Your customer list in commercial real estate brokerage is valuable in so many different ways. Without a good list, you are in serious career trouble. To prove the point, here is a story from the property market worth sharing.
An Agent Story
Recently I took a telephone call whilst driving to an appointment (hands-free conversation), and I had time to chat. It was a call from an agent I know (let’s call him Max – not his real name).
He was telling me that he was finally considering moving to a new brokerage and he wanted my opinion about that. After well over 15 years in the industry he had decided that things were not too good now for him in listings and commissions. The business was a real struggle. He blamed his employer for not sharing enough commissions with him.
So here are the facts as I see them. I know that Max has always been ‘bouncing along’ at the bottom or average levels of his local property industry (a good sized regional town with plenty of new business possibilities) attracting only a few listings and lots of smaller deals. Commissions were at best very ordinary. He was his own worst enemy in the business. He could not convert listings ‘exclusively’.
Max has always failed to see the realities in his real estate business that others could easily see. He (to quote him) ‘stuck to his employer because he felt that his employer was sticking to him and supporting him all through’.
Max was being ‘loyal’ to his employer which he felt was important; in reality I know he was using his ‘loyalty’ as an excuse for his own lack of ability in implementing the correct business changes and actions.
The Reality and the Blame
I would not call Max a ‘top agent’ at all, however he should have been a lot better at what he was doing as he knew a few things about property and his town or region. I had known him for a long time, perhaps 10 plus years.
Each time I met with him over a coffee for a chat he always was coming up with an array of excuses about why he was not converting enough high quality large deals in his location. To him the next ‘big deal’ was only a matter of time and ‘just around the corner’; the poor property market was the bigger problem as he saw it, and not his personal efforts.
Max to me was the core problem for his lack of market share and poor commissions. He refused to see that fact and act on that awareness; so many others around him could see it and a few of us took the time to tell him about it. Over many years he had wasted so much time (and money) in the industry and failed to change at a personal level.
A Core Message
There is a message here worth remembering in commercial real estate brokerage. Optimism in our industry is a good thing (we need plenty of it), but don’t let that optimism cloud the realities of personal performance.
So let’s go back to the story about Max and the telephone conversation. Moving brokerage today seemed to him to be the best way forward to change his commission and listing performance problem. He was finally blaming someone (his employer this time!!) for his lack of new business and commissions.
The reality of course, was that Max was always the core business problem, and he continually failed to implement the required personal improvements to change his poor listing and commission conversions. Perhaps he should have moved out of the industry a long time ago!
So then I asked Max a simple question to be helpful. I said, ‘Max tell me, how is your client list?’ That is when the biggest problem was uncovered.
Max said, ‘It needs a fair bit of work, it is out of date and it’s quite small. I just haven’t had the time to work on it. It’s been too busy for me’.
After 15 years in the industry, Max had a client list that is redundant and of poor quality! What a terrible waste of time! No wonder he was not earning the commissions or attracting the listings.
I had to end the conversation at that point. Some people fail to see the ‘indicators’.
Don’t take too long to see what is happening around you and in your business. Don’t take too long to implement changes in your activities. Time is precious and you are the person to bring about self-improvement. Change is essential. Your commercial real estate business depends on your ability to improve yourself; don’t wait for others to tell you what’s wrong. Do it now.
You can get more tips and ideas about commercial real estate brokerage in our eCourse ‘Snaphshot’ right here.