Questions for Young Brokers

If you follow my posts, I tend to offer advice, mostly to young brokers. This post is a little different.

I have been following Gary Vaynerchuk on social media recently. Gary is a very successful entrepreneur and he offers business and life advice via social media and other online tools.  He’s all about working hard and “hustling”.

His posts remind me about the early parts of my career. When I joined my current team as a junior member in 2001, my partner, Joe Sarno, told me that if I couldn’t get everything the team needed me to do accomplished between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm AND bring in my own business, that I could (and should) simply work more hours.

I followed his advice and his lead.  We spent our days in the office, working hard, and many nights out networking and entertaining clients. Thanks to my father, Phil Neuer, I was also very involved in NACORE and later CoreNet on a local and national level. These organizations not only provided a great venue for networking, but as important, they offered me opportunities to learn about the industry and current trends.

So if you are a young broker, here are some questions I have for you:

  • Are you really committed or do you have a Plan B?  When we were deep in the recession in 2002, I sold baseball cards on eBay so I could make the minimum payments on my credit cards. I was known to repeat the mantra, “Failure is not an option” around the office and in team meetings. I had no Plan B.
  • Do you think canvassing is enough to get you where you want to go? If you do, you’re wrong.
  • Do you have an elevator speech? Do you know what an elevator speech is?
  • Are you seeking opportunities to learn by attending conferences and industry events? I guarantee you that some of your peers (aka the competition) are doing so.
  • Are you learning the ins and outs of a lease document? What about financial analysis?
  • Are you trying to figure out how clients are won and lost?
  • Do you ask detailed and in-depth questions about why certain deals get done and why others don’t?
  • Do you ask potential clients what is important to them about a service provider?
  • Do you know all of the different services your company provides other than brokerage?
  • Have you figured out how to differentiate yourself amongst the masses that are similarly spending their time canvassing?
  • Why should a busy executive or business owner meet with you?
  • What skills are you working on every day? Every week?
  • I know my company, CBRE, has a learning portal online. Are you taking advantage of the array or tools at your disposal to get better at your job?
  • Are you adding value to your team in a way that is unique?
  • Are you adding value to your clients?

The attrition rate for young brokers is approximately 90%.  Personally, I think the industry needs to change the model to increase the success rate, but that’s a story for another post.

If you want to be part of the 10% that makes it, what are you doing to make sure that happens? I truly believe that if you aren’t getting better, you’re getting worse.

What are you doing to get better today?

If you want me to tell you what I am doing, just shoot me a note. You might have to wait until I am in front of my laptop late at night for an answer, but I know that the day I stop trying to get better at my job is the same day the 10% who is committed will start to take my place, and my clients.