Lesson for Young Brokers: Be A Little Lazy

Last week, I wrote a blog entry that discussed two brokers: one who worked hard and one who didn’t. Well, this week, I am here to tell you it’s ok to be a little lazy, with a caveat. Let me explain.

I took the picture above in my office a few weeks ago. If you really look at it, you will see the wire is plugged into the outlet using an adapter, even though there’s a receptacle that doesn’t require an adapter. In my opinion, it was one way to get the job done, but there was certainly an easier way.

When GPS navigation first burst on the scene, everyone used MapQuest. However, MapQuest would give you a certain way to get where you wanted to go, but it wasn’t always the most direct or the fastest. It was “a way to go”, but not necessarily “the way to go.” Point being, there’s typically several ways to get where you want to go.

Brokerage is no different. I am not sure there are two brokers who conduct their business exactly the same way. So if there are many ways to the results you want, why not find an easy way?

After all, this is a results based business!

If I knew the easiest way, would I share it with you? I probably would because that’s who I am. However, my way of doing things might not be the easiest for you. It’s my way and it works for me. I try to work towards my strengths, work hard but smart, and work in a team environment with people who I like and trust. Again, this works for me.

As a young broker, you have a few advantages. First, if you are lucky, you work in an office with several successful brokers from whom you can learn. The RFP form that I use is one that I have modified and improved over the years, but the original came from Doug Petrozzini when we worked together at Grubb & Ellis in 1999. He gave it to me when we worked on a small deal together and it didn’t make sense for me to recreate the wheel. There are countless other examples I can mention.

Also, you are likely more comfortable with technology than some of your peers, specifically the older brokers in the office. Can you use some of the tools being introduced to do certain tasks quicker and with less effort? I think so. You might become the teacher for some of the senior guys in the office, creating a great win-win partnership.

This business is hard enough. As a young broker, you are expected to get meetings, show space, execute deals, network, and many other tasks. If you can find an easy way to accomplish a few of the tasks in any given day, why wouldn’t you? Remember, for any given task, there may be several ways to get the results you are looking for. The way that’s easiest for me might not be easiest for you. Find your way, make sure it works for you, and make sure get results!

Bill Gates said it best, and some would argue that I am a great example of the accuracy of this quote:

“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”