It’s common knowledge in this business that most real estate agents will fail to succeed in their first year. After struggling to get by with little business, most would-be agents decide to move on. Aside from things like working harder than anyone else or making it a point to learn daily, there are a few key traits that successful brokers always put into practice. If you can work to embody these five traits today, you’ll be a much better broker or agent tomorrow.
1. Develop more humanoid relationships
Starting with what is perhaps the most obvious, a successful real estate broker needs to be a polished sales person who knows how to build trusting, lasting relationships with owners and the decision makers of businesses. The twist here, however, is that commercial tenants are no longer just looking for square footage – they’re after an experience. The successful broker will shift their thinking from B2C to more like H2H – “Human to Human.” Treating your tenants as merely “renters” won’t get you very far. Treating people like people, however, will.
Successful brokers find the unique opportunities to connect with their prospective tenants by not just finding them a space — they’ll find ways to make the tenant’s business dreams a reality.
How do you put this into practice? Think about what it is that you are undertaking to bring an answer to the future needs of your client. This may require a few lunches or coffee meet-ups, but taking the time to really see your client’s business from their point of view allows you to switch your approach from “Here’s a wonderful space that has 10 private offices and that conference room you’re looking for”¦” to “The closed-off office space will give your agents the privacy they need to close deals faster, getting you 100x closer to making your dreams of running a Fortune 500 company a reality!
2. Become one with your market
We’ve touched on this before — especially for new agents, you don’t need to be well-versed in every market. You just need to be an expert in yours. The best opportunities are often less advertised, so if you know the market you’re in, you’ll know how to negotiate a great deal and always have the answer for both your client and the landlord. You’ll know the ins and outs on which landlords are the best to work with, and those who may be problematic. You’ll also get the most out of each negotiation, and know which spaces are available.
How do you put this into practice? Make time to attend 1-2 networking events in your city each week. They don’t all have to be specifically related to commercial real estate, they can be from any industry. Get to know your restaurant or hospitality scene, the legal community, the banking community, the financial advisor community, and the CPA community. Grab a friend if you want, and meet and connect with folks outside of your social circle.
3. Become a keen project manager
It’s the broker’s job not only to find the client and negotiate a great deal, but to coordinate the architect, contractor, furniture vendor, phone & data broker, IT resource, banker/ financing, attorney, and anyone else involved in the transaction. Being able to keep everyone on track and driving towards the same goal is no easy feat.
How do you put this into practice? Picture yourself as the quarterback (of the entire process) and you have the ball in your hands to throw to a teammate (project manage the entire process.) Dedicate your time to one play (task) at a time, and give it your full attention. Set deadlines and expectations with your teammates early on, and you’ll be on your way to victor.
4. Practice full transparency with the client
The old school role of the real estate agent was to act as the “gatekeeper” for any and all information, and keep the client in the dark. Today, with access to the Internet, the average buyer or seller of real estate is able to view practically all of the information which used to be the exclusive domain of the real estate agent. Use this to your advantage and get in the mindset of collaboration.
How do you put this into practice? Don’t hide anything from your client. If they have questions, address them head-on. Always create an open, welcoming environment and share information freely. The more your clients know about real estate the better you look.
5. Build a solid team
It’s bold yet foolish to think you can do anything alone. Being successful often requires the help of others.
How do you put this into practice? Recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Maybe you’re fantastic and making connections with hundreds of people a week, but your organizational skills would make anyone cringe. Hire someone who can help. Maybe it just means bringing on an excited intern to help with some of your filing and emails. Whatever it is, do it.
It’s a rare profession that requires these five skill sets to succeed. If you see areas where you can improve, work them into your daily practice slowly. Pick one or two of these traits to work on each month, and hopefully, you’ll see improvements in your business.