Biography: Ted J. Blank, S.E.C.

Ted J. Blank was born the son of Oscar “Ted” and Helen Johantges Blank in Logansport, Indiana.

Ted’s Mother was born and raised in Quebec, Canada, and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, to attend nursing school. It was there that Ted, Sr. and Helen met.

Oscar “Ted” Blank was born and raised in Indianapolis, graduating from Purdue University, in 1943. After graduation, Ted, Sr. and Helen moved to Logansport, Indiana, and bought a farm. They lived in a converted little white chicken coup until their house was built. The family raised Chester White pigs on the farm.

Ted was born in 1948 and has two brothers. One brother, Tom, is a retired Air Force Colonel, currently living in Tacoma, Washington. The other brother, Pete, currently runs the Art Library at Stanford University.

As a junior in high school, Ted won the People to People award from 4H, which enabled him to visit Europe with thirty other kids. Deeply involved with 4H as a youth, he enjoyed showing livestock at the Indiana state fair, where he won a championship. He also said that he came in last place a couple times. One of Ted’s memories from his 4H days was when he was standing looking out from a row of fifty or so cows from the end thinking “1st place was a long way away!”

In 1966, Ted graduated from high school, where he really enjoyed Hoosier-style basketball. Ted used his knowledge of livestock (pigs and cattle) to buy and sell them to pay for college and attended Purdue, graduating in 1970 with a Bachelor of Agriculture Education. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree, he was required to do 30 days of student teaching. It was then that he realized that high school teaching wasn’t his thing. So he went back to Purdue to pursue his Master of Agriculture Economics, which he received in 1972. Ted’s original life goals (to get back to basics by farming, raising livestock, and teaching agriculture) were not satisfying him. He realized he needed a change and went back to Purdue to earn his master’s degree so he could move forward in the business and banking world.

From there Ted worked at the Irwin Union Bank in Columbus, Indiana. While working at the bank, Ted was in charge of the bank’s coed volleyball league. That is where, in 1976, he met a woman, Linda Kline, who turned out to be his wife. Linda was from Miamisburg, Ohio, the only daughter in a family of six children. Ted and Linda met on the court—the volleyball court, that is. Ted was in charge of the volleyball team and had heard about the new girl in the office, so he decided to invite her to play on the team. As Ted stated, “On the court is where we met—and from there, it was history!”

When asked what Ted’s most significant life event was, he said “The Lovely Linda.”

The lovely Linda and Ted have two great kids, Michael and Brandon. Ted has always been physically active in volleyball and skiing. Unfortunately, issues with his knees required that he discontinue those activities. Today he enjoys bicycling and golf for recreation and exercise. His other sports interests include everything Colorado! He attends about five to six games per year; GO Bronco’s, Nugget’s, Rockies, and Avalanche!

Ted has always been involved with his community and is a retired elder at his church.

His past recognitions, designations, and awards consist of the following:

  • 1991 and 1984 Exchanger of the Year in Colorado
  • 1995 S.E.C. Counselor of the Year
  • 1999 Received CCIM designation
  • 2001 Past President of S.E.C.
  • 2003 Jack Hunt Excellence in Education

Ted left the bank in 1977 to pursue a real estate career, partnering up with a past bank client and then buying a ranch in Colorado. Being young and dumb, he said to his family, “Let’s go to Colorado,” which they did in 1979. Between 1977 and 1979, while still in Indiana, he worked in the business office at a meat-packing plant.

That year, Ted attended his first exchange meeting in Grand Junction, Colorado. The following year he started exchanging. In 1984, he joined NCE, where he traveled the country and got national exposure. His feeling is that it took him ten to twelve years and ten to fifteen classes to fully understand and successfully use the creative real estate method.

Ted’s philosophy on the real estate world and business: When Ted left the banking business in 1977, his dad said; “You’re too honest to go into real estate.” Ted has tried to maintain a high level of integrity and has generally trusted what people say. However, he says, it is important to reach an agreement in writing and do one’s due diligence on people and deals. “I like being a partner in deals and have had many good partners over the years.”
A few things he has learned:

  • None of us is smarter than the market, but markets are definitely cyclical. Buy when everyone is selling and sell when everyone is buying. The other successful strategies are buy and hold, but be very cautious of too much debt and fiercely avoid balloon mortgages.
  • Always have some liquidity. Without it, you will be selling when you don’t want to.
  • Counsel, counsel, counsel. Although I teach a counseling course, I find that when I have a listing that won’t sell, there has normally been a breakdown in the counseling process.

His goals today include educating himself as much as possible in his field and also sharing his knowledge and wisdom with others. He wants to do anything he can do to keep the message alive (i.e., exchanging, creativity, etc.).
Regarding Ted’s strengths and weaknesses in the real estate business, he finds that our strengths and weaknesses are usually somewhat of a mirror image.

Strength: Trusting what people say and doing due diligence. Counseling, teaching, and making a complex subject understandable.

Weaknesses: Too trusting and overanalyzing deals. “I’m not a good closer.”

Ted’s most significant event in the S.E.C.: “After I’d had mixed levels of success for a few years in the brokerage business, 4 S.E.C. brothers joined me in the hot tub for my conversion experience. The concept of broker estate building became the plan. (i.e., be your own best broker). They suggested I should put to work some of what I learned from the S.E.C., and own some assets in addition to brokering for others. That 1–2 hours in the hot tub with friends who cared changed my real estate life.”

The best moment in Ted’s real estate business: “A few days after the hot tub experience, I decided to do more networking and went to a CCIM luncheon. I sat next to a broker, who asked what I did, and I explained about the S.E.C. and that I was looking for a value-added deal. That afternoon she showed me a vacant hospital in Denver. After much negotiating and S.E.C. structuring, two of us, without much money, were able to buy it—and 2 years later, we sold it for a very nice profit!” It’s amazing . . . the power of the S.E.C.!

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