Top 10 Success Strategies for Commercial Real Estate Pros
Commercial real estate brokerage is a dynamic business. Agents (or brokers as we like to be called) with the right skills and resources, utilizing the proper success strategies can enjoy a very rewarding career. Having studied, utilized and taught best practices for more than 30 years, I have seen firsthand the top strategies of the best in the business.
On a recent episode of the “Commercial Real Estate Show” I shared the top ten strategies to help commercial real estate brokers be successful. Whether you’re new to the business or a 30-year veteran, these 10 principles will add value to your career:
1. Client First: Sincerely taking care of your client is critical. The easy button is to treat clients and their business how you would want your business to be treated. While working with everyone professionally and honestly, consider your clients best interests over all others, even your own.
2. Education: Whether new to the business or an industry veteran, continual training is one of the best things you can do to be more successful. I highly recommend the CCIM training and designation. Additionally, SIOR, ICSC, BOMA, NAIOP and IREM all provide excellent educational programs. Utilizing trainers such as Bob McComb with Top Dogs, Mike Lipsey with The Lipsey Company or a coach like Rod Santomassimo with The Massimo Group also provide great ongoing educational benefits.
3. Specialty. It’s important in larger markets to specialize in one segment of the industry. You can add more value for clients because you’ll better understand the challenges and benefits in the sector and more easily know the market and its participants. Plus you’ll have much greater efficiency than a generalist. When picking a specialty don’t think about what sector is hot at the time; instead, consider how your background might help you add value for clients. Pick a specialty that will excite to be more productive each day throughout a long career.
4. Sales Ability: The ability to sell and self-motivate are very important to success in commercial real estate, since it’s mostly a commission-based business. You can have the best property or service in the world, but if you can’t sell it and can’t keep prospects motivated throughout the process, then your success will be limited. Study sales, motivation and negotiation techniques throughout your career. Use your sales ability to help clients and others make the right decisions.
5. Prospecting: As Bob McCombs with Top Dogs puts it, prospecting for business is not a part of brokerage — it is brokerage! The more methods and time you spend prospecting, the better choices of people, properties and companies you have to work with. I recommend setting a daily minimum of prospecting calls or meetings to keep you on track.
6. Time Management: If you are a broker, time is your most precious commodity. Time-management skills will add directly to your bottom line. Always look for ways you can save time. Use your support team, plan your day and use your time wisely.
7. CRM Database: It’s important to continue to improve your database every day. It’s a little like the game Concentration, where you memorize the location of a card and match it. In real estate, we match properties with buyers and tenants. With a robust CRM program, you can make that happen more easily.
8. Working Hours: If you are a commercial real estate agent,you are running a business. If you are just starting or not doing as well as you’d like, the easy button is to put in more time. Put in the hours and investment business owners do when they start a new business to be successful. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. you should be with or talking to clients. Do your research, underwriting and other tasks during off-hours.
9. Integrity: Success in commercial real estate is affected by your relationships, so it’s imperative to utilize the utmost integrity in your practice. Treat everyone right, and be honest to build your reputation. If you handle your business this way every day, it will be much easier to grow your business.
10. Proper Platform: Many agents fail because they don’t have the proper platform and resources for success. Look for a company that offers ongoing training, great database resources and proper support. Don’t just look for the best commission splits or a big name. Look for a company that will help you build your practice each year and help you provide the best client services possible. Consider the culture and how that will impact your desire to go to work each day.
Michael Bull, CCIM, is the host of the nationally syndicated Commercial Real Estate Show and founder of Bull Realty, Inc., a U.S. commercial real estate sales and advisory firm headquartered in Atlanta. Michael on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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