Truly exemplary commercial real estate Advisors can be sales or leasing brokers specializing in everything from parcels of raw land to CBD office buildings. While their businesses might be different, they all share common business practices. They also avoid making these five fundamental mistakes:
1. Letting the Hopper Empty
When you get busy with commercial real estate deals, it can be easy to let the work you have to do on them distract you from the crucial business development activity that will keep you busy for the future. Exemplary Advisors are very aware of this and always make time to build their pipelines. Whether they are cold calling, keeping up relationships, or tending to a lead generating team or system, leading brokers always have new opportunities filling their sales hoppers so that they can continue earning and growing.
2. Ceding Their Knowledge Advantage
While brokerage is a relationship business, exemplary Advisors know that the relationships turn into transactions based on information. Knowledge solidifies ties to clients, makes pricing more accurate, and enables brokers to find the right spaces for their tenants (or to set the right rents for their landlords).
The best CRE brokers have a knowledge advantage because they are truly experts in their markets. Along with this advantage, though, comes the realization that they can’t know everything. This means that when they get an opportunity outside of their comfort zone, they don’t make the mistake of working it by themselves. Instead, they bring in another expert to give them and their client the knowledge they need to successfully consummate the deal.
3. Avoiding Tough Conversations
The best commercial real estate brokers don’t shy away from tough conversations and situations. They aren’t afraid to ask tough questions of clients as a part of assessing that client’s desire to do a transaction and as a part of figuring out what the client really needs. At the same time, they also don’t hide behind emails or assistants when a problem comes up. Instead, exemplary Advisors get on the phone or get in their cars and work the situation out with their clients.
4. Going it Alone
Successful Advisors know what their time is worth. With this knowledge, they build teams that allow lower-cost people to do their lower-value work, freeing them up to do more of what they do best. This approach may cost these leaders a little bit of money, but it gives them the time to make a whole lot more of it.
5. Failing to Engage
Finally, leaders in our industry are who they are because they are leaders. What this means is that they don’t make the mistake of just doing their jobs and servicing their clients and prospects. Instead, they are fully engaged with the CRE industry, with their companies, and with their communities. Having these ties isn’t only the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing to do. It puts them in position for referrals and increases their credibility and visibility, making it easier to develop new business.
At the Sperry Van Ness organization, our Advisors work hard to avoid these mistakes, going above and beyond for their clients. Here is a list of some of our recent top offices, Advisors, and staff. Winners from this past year will be revealed at the 2015 SVN National Conference February 25-27, where many more CRE tips such as these will be shared.