Skip to main content

Property Management Blog

What Does Alex Honnold’s Incredible Free Solo of El Capitan Have to do With Real Estate? It Has to do With Risk.

What Does Alex Honnold’s Incredible Free Solo of El Capitan Have to do With Real Estate? It Has to do With Risk.

On June 3rd Alex Honnold ascended the face of El Capitan's Freerider, a 3,000-foot rock face, with nothing but a bag of chalk, specialized climbing shoes and his own mental and physical strength. What he accomplished could be considered one of the greatest achievements in sports history. What he risked was his own life. It is for the later that some people say it was a risk too great to take, but for Alex it was a risk assessed and reassessed, planned and thought out, each move up the wall like a well-choreographed dance based on years of training and experience.

What can Real Estate investors and professionals learn from Alex Honnold’s accomplishment? We can learn that in order to be successful we must know how to take well evaluated risk.

Here are some tips:

  • Learn all you can learn. Go to the city, talk to people in the neighborhood, use the internet and if you need more continuing education, there are courses are offered in Real Estate through the University of San Diego.
  • Trust in your own abilities. Alex knew that he could free solo El Capitan because he had done it a thousand times before. The only difference was he was doing it this time with no safety equipment. By trusting in your own abilities, you can take greater risks.
  • Getting stuck will happen, find a way around it. When Alex Honnold was planning out his moves up Freerider he got to a part of the climb where you must use a technique with your feet known as smearing. It’s when you place the rubber of your shoe on part of the rock with basically no holds and expect it to stick. There is no guarantee it will stick, so Alex choose to re-route around this part of the climb, assessing the risk was too great but still accomplishing the goal.
  • Don't let fear paralyzed you. At a NAIOP conference- Gina Champion-Cain, CEO of American National Investments, spoke on how she never let fear get in the way of her goals. Fear can be the antithesis of success if you let it. Alex is said to be able to rationalize fear so it does not affect his performance. If you find yourself acting on fear, take a step back and reassess.
  • Use your network. You can't be an expert in everything. Build a solid team to help you. While free soloing is as it sounds, a solo sport, Alex trains with a few close friends. They are his support and his sounding board to help him prepare for his climes.