Meet Market: Todd Walsh
It’s not about how hard you hit.
It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
– Rocky Balboa
HOW TODD PUTS THE ‘REAL’ IN REAL ESTATE
Real estate is full of dinosaurs, but I refuse to go extinct.
It’s 2020, people. Change isn’t just happening. It’s exploding. And in an industry so deeply poised for disruption, the opportunities are endless for change. I’m Todd Walsh, founder of Market Real Estate, and innovation is my favorite toy. Maybe it’s my upbringing or maybe it’s the fact that “the way things have always been done” has never been my style, but I love change. I embrace it, look forward to it and milk it for all that its worth. Because I believe that change is life, and it’s the only way that we and our world can move forward.
STEP BY STEP.
I grew up surrounded by change. My parents met in high school in northwest Arkansas where my dad dug ditches for the water works company. His next job, a step up from shoveling, was at the bus manufacture where he lost three fingers in an industrial accident. From that moment on, he vowed that he would build a better life — for himself and for my mother. So, when they found out they were pregnant with me, they packed up, moved out and finally escaped the state that had confined them for far too long.
With my Dad’s new degree in Computer Science and a new baby (me!) we moved to Casper, Wyoming and bought a mobile home in a decent trailer park. It may not sound like much, but it was a step forward. From there, it was Kansas, where my dad earned his master’s degree while working at Hallmark – another step forward. And then, on to Boulder, where all my parents’ sacrifices finally paid off. My dad’s career in computers, despite only having two fingers on his left hand, had brought us to the place we would call home. My parents never gave up on their dreams, and perseverance is a value that they instilled in me for as long as I can remember.
Our circumstances can shape us, but I don’t believe that they have to define us. It’s our own choice to be who we want to be and the change we want to see. After watching my parents’ marriage fall apart, grieving the tragic loss of my grandmother who was killed by an armed robber, and spending one too many nights on the roof of my house feeling unbearably alone, I decided it was time to take agency of my own life.
I began to immerse myself in everything I possibly could — soccer, theatre, friends and anything that got me out of the house. As a grown man, I can now admit that I wasn’t very talented at these activities, but I never quit. I was a tenacious soccer player, always hungry for the ball and a teammate you could count on. I loved math, and while I didn’t get the grades to make it into MIT or the Colorado School of Mines, I was proud to be accepted at CU Boulder. There, I (unsurprisingly) changed course several times, switching from physics to neurobiology and then finally to business. It was through these transitions that I realized something: I may not always be the best at things, but I do them on my own. I was independent and knew how to take care of myself, and that was something to be proud of.
GO OUT AND GROW UP.
When I graduated from college, I had a solid resume and went out there to get a job. I started as an asset manager — a title I still don’t fully understand — where I worked behind a desk and…was bored out of my mind. It was a static, expected existence void of any real change. So, I took a break from work to travel, clear my head and feed my sense of adventure. When I returned home to Boulder, the world’s opportunities felt open once again. My mind was fresh and reinvigorated, and I got my first job in commercial real estate, which set me on the trajectory I’m still on today.
TRY IT THIS WAY.
Navigating the dynamic world of business and real estate, I was right at home. Putting out fires, aiming at moving targets, and handling constant change are right in my wheelhouse. Yet, commercial real estate is more hesitant to embrace the other thing I love—innovation. Early on, I often wrestled with the industry’s resistance to new approaches and technology. The only way I could give my unconventional ideas a whirl was to start brokerage myself which eventually led to Market Real Estate. At Market, we find smarter ways to do our job ad infinitum. We run a lean business by leveraging technology and we embrace unconventional (read: better) ways of doing things. Some might say we are too edgy. But if that is the antithesis of becoming a dinosaur, I’m in. More importantly, my hope is to help the industry reinvent itself and continue to be there for Boulder far into the future.
FIND THE KIND.
The last 17 years in this fast-changing industry and the last 13 years married to my amazing wife have shown me challenges, successes and more lessons than I can list. Even as I write this, I do so from a rented cottage where my family and I live after losing our home in the CalWood Fire earlier this month. When life kicks me down, I think of what my mother told me back in high school: be kind to yourself, be kind to those you love, and it will all come together. Because a world without kindness is one change I’m definitely not interested in.
We as brokers, neighbors and members of the human race owe it to each other to change in ways that benefit us, not divide us. Because change isn’t just good. It’s incredible. And I feel immensely grateful to have the chance to bring it to my clients, my industry and my community. And to those who claim they don’t like change, just give me a chance. I bet I can change your mind.