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Donald Trump’s success has surprised many, and has forced many experts to say “oops”.  He may be the world’s best-known real estate mogul and his run for the US presidency has attracted a lot of attention and discussion.  It represents many teachable moments.

The issues discussed in the context of the US presidency can correspond directly to activities which affect the decision making process in the real estate industry.  As somebody who tries to teach best practices and the latest insights in real estate, it is sort of comforting to see that much of his value is not based on the usual stuff of the real estate business: construction, development or operations.  Most of the value seems to be in the name “Trump”.

This series of posts is not about his success or whether he will or will not win.  This series is about what can be learned from the experience.  (My opinions may be made clear but, since I am not eligible to vote, that is not my goal and not very important.)  There have been so many moments and associated lessons, it is hard to decide on some kind of ranking of importance.  Here is as start:

  • the use of facts
  • the relevance of numbers and being numerate
  • in politics, does “character” matter?
  • fear.

In each case, I will try to use one or more moments to remind readers of the benefits of what may have seemed obvious before the campaign started.

This is written before we know whether Trump wins or loses the election.  Prediction is not the point of this exercise.  If he loses then it may be the result of his mistakes.  If he wins then we will have to wait to see how his actions compare to his talking, and who bears the costs.  At the very least, these issues are causing problems for him.  Regardless of whether he wins or loses, many political experts should do a post mortem to understand what happened and whether it could happen again.  In other words, to learn.