The time for New Year’s resolutions is behind us, but as the year ramps up in earnest, maybe you could still use a little inspiration or wisdom from brokers who’ve been there.
Here are a few of our favorite quotes from commercial real estate brokers we’ve talked to over the years. From tips for brokers still breaking into the business to perspectives on technology and secrets to success, we hope you find something valuable to take away.
If you’re just getting into the business...
1. “My number one tip is: put yourself out there. Get involved in one association that really speaks to you (for example, CREW, NAIOP, UDI, etc.) and participate in industry events. You need to be in front of as many people as you can quickly so that you can establish and maintain an important network. Network with other brokers, with landlords, with lawyers, with lenders; your network will follow you through thick and thin.
- Jenny-Kate Sgarbi, broker at Cushman & Wakefield and board member at the Urban Development Institute of Quebec
2. “Seize every opportunity to build relationships and to learn more about the industry. Don’t look at any task or deal as too small. Some of my most lucrative relationships have blossomed from referrals out of a ‘small’ deal, and some of my biggest commissions were from properties for which the photos may not have been big hits on social media...Show a positive attitude with everything you do, and your clients will keep calling and will refer you to others."
- Andrea Miller, Managing Broker at Miller Chicago
3. “When I was transitioning from the hotel industry to CRE, I was given the advice that if I wanted to change careers successfully, I needed to be networking constantly—and not just a call and that’s it. It was about continuous relationship cultivation. This person told me to ask every person I met with for 2-3 other introductions. He said that if I kept this up, I would have unlimited new business potential. And he was right. All of the deals I’ve done in the past nine years have come to me through my network. Your network is like a plant, you have to water it constantly for it to grow and bear fruit.”
- Andrew Benioff, Founder of Llenrock Group and PREC
On the importance of commercial real estate technology…
4. “If I had to say one thing to a broker who hasn’t yet made the investment in any commercial real estate CRM, it would be this: You need to take a hard look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Am I really committed to making CRE my career and my business?” If the answer is yes, then you need to be using a CRM. All of these conversations you’re having, all the business you’re doing, all the knowledge you’re gaining needs to be put into a source of reference for you to build on and accumulate in a logical, structured way, so you can add team members and start building a legitimate business rather than just having a hobby.”
- Matt Laborde, President & CEO, Elifin Realty
5. “I wish I could tell you I never missed a follow-up when I was just using Excel and Outlook, but the truth is details will slip through the cracks if you’re not using a CRM. On top of that, thoughts can get lost in translation over time. Down the road I may not understand the context of a follow-up and it can be really time consuming to look through all of my notes again. Apto helps me save the context of a task, so in the future, the most pertinent information is right there. It saves me time, which is so crucial in our business.”
- Gabriel Manzanares, Associate, Marcus & Millichap
On the secrets to success...
6. “One of my mentors told me that if you’re not going to be an aggressive broker, you have to know more than the aggressive broker to be successful. This has driven me to know my market better than my competitors and to be a great resource for clients.”
- Brandon Geraldo, Senior Vice President at Colliers International
7. “Lately we’ve done several deals with motivated sellers. Whether they inherited the property or are simply looking to redeploy capital, these people just want to unload their asset and we are happy to give them liquidity. But you’re not likely to find these owners if you aren’t relentless, and while we make lots of offers, we are always ready to move on. If you don’t get your price just move on to the next one. Don’t get married to a deal. The fastest way to ruin your entire business is to do a bad deal.”
- Anthony Grosso, Managing Principal and Founder of First National Realty Partners