Welcome to Business Innovators Magazine…Please introduce yourself and a brief thumbnail sketch of your background.
LB: My name is Linda Beacham Bush and I have been a real estate professional in one capacity or another my entire working life, whether as an architect, real estate agent, a corporate real estate specialist or an investment manager. Whether negotiating complicated commercial leases, managing a portfolio of investment properties or rehabbing houses, I relish the challenges that come from creating or adapting the built environment to suit the needs of its targeted audience, to take a vision and make it come to life in a practical, financially responsible way. I hold two Master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, one from the Graduate School of Fine Arts in Architecture and the other from Wharton in Business Administration.
BI: What would you say is the area in business that you are most passionate about and why?
LB: I am passionate about providing safe, attractive housing affordable to the people who live and work in southwest Florida. While there are many other more glamorous avenues for experienced real estate investors to pursue, I get tremendous satisfaction from being able to improve property and offer it for sale or rent in such a way that both the buyers or renters and I both benefit.
BI: How are you different than your competitors?
LB: I combine the practiced eye of a design professional with savvy that comes from many years in asset and investment management, which makes it possible for me to invest in properties that become affordable, aesthetically pleasing and financially rewarding.
BI: Please tell me about any recent business accomplishments that you are most proud of and why?
LB: I negotiated and successfully completed the sale of a multi-million dollar commercial property that had multiple owners, complicated encumbrances and the ticking time bomb of a tenant on the brink of bankruptcy. We achieved a price almost 30% higher than a reputable national commercial real estate firm told us we could achieve in spite of these challenges.
BI: What Leadership qualities in Leaders do you most admire and why?
LB: Personal integrity, combined with vision, clear sense of purpose, confidence, humility, knowledge and experience. Leaders have power, and without personal integrity – and a set of high moral standards – they become despots. I want to be able to follow someone who is confident enough to move forward with boldness yet humble enough to seek counsel. It takes someone with great strength of character to do that.
BI: What has been a key element of your success?
LB: Persistence in the pursuit of doing what I love; knowing myself well enough to know where I’m strong and playing to strength.
BI: What have been some of your most difficult challenges and how have you dealt with them?
One of the worst mistakes I ever made was to set aside my passion for a career in real estate and get caught in the trap of having a “safe” job in a corporate setting. Rather than taking the risk of failing at something I loved, I tried to grow accustomed to the restlessness and boredom I felt in that situation. I couldn’t manage that, so the challenge came to make the decision to leave, not just for another job, but for another kind of life altogether.
It meant the loss of friends and colleagues, a venture into the unknown, financial insecurity, a move to a new area, updating my education and a host of other upheavals. But it also meant that I was finally being true to the purpose for which I believe I was put on the planet. I had always heard people talk about what that was like – how satisfying and how fulfilling – and now I know. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
BI: What are some of business projects that you are currently working on that you are excited about and why?
LB: I am developing a new business model that involves rehabbing residential properties, providing financial solutions to buyers and generating comfortable returns for investors – wins all the way around.
BI: What are 1 or 2 things you would like to say to a prospective client who stumbles across this interview?
LB: I am an extraordinary ordinary person: I love what I do, I make a profit doing it, and I provide a benefit to my customers, my investor partners and the community as a whole. What I do and how I do it is not what’s remarkable; it’s that fact that I love what I do that makes it extraordinary.
BI: To wrap this up, what are you most excited about in the upcoming months in your business?
LB: 1) Finding new opportunities and responding to the challenges they present with creative, cost effective solutions, 2) Developing a plan for growth and succession and 3) Building a team that I can rely on to help propel business to the next level and beyond.