Jack Dale, S.E.C.


An S.E.C. Biography

I got to know Jack Dale at an S.E.C. marketing session in San Francisco in 2002. Jack’s name had been mentioned and referenced by. a number of real estate people as someone to do business with, and learn from, but I had not met him before. Getting to know Jack personally began with a marketing session exchange memo offering on a property Jack owned in California. Within a few days after the session, Jack got in touch with me and had already been working on the deal with one of his partners who lived near my property. I was beginning to understand why other people had such respect for Jack and liked working on transactions with him. I decided that this was someone I too could learn from, and started making it a point to visit with Jack every time I had the chance.

Jack has led an interesting life that includes a lot of creative real estate, his wonderful wife Jeanie, 6 children, 19 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. After serving in the army in France, even though he volunteered for Korea, Jack did some GI-bill education and began to get acquainted with the first of his six children. I have heard that families can be great motivations for success and according to Jack it is true. While still working his day job, Jack started a blueprint business which began to break the chains of working for someone else.

This was a departure from his family history. Jack’s dad worked as an employee in the oil fields of California, fishing broken drill head out of holes in the ground his whole career. Jack and his sister grew up in Ventura, California where they moved from Long Beach when Jack was one. It is interesting to me that Jack still lives in Ventura after 50 years of marriage celebrated in July of 2003. According to Jack, raising lemons and avocados and looking for real estate deals in Ventura is about as close to paradise as anyone could ask. Even though he is 71 and has nearly 44 years in real estate, he can still “see the deal” and get excited by the challenge of making an opportunity materialize into a success.

Like many of us who did not set out to be real estate professionals, Jack spent nearly seven years running his service station and ice cream business before someone came along and bought the businesses. Part of that sale included a note that paid $500 per month. In the late 1950’s $500 a month was a substantial income especially when you did not have to get up and go to work every morning to receive it. At the urging of a friend, Jack went into the real estate business and sold houses for a couple of years with some success. About that time, he met and got to know some S.E.C.’s and creative real estate people like Chuck Chatham, Les Matheny, and Bill Broadbent. In the middle 1960’s Jack joined the membership of the Society and became an active exchangor.

The next couple of decades became a kaleidoscope of exciting deals, learning, growing, and experiencing. Jack was the host for Chuck Chatham’s very first course given to a total of six people, including Chuck’s wife and son. For many years hard-money lending became Jack’s cup of tea along with developing mini-storage projects. As Jack put it, one can get a lot of ownership experience being a lender. One deal many years ago on the Arlington Towers in Reno, Nevada that was initiated by an investor group that is still successful together today. From his work with, and representation of, lenders dealing with foreclosure properties, Jack became a pioneer and expert at the REO formula. Many of those problems were solved at marketing sessions of the Central Coast Exchangors and at S.E.C. marketing sessions. The cover of the February 1973 “Real Estate News Observer” has Jack’s picture on it, and the article inside recognized his pioneering work with foreclosure properties. Along the way, Jack managed to be the other side of a transaction with Chet Allen that won Exchange of the Year. Part of the history of the S.E.C. is a small group of members who started many years ago meeting early one morning during marketing sessions to remember the spiritual side of life and business, pray and remember those who were sick or in other need. Jack was one of those original few who planted the seeds of our Tuesday morning fellowship meetings that are so well attended today.

Life has not been all work. Back in the days when bones and muscles healed more quickly, you would often find Jack out racing motorcycles across the desert. His real love is for traveling in his RV and fly-fishing. Jack has been through the real estate fires just as every successful practitioner. You know Jack enjoys his RV because his career can be traced through his history of RV’s. He can tell you about every one of them and the fun and adventure they provided.

I asked Jack during a phone conversation, “If you were going to share things you have learned to help others be successful in real estate, what would some of them be?” After a pause, he said that one of them would be to have some patience in deals. According to Jack, a shortcoming in his real estate life that had led to a lot of “learning experiences” was acting too fast. His great strength has been to “SEE THE DEAL.” Some people just naturally can identify opportunities and easily think through multi-leg transactions. Some have to work to learn to see the deal and work through multi-leg transactions. A few just can’t seem to ever see the deal. If one is going to be successful in real estate, they need to see the deal, DO the diligence, and add a big dose of healthy common sense.

Listening to Jack look back through his experiences during a conversation, I could not help asking if there was ever a major watershed event or experience in his life. Without even a short pause, he said the 1990’s. Since a decade is a pretty big event, I asked if he might be more specific. He said, “It reintroduced me to the idea that I was not invincible.” More importantly, it caused a reassessment of where God fit into both life and business. It definitely was a hard time but the stories made it real clear that, to Jack and his family, the hard times and the struggle to work through the problems was way more than worth the effort made. Maybe the impact of the 1990’s can best be summed up when Jack said to me, “I have peace of mind watching my lemons and avocados grow.”

Don’t get a picture in your mind of a rocking chair or a porch. Jack is still out there making things happen. For many years, he was very active in the Christian Business Men’s Club. Today he is a mainstay of a new Future Millionaires’ Club that aims to help people become enlightened millionaires. Enlightened millionaires build not only their own fortunes but also the community and the nation through service. Between still being active in real estate, active in his church and trying to keep up with 19 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren, I don’t think we need to worry about whether Jack is bored. In fact, I think it might be harder to get into his schedule today than it was when he was full time in real estate. So far, only Jack’s youngest daughter is following in his real estate footsteps. However, it is early yet with so many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I am just delighted and feel very privileged to know and be a friend of Jack Dale. If you don’t know Jack yet, or don’t know him well, be sure to find a few minutes to visit with him at the next S.E.C. marketing session he attends. I can say, first hand, that he is fun and interesting to know.

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