“Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it.” — Harper Lee
Good advice has the power to change your life.
Whether consciously or not, we’ve all been shaped by the advice of others at some point. Maybe you listened to a coach who took a special interest in your upbringing, or maybe it’s the words of a parent you still find rattling around your head as you navigate difficult career or personal decisions.
Before you know it, you find yourself passing these wise words onto others.
We talked to six brokers who shared the career advice that has meant the most to them.
Brandon Geraldo, Senior Vice President at Colliers International
“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.”
Oliver Hunt, Commercial Real Estate Broker at SquareFoot
“The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten is to never assume people you’re trying to contact are ignoring you on purpose. Just assume they're really busy. When you’re working in a sales role, it’s easy to get frustrated and cynical, but that type of attitude won’t get you anywhere.
Chances are, that lead or client probably has a lot on their plate and responding simply isn't a priority at that moment. If you maintain the positive mentality that they're going to respond to one of your emails or voicemails sooner or later, your attitude will be received better and you will end up being way more successful in the end.”
Jon Jenkins, Commercial Real Estate Broker at EcoSpace
"The best advice I’ve ever gotten came from my mentor, Rick Irwin. It might be considered harsh but it’s the truth: you don’t know anything. Stop acting like you know the answers, and start asking questions. As soon as you assume you have the answer, you become lazy, miss things, and stop learning. Success is a never ending process of seeking out wisdom and knowledge in order to continue to advance. Always assume the other person has something to teach you. Be humble and teachable and others will want to share insights. Be arrogant and watch others be repelled from what you say."
Solveig Tschudi Lawrence, Managing Director at Howard Ecker + Company
“Make sure you take the time to write the handwritten thank you’s, always remember birthdays and children’s names and check in with your clients, face-to-face, on a regular basis. We are all human beings at the end of the day, and taking the extra time to remember that goes a long way.”
Andrew Benioff, Founder and Managing Partner at Llenrock Group
“When I was in business school and looking for an internship, I was calling people constantly and asking for jobs. When they said no, I would ask if they knew someone else I should call. One of these people was kind enough to give me 3-4 contacts, which eventually led to a job. He did all this after only connecting with me over the phone. When I expressed to him how appreciative I was and asked if I could do anything to help him, he said, ‘No but I have a feeling you’ll be successful one day and when you are, I want you to remember this conversation and help someone else. That would make me feel really good.’ Now, I always make the time to help others because I got help when I was just starting out and want to pay it forward.”
Will Carroll, Tenant Representation Office Leasing at Cushman & Wakefield
“The best advice I ever received in commercial real estate is to be persistent but polite, and keep calling until they accept the meeting or call back and say &^%$ off! ;)
It helped me learn to always put my best foot forward and never assume I know an answer until I hear it direct from the prospect.”