Professional development in CRE: 3 tips for the time-strapped broker

broker-business-newspaper-320x211.jpgWe don’t need to tell you twice — the world of commercial real estate is competitive. There are thousands of brokers out there just like you, with similar experience and credentials. So how do you edge out the competition and ensure you are remembered?

For one, you improve your skillset through professional development.

Right now, you might be thinking: “Yeah right, I’ve got enough on my plate at work as it is.” But the good news is, you don’t need to carve out a ton of time to boost your professional skillset, and the even better news is, you don’t need to shell out much cash either.

We’re rounding up some of the best and easiest ways to become a better broker in your free time.

1. Read the newspaper.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but in the age of social media, our attention span has gotten shorter and shorter, and most of us rely on 10 second news bites and tweets over long form journalism to stay informed.

But many of your clients are likely of the Warren Buffett generation and mindset, and do not appreciate this pattern. That’s why it’s important to meet them on their level, informed and knowledgeable on the current events affecting commercial real estate.

Choose your news outlets — the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Crain’s — and make their consumption a regular part of your day. You’ll find that you have more confidence approaching client calls and meetings because you have a better understanding of today’s current events and the impact they are having on your clients’ businesses.

2. Master the art of emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is one of the hottest buzzwords around, but while many will toss it around, few know the actual meaning, let alone practice the concept in their daily life. Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize your and others’ emotions, influence the energy in a room, and build meaningful relationships.

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And in the world of commercial real estate, emotional intelligence is what separates the studs from the duds.

You can begin to practice the skill by entering every social situation, whether at home or the office, with an intention to listen, rather than talk; give rather than take; get curious rather than defensive. Then monitor how people react. Chances are, you’ll notice people are more giving, more trusting and more likely to want to get to know you.

3. Upgrade your tech

If you groan at the very idea of adding something else to your to-do list, then it might be necessary to invest in technology solutions that help you manage time and make more of it.

Technology solutions such as CRMs, or customer relationship management platforms, can help you close deals faster, gain better insights into business metrics and streamline your processes. These tools allow you to automate repeatable tasks so that your mind is freed up for more strategic thinking (among many other things).

Although this might be hard to admit, your brain can only retain so much information. If you’re relying solely on your mind to complete tasks, follow up with clients at the right times and track trends and patterns, you’re probably not reaching your full potential. Consider investing in a tool to track these actions for you.

A Practical Guide to CRM for Commercial Real Estate
Topics: Best Practices