July 1st, 2014
“Always do the very best you can to fulfill what you said you would do, help others simply because you can rather than because you believe it would indirectly benefit you, and do this for the next thirty years.” – Peter Linneman
What defines success in Commercial Real Estate? The answer might surprise you. Most people would probably define success by the size or number of deals a broker or company closes within a specific timeframe, others would say that it’s the dollar value, but the true measure of success doesn’t lie in numbers at all. What truly matters is the quality of the process. It’s simple: a broker that genuinely works their hardest to achieve the best possible outcome for a client is the most successful of all. There are plenty of big firms with big deals constantly rolling in and out of the doors, but how many firms exist that can really say they’re firmly focused on the QUALITY of those transactions? We like to think that Spectrum Commercial Properties is one of those firms.
But, what makes a quality Real Estate Transaction, and how do you make that the focus of your career?
Quality comes out of the deal in two ways: diligence and honesty. If a broker has done all that he or she can do for the client, and has been honest throughout the process, the deal struck (no matter the outcome) has been a successful, quality, transaction. How one goes about doing more quality deals is all centered in trust and relationships.
Real Estate is all about trust and relationships, so it goes without saying that the majority of your work should revolve around building and strengthening the skills that help you build trust and establish quality relationships, but how one hones that craft is a much more complicated issue. So, what are the ways in which you can be a better handler and developer of trust and relationships? The answer lies in one of the most misunderstood words in Business: Networking.
Networking is something so simple, and so intrinsically rooted in business (and especially Real Estate), but it is something that a majority of people miss the mark on. Networking is not about shaking hands and collecting business cards. It’s not about connecting people to you; it’s about connecting people through you. Networking is about finding ways to help people out through finding other people that have the ability to help. Whatever the situation, a broker with a good network is better off than a broker with a poor network. So how do you grow your network the right way? Here are a few places to start:
Expand your horizons. Real Estate deals rarely begin with of real estate professionals working with other real estate professionals. I know that sounds overly simplistic, but it’s a common fault in the business: we simply deal with our peers and co-workers far too much. Get out, learn about the members of your community that actually operate businesses, own property, and create opportunity. You’re rarely left worse off by expanding your knowledge-base about the community you serve.
Respond. No matter who it is, if you get a phone call, email, flyer, or anything. RESPOND. If they reach out to you, there’s always opportunity. Find fifteen minutes in your day to do that. It’s not that the relationship with that person would necessarily be beneficial, but the reward from leaving a good first impression can be incredibly helpful down the road. Besides, you might not benefit from the response, but you may know someone who could.
Connect. Seek out ways to connect people. Introducing people you like or respect to other people you like or respect in business tends to work out for the best. Always understand your role as a binding factor in relationships and capitalize on your position as the facilitator of things through your ability to connect people to each other.
Share information. If you come across something interesting, or something that you think a client (or a potential client) might find interesting, pass it along with your comments. You’d be surprised how periodic contact within your network improves your chances of being the one that gets the business.
Be honest. Seriously, being honest is sometimes the most difficult thing in the world to do in today’s business environment, but it might just be your most valuable asset.
Be social. This is a no-brainer, but it’s not just the ‘fun’ of the social calendars we keep that can be beneficial, it’s the opportunity to interact with others. The topics and substance of those meetings can help you grow your knowledge and increase your likelihood of doing deals. It’s amazing what three to five meetings a week and a couple of standing happy-hour network groups can do to grow your book of business.
As with any activity though, it’s not just the simple act of incorporating proper networking into your brand that matters, it’s the repetition and the mindfulness of actively attempting to connect people to one another. It’s being generous and finding ways to help people meet their needs in real estate through good relationships. It’s about following through on what your promise as a business professional. It’s about quality.
That’s a model for success.