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I have a passion for several things – family, faith, commercial real estate, fitness, and teaching.
When my office approached me to create and execute a training program for our New 2 Business Brokers – I welcomed the opportunity!
The first session was this morning, and I was greeted by ten smiling young agents – I have socks older than most of them – but I digress.
Attrition in our industry is similar to the survival rate in a tsunami – close to 70% of new folks in the business don’t make it. Stunning!
What follows is a list of what I believe to be the essentials for ensuring a long career in commercial real estate brokerage. As our business is a sales game and many businesses rely upon sales as their lifeblood – I believe there are broader applications to any company owner who wants to limit turnover and provide purpose, autonomy, and mastery of their sales function.
Choose your company wisely. Companies such as CBRE, JLL, and Cushman and Wakefield enjoy an international footprint. My firm Lee & Associates is a local firm that became national in scope with two international offices, Others – Voit, Ashwill Associates, are dominant locally. Regardless, find the company that best suits your vision and culture.
Your mentor is critical. Commercial real estate is taught by doing – therefore the person overseeing the doing is tantamount to success.
Decide day one on a specialty. Unless your marketplace will not allow a specialty – because of the size or deal velocity – become an office, retail, industrial, land, or multi-family expert. Some in our trade slice and dice the product type even smaller to become the “go-to” in a size range – 10,000-20,000 industrial owners as an example.
Training is just the beginning. Training is crucial but just the beginning of the triangle of mastery. A solid training program must be paired with coaching, mentoring, and practice – in that order.
Your CRM is your heartbeat. Invest in the very best Contact Relationship Manager – CRM – you can afford. There are many, many good ones out there. Remember, the best CRM is the one that gets used. Don’t get tangled up in all of the sexy features you will never use.
Strategically set up your practice. Once you’ve selected your specialty and CRM – endeavor to know EVERYTHING about every building, owner, tenant in your farm. Carefully log the information into the system and schedule regular contacts until you’ve “filled in all the blanks”. Next, understand others who call on the same companies that you do – material handling, machinery movers, IT professionals, bankers, etc. You’ve now started a network of referral partners.
Don’t forget to have fun! Too many in our industry take things much too seriously.