Real estate developers live longer lives

Founder and CEO , SVN Rock Advisors Inc.
  • May. 19, 2022

After having conversations with hundreds of real estate developers, and non-developers, and comparing their thinking, attitudes and courage, I am confidently making this statement: “Real estate developers live longer than most people.” 

People typically think living longer depends mostly on nutrition and health habits. For sure those decisions do play an important part, but it has also been my observation that developers are not significantly better than others in their exercise and nutrition habits.

So, what is it that leads to their longer lives?

I would say it is based on a myriad of factors, but a lot of it comes down to the attitudes, bold thinking and common life experiences of real estate developers. 

Always look ahead

My friend and mentor Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach, says a big part of what age you live to depends on mindset. If you are someone who focuses more on the future than on the past, you are automatically increasing your likelihood of living longer.

Developers are always thinking of their next project, even as soon as the hole is in the ground for the current building. This keeps them forward-focused and allows them to see their life stretching out in front of them instead of spending time focusing on the past. 

Sullivan also talks about how the concept of retirement is often associated with a feeling of uselessness. Often, but not always, retirement and leaving the workforce come with a loss of a sense of purpose.

Once retired, people no longer have a way of seeing their lives as useful to others.

Of the developers I know, not many are counting down the days to their retirement – they love their work and aren’t looking to slow down any time soon. I think this future-focused mindset has an impact on their longevity.

Along with this, the work developers do, providing homes to thousands of individuals and families, is purposeful and impactful – there is a tangible sense of purpose and a positive outcome for a large number of people associated with this work.

An active mind is a sharp mind

If there’s one commonality between all the developers I have worked with over the years, it’s that their minds are always going. The mind is like the heart muscle or the muscles in your arms or legs – the more you use it, the stronger it gets and the better it functions.

Because developers are always thinking, whether about their current project or the ones down the line, they keep their minds sharp and active, and this can play a big part in longevity.

I would say another factor is that developers often have less formal education. It seems to me education can more easily “take the risk out of you.” Less formal education means you are likely more intuitive as well as better, or at least faster, at decision-making.

As entrepreneurs, developers have a lot of freedom in choosing what they do and with whom they do it. This cuts down on sources of negativity and keeps them in a positive mindset.

The work they do does not create a physical burden, but it does keep their minds active – not a day passes without needing to address some problem or opportunity. These decisions keep developers’ minds sharp.

Why am I writing about this?

Well, for one, longevity has become a new passion project of mine. The idea that my biological age is younger than my chronological age is both exhilarating and motivating for me (who would have known a blood test could show you that!).

I love sharing these concepts and ideas with my trusted clients and if nothing else, having them live longer means I can sell more of their buildings!

I will be delving into this topic and some of the best practices I have been learning about in this area during a new session at our annual event in June, entitled “The Developers’ Longevity Club.”  

Stay tuned for more . . .



Derek Lobo is the CEO of SVN Rock Advisors Inc., a unique full-service brokerage firm. He has focused his entire career on the North American apartment building business. He’s recognized…

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Derek Lobo is the CEO of SVN Rock Advisors Inc., a unique full-service brokerage firm. He has focused his entire career on the North American apartment building business. He’s recognized…

Read more



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