Looking to hire new brokers to your team? There are plenty of salespeople out there, but it can be difficult to find the right fit for commercial real estate, a competitive industry with long deal timelines and complex transactions.
To find a team member with the requisite skills and mindset, consider recruiting former professional athletes. A broker whose personality and skills were honed through the brutal testing ground of professional athletics can be an ideal partner.
Top-performing athletes have a set of specific traits developed over the years that translate well in the arena of commercial real estate. To succeed at the highest levels of competitive sports, it requires a competitive spirit, results-oriented focus, persistence, and the ability to work as an integrated member of a team. The client looking to buy, sell, or lease property maximizes their chance of success by having a former elite athlete on their side.
Real estate is competitive. Athletes thrive in competition.
Evaluating the market, negotiating favorable terms...this is the reality of a competitive industry like commercial real estate. While some individuals may retreat when the competition becomes too stressful, the former pro athlete is a personality that thrives when the heat is turned up, and has mastered the ability to remain composed under pressure. Best of all, your client is better served by having a competitive, mentally tough broker on their side.
Athletes are result-oriented.
Games are measured by wins and losses; the final outcome of a competitive event is black and white. Athletes are accustomed to setting goals and reaching them, and the expectations of performance are clear. This same principle translates to the way former pro athletes view their CRE business—in terms of wins and losses. Elite athletes constantly discern what works or what doesn’t, and if they aren’t winning, they recalibrate until they ultimately reach their desired outcome (again, with great benefit to their teammates and clients).
Athletes know persistence pays off.
“Never give up” is a universal sports mantra echoed in locker rooms, barked by coaches, and generally woven into an athlete’s psyche. Persistence means being purposely consistent in your day to day work, especially through challenges or opposition. Achieving greatness at anything—including pursuit of a successful deal—requires persistence.
Michael Jordan was cut from his varsity basketball team as a sophomore and Tom Brady was third string quarterback in college. Legends like these learned the lesson of persistence early and credit these setbacks as motivation to continue training. Development of a persistent attitude keeps the athlete—and athlete turned broker—motivated for days, weeks, or months when it would be much easier to surrender. Pro athletes are not deterred by loss, rejection, or having the cards stacked against them... it’s in their nature to consistently put in work until they achieve what they set their mind to.
Athletes are, of course, team players.Agents, brokers, sellers, buyers, escrow officers, attorneys, loan producers, and appraisers are all integral parts of real estate transactions. In other words, there are many moving parts and many players that must work together to get the deal done. It’s not uncommon in CRE for otherwise promising deals to fall through due to unreasonable expectations, poor communication, inflexibility, personality clashes, or other conflict.
Elite athletes have spent years playing alongside teammates and have learned how to work harmoniously with different personalities. They understand the necessity of cooperation and communication among all players. This knack for teamwork is another reason why athletes turned brokers are all the more likely to deliver successful outcomes for all parties involved.
It’s no wonder that athletes like Magic Johnson, Oscar De La Hoya, and Emmitt Smith have succeeded in the “game” of real estate. So whether it is finding that perfect property, negotiating the best deal, or managing a team through a transaction, these scenarios are all a textbook fit for the competitive, results-oriented, persistent, and teamwork-based prior pro athlete. Now, when it’s time to make your next play, add a former all-star athlete to your CRE roster and knock that deal out of the park.
Viktor Simco is a former professional athlete turned commercial real estate agent at Commercial Brokers International in Los Angeles, California.