Closing Deals is just the Tip of the Iceberg
Focus on the Work, Not the Recognition
It’s hard work to make it to the top in CRE brokerage, regardless of your market. Brokers everywhere idolize (and/or envy) those who are the de facto top producers in their markets - the brokers who build large teams, who clients routinely call for advice and who seem to succeed effortlessly, not relying on any other brokers for their deal flow. It’s easy to read the press clippings in business and real estate journals and be impressed by their constant recognition for career-defining deals, yet behind every top producer is an extremely well-oiled machine. Closed deals are the tiny, tiny ice caps that surface above the water, but the actual iceberg beneath the surface is much, much larger than what meets the eye and is where the real value is.
Above the iceberg:
Closing deals and being recognized for notable production
It's nice to be recognized, praised and make the type of money that most people can only dream of, but exceptional deal makers focus on the work.
Below the iceberg:
Rich market knowledge
Exceptional deal makers know their specialization better than everybody else. Do you consider yourself an office broker? Do you know every tenant, every owner, every lease expiration, every building, every comp, etc.?
Years of transaction experience
While no deal is ever alike, exceptional brokers are rarely surprised. Their experience qualifies them to take on (and identify) the types of transactions that would be too much for most brokers.
The best of the best invest all of their time and energy into the few habits that yield the highest ROI when performed consistently. They excel at the activities most find uncomfortable. In other words, they "keep the main thing the main thing" and don't get distracted.
Outbound Sales Efforts
Top performers want more business and they don't wait around for it.
Strategic Investment in Marketing and PR
Elite brokers fear being "out of sight, out of mind." They invest their time, energy and capital into being top of mind.
Rich Relationship Skills
The very best brokers make every client feel like they're their only client. They are skilled at carefully managing relationships.
Rich Sales Skills
Exceptional brokers know how to diffuse conflict as well as how to push prospects/clients when they need to be pushed and how to pull prospects/clients when they need to be pulled. They understand the art of persuasion and the art of closing.
Appreciation for Optics
The best of the best dress the part and understand that perception is reality. They obsess over details.
Financial & Capital Markets Savviness
Commercial real estate is heavily impacted by the capital markets. The best brokers are close with capital markets professionals to understand where markets are heading so they can speak intelligently about market conditions.
Construction & Legal Familiarity
Top performers are not just deal-junkies. They're knowledgable about how construction, design and legal considerations impact commercial transactions. While they're not the foremost experts on these matters, they're respected by construction managers, architects and attorneys for their broad understanding of these topics.
Market Presence (Speaking Engagements & Panels)
Elite brokers focus on deal making, business development and customer service, but they understand the power of a brand, and they invest their time and resources into ensuring their brand is both known and understood.
The very best brokers know how to attract talent and how to motivate and manage people. This is particularly hard in commercial real estate where the commission-only nature of the business allows for fewer levers to pull to instill loyalty. Even still, the greatest brokers command loyalty and are capable of leading others to multiply the size of the pie.