarters, asking the real estate mogul if he would be kind enough to sign it and mail it back to him.
That he did.
In big, blue letters, Trump wrote: “To RICHARD BEST WISHES.”
Recently, while cleaning out the study, his wife, Barb, asked him if he wanted to toss “The Art of the Deal.”
“Are you kidding? It’s signed by the president of the United States. How cool is that?”
Leading up to the election, like many he believed the polls and didn’t think Trump was going to win. But he did vote for him.
“I kind of liked the idea of an individual who was going to bring change, whether the individual was from the left or the right,” Morean said. “The whole system has been broken for a long time and neither political party has done a good job for any of us.”
He cast his ballot with his eyes wide open and certainly bears no ill will to anyone who voted for Hillary Clinton.
“I knew both candidates were imperfect,” Morean said. “I knew Hillary’s faults and I knew Trump’s faults. I decided Trump would be the bigger change agent. I kind of liked the idea of dropping the bull in the china shop.”
When it comes to getting down to business, just like with his buddies he lunched with at Seasons 52, it makes no difference to him who you voted for.
Richard Morean’s sister gave him Trump’s ” The Art of the Deal” for his 25th birthday.
“Honestly, one of my partners in the company is as far to the left as you can be and another one is equally as far to the right. And you know what? We all get along and have a good time. We are all mature enough to not let politics get in the way of working together in a fun, productive way.”
Maybe that is the true art of the deal … and dealing with people.
If you scratch the surface of just about any deal, there is a story behind it. The Rebchook Real Estate Corner will look at the what and who that makes the Colorado commercial real estate industry spin every Tuesday and Thursday online at CREJ.com. The people behind-the-deals, are passionate about what they do, whether they focus on offices, apartments, industrial, retail, land or lending. They also are passionate about their clients. Given the cyclical nature of commercial real estate, those who prosper in it have plenty of stories to tell. I hope to share them with you.
This column will include news stories, in depth looks at deals, profiles, Q&As and pieces on the latest trends. Contact John with story tips at JRCHOOK@gmail.com or 303-945-6865.