Last week, Duke Long wrote a piece called, 10 Reasons Why You Will NEVER Become A Commercial Real Estate Broker. Duke’s list seemed to be genuine, but I prefer the other side of the coin. So here’s my list of ways some members of the next generation of brokers will succeed.
1. You can write a complete sentence and use punctuation. Many of your peers can’t or won’t, but I’ve never heard of anyone being penalized for using proper grammar. However, there are still decision makers who will frown upon their service provider’s lack of professionalism if they don’t.
2. You question the norm. Business as usual simply doesn’t work for you, which will not only help move our industry forward, but also provide clients with something they weren’t getting before.
3. You have a skill that senior brokers don’t. When I started as a young broker in 1998, I had basic computer skills that many in the industry simply didn’t. Not rocket science, but simply Excel and PowerPoint. It provided me with a differentiating feature, as well as job security. What skills will be in demand in 2016? 2020?
4. You can relate to the young entrepreneur. You might not have the deal resume of a senior broker, but there are more young companies with young decision makers, and you can speak their language. That said, bring a senior broker with you to help with the deal because if you don’t do a good job, you may not be invited back.
5. You thrive on a team.As I wrote a few weeks ago, higher education stresses learning in team environments. You will find the right team, add value, and ascend quickly.
6. You love the business. I only know a few people who actually love buildings, but loving the frantic and sometimes manic nature of being a broker is something you can’t fake. There are good days and there are other days, but after a few years, you can’t picture yourself doing anything else.
7. You are a chameleon. Great brokers are able to not only work a room, but work any room. You will figure out quickly how to relate to those much older than you, as well as your peers and everyone in between.
8. Technology is your friend. You will figure out how to use the tools available to work smart, in addition to working hard.
9. You are committed. Working long hours to learn your market, research target clients, and network isn’t a problem. When I started, my partner told me that if I couldn’t figure out how to do everything he needed me to do and bring in my own business, I should work more hours. So I did.
10. You take your craft seriously. I think this might be the most important. I was with one of the premier brokers in New Jersey a few weeks ago and he commented on the mediocrity in our industry. Further, doing a poor job on a deal isn’t punished and many times, the client doesn’t even know. However, as our clients get more sophisticated, we will have to raise the level of service. You will take your job seriously and provide great service.
So while Duke might be convinced that you can’t make it, I am. The old boys club that he mentioned in his piece won’t be around forever and someone will need to replace them. Do you have what it takes?