CDC Commercial Inc

Monthly Letter for December 2008

December 1, 2008

Re: Monthly Letter – Holiday Letter

Dear Clients:

What a year! We’ve gone from a time where anybody could get a loan to a point where it seems nobody can get a loan! We at CDC Commercial are scanning the horizon for new opportunities and solutions to age old problems. We continue to work hard to bring you transactions we believe in. Deals that are worthy of both your time and investment. We like to say that we live at the intersection of problems and solutions.

I have told many of you this is the worst and fastest drop off I have seen in over 23 years. Our inbound call volume has dropped by 30%. There are days we have more calls from landscapers or contractors looking for work than we do from tenants looking for space! We are finally on the other side of the election and expectantly waiting to be on the other side of the financial meltdown. The TARP program is in place but the only tarps I’ve ever seen work cover things up! There is no limit to the amount of funds that Congress and the President can spend. The ultimate burden is borne by the taxpayer, either directly in higher taxes, or the reduction of purchasing power through inflation.

I will tell you that since the election people have become more decisive. Unfortunately, many more tenants and buyers are saying “no” but at least we’re not hearing “maybe” or “we’ll see”. Our job as brokers now is to weed through all those “no’s” and find the “yes’s”. There are people who want or need to do business right now and it is our job to find them.

The best commercial real estate brokers are, first and foremost, excellent communicators and impeccably honest. They negotiate with confidence yet never forget the emotional implications of a sale or lease. The best brokers are flexible and creative yet practical. They respond to challenges quickly, deliver disappointing news gently and never lose sight of those pesky details that can loom large if left undone.

Truly, brokers need to be nearly superhuman! With typical aplomb, the best salespeople don’t linger on this fact. They just go out and do the work, day in and week out. Perhaps that dedication is most important of all. Some say “passion” is an overused word. However, it is critical in commercial real estate sales and leasing. Passion – not money – is the fuel that keeps us going and is the thing that pulls us out of bed each morning

We are in the midst of a worsening economy that threatens vulnerable families. As we count our blessings this Holiday season, I would like to draw your attention to Interfaith Services. Interfaith is a nonprofit that has been helping people help themselves for more than 25 years. We helped more than 28,000 people in extreme need this year and demand is growing. 90% of every dollar given goes directly to those in need. Interfaith partners with over 400 faith communities to help those in our community in need. I am on the Board of Interfaith and will be helping on Christmas Eve to serve in the soup kitchen. If you can or want to help by donating food, support a housing unit, or make a donation call me or go to their website

And while you are filling out your Holiday cards this year, add one to the following address for recovering soldiers:

Holiday Mail for Heroes

PO Box 5456

Capitol Heights MD 20791-5456

And finally, a great big thank you and blessing to you and your family. It is during times like these that we appreciate our clients and their enjoyment of the company of people who understand them, and who appreciate their goals, values, and passion for life’s important matters.

I hope you enjoy this year’s Christmas Story and appreciate the freedom we have.

Happy Holidays!



Don S. Zech

CDC Commercial

Real Estate Services

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight home for Christmas. Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation. ”Where are you headed?” I asked the soldier seated nearest to me. “Chicago – to Great Lakes Base. We’ll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we’re being deployed to Iraq.”

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached Chicago, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time. As I reached for my wallet, I overheard the soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. ”No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn’t be worth five bucks. I’ll wait till we get to Chicago.” His friend agreed. I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. ”Take a lunch to all those soldiers.” She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. ”My son was a soldier in Iraq; it’s almost like you are doing it for him.” Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, “Which do you like best – beef or chicken?” “Chicken,” I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class. ”This is your thanks.”

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the restroom. A man stopped me. ”I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.” He handed me twenty-five dollars. Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, and said, “I want to shake your hand.” Quickly unfastening my seat belt I stood and took the Captain’s hand. With a booming voice he said, “I was a soldier, and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.” I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm. When we landed in Chicago I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. “It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for another sandwich. God Bless You and Merry Christmas.” Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers. As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little…

As we fret over our share of the US debt and if we’ll have enough money for Christmas just remember that “a veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America’ for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’ That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.”

May God bless you and may you have a safe Holiday and a Happy New Year!
Don, Candy & Nick Zech, Nancy Murphy, Rob Pew, & Rebekah Jones
CDC Commercial

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