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5 Reasons Joseph Eichler Differed from Donald Trump - Which Real Estate Developer Would you Choose to Work with?

March 24 2016
March 24 2016

By

Donald-Trump

Joseph-Eichler

Whether you're a loyal fan of Donald Trump's campaign to "Make America Great Again" or you're in disbelief by how mad our country's gone for even considering a supremacist as a viable presidential candidate, it's an inarguable fact that Donald Trump is the hot topic of every conversation. His pedigree, his demagoguery and his inscrutable platform — including the proposed mass deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants — make him a giant story. While he has the nation scrambling to figure out the true morals of the majority, he's an easy point of comparison when trying to highlight and give recognition to the actual heroes of this country.

If you've been following our blog for a while now, you'll know our reasons for becoming Eichler real estate experts goes beyond our love for the aesthetically pleasing home designs. We genuinely admire Joseph Eichler's vision of providing equality amongst all homeowners during an era of open racial discrimination. Everything he stood for as a real estate developer was unconventional for his time, and his business suffered greatly because of it.

Right off the bat we could see a world of differences between Trump and Eichler, so we thought we'd compare the two and let you decide on whose viewpoints you'd agree with. Both were legendary developers, but that’s about where the similarities end. Another important factor to note that not many people know about is that Joseph's son, Ned Eichler, actually played a role in Trump's rise to success. We'll get into that as we go along so make sure to follow along as we explain the five key differences between Donald Trump and Joseph Eichler.

1. Racial Discrimination

Racial Discrimination

When people remember Joseph Eichler, they remember a man who treated every single person exactly the same, despite their racial or religious background. Although he grew up during the forefront of the civil war, he made sure to promote his company as one that followed open occupancy policies no matter what area they were in. In 1958, he resigned from theNational Association of Home Builders when they refused to support a non-discrimination policy. This was a highly regarded stance during that era, and although he received major backlash because of it, he was a man that didn't let the opinions of the majority influence his decisions.

Trump on the other hand, initially came to public attention in 1973 when he was accused by the Justice Department of violations of the Fair Housing Act in the operation of 39 buildings, including false "no vacancy" statements, and sham leases presenting higher rents to minority applicants, to facilitate the denial of housing to racial minorities. He continues to openly voice his opposition towards minorities in today's presidential running.

2. Ego

Ego

Although both Eichler and Trump had big egos, what differentiated Eichler from Trump was that he also had grace. In an interview done on Ned Eichler, he recalls meeting with Donald Trump for the first time to discuss a development project for the railroad cars on the West Side of Manhattan and remembers feeling embarrassed.  “When Donald Trump took me to the 21 Club and ordered well-done steak with French fries, I was so embarrassed,” Ned Eichler recalled. “Trump yells at the guy on the other side of the room, ‘Bring me some ketchup. In a silver bowl.’ Trump was showing off. My father wasn’t a show off. And it’s a big difference. He never did anything to impress anybody.”

Like Trump, Eichler got involved with the issues of the day – but not by shoving himself before a microphone. “He was quiet, reserved, he was self-assured, but he was not putting himself on a pedestal like Trump does,” says Frank LaHorgue, a newly minted MBA in 1961, who went to work for Eichler Homes because, he remembers, “this is a company with a social conscience.”
Eichler was the type of man who didn't have to openly voice his opinions in order for you to know what they were. You never really had to discuss civil rights or politics with Eichler because you already knew where he stood on those issues.

3. Political Viewpoints

Political Viewpoints

One of the most obvious differences between Eichler and Trump was that Eichler was a major supporter of the Democratic party, while Trump remains an avid Republican. Eichler was a lifelong political liberal, and he was guided in his actions by an enduring belief in the American potential for continuing social betterment. Joseph Eichler is considered by some to be a social visionary and commissioned designs primarily for middle-class Americans. One of his stated aims was to construct inclusive and diverse planned communities, ideally featuring integrated parks and community centers. As a real estate developer, this was a bold method of bringing the community together and breaking the barriers of racial and religious discrimination.

Trump on the other hand has always had an eminent reputation for despising minorities. On the issue of immigration, Trump has emphasized U.S. border security. During his first town hall campaign meeting, Trump said that if he won the election, "Day 1 of my presidency, illegal immigrants are getting out and getting out fast." Trump opposes birthright citizenship, arguing that it is not or should not be protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. On people already illegally in the United States, Trump has variously said they should all be deported or that the decision should be made after the border has been strengthened.

4. Background History

eichler history


Born in New York to European Jewish parents, Joseph Eichler was raised in a politically liberal family that revered Franklin Roosevelt, and grew to maturity in the culturally diverse community of New York City. He got his degree in business from New York University and a job opportunity on Wall Street helped prepare Joe for his future career. A competitive man by nature and cultivated in the tough-minded atmosphere of America's financial capital, Joe worked hard to rise up in the industry from the bottom up. He eventually joined the highly competitive wholesale food industry, working for his in-laws' family-run poultry concern. The Eichlers moved to the West Coast in 1940, where Joe assumed the position of treasurer for the family business, which was based in San Francisco. Now 40, Joe was, by all ordinary measures of the day, a highly successful man. Events during the next few years would cause Eichler to start over with an entirely new career in real estate development. Joe Eichler passed away at age 74 in 1974, never achieving the wealth of Trump, but leaving behind a legacy of fine residential neighborhoods.

Donald Trump was born in New York City to a highly successful real estate developer named Fred Trump, who immigrated to the U.S. from Germany. Right off the bat, you can see an almost black and white difference in cultural upbringing with Trump coming from a German background and Eichler descending from a Jewish background.  Due to behavior problems, Trump left the school at age 13 and was enrolled in the New York Military Academy. Fred told an interviewer that Donald "was a pretty rough fellow when he was small."  While attending college, he worked for his father's firm, Elizabeth Trump & Son, and soon joined the company upon graduation. Trump has said that when he graduated from college in 1968, he was worth about US$200,000 (equivalent to $1,021,000 in 2016).

5. Real Estate Goals

Real Estate Goals

Eichler Real Estate

Trump Real Estate

Trump Real Estate

Eichler, who had been an admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian, now gained a deeper appreciation for his architecture. He was intrigued by the Bazett house and delighted in its spatial complexities—the overlapping of exterior and interior, and the way daylight filtered in from so many directions, changing the mood of each room throughout the day. He wanted everyfamily to experience the joys of living in a home like his, so took up the opportunity to begin his own real estate development company. Eichler made it his mission to take a wholly original approach in the home-building process. He was successful at building uniquely modern house designs and unusually progressive residential communities despite tremendous odds. His success was due to his iron will and his courage to hold steadfast to a vision for suburban communities founded on social and artistic ideals singularly suited to their time and place. He was an innovative developer that may have been too early for his time, offering his homes to war-weary ex-servicemen and women seeking convention rather than innovation.

Born into a wealthy family and being raised by a father who knew what a profitable business looked like, Trump began his real estate career on a more established note. He was more of a businessman rather than a visionary eager to create unique, socially sensitive home designs. In essence, his main goal was to turn a profit in whatever endeavor he began and wanted his homes to be available to only those he thought were financially fit. As a result, he charged higher rent rates to racial minorities in an effort to deny them of housing. Essentially, he wanted the Trump Organization to deny persons on welfare as tenants unless they were as qualified as any other tenant. He eventually moved onto other business ventures outside of real estate development and continues to run his company based on skewed and racially segregating morals.

For more information on Joseph Eichler or Eichler homes, contact the ERDAL TEAM today.

ERDAL TEAM

Email us: pelin@erdalteam.com or kevin@erdalteam.com
Call us: (408) 973-9805
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