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So many settle for mediocrity. I have done it myself. I despise that place. You can see others around you excelling at what they do – what you could do. You may find yourself asking, “Is it even possible for me to have that kind of success?” Good question.
I started playing the guitar when I was 14 years old. I was looking for something that I could be good at. I had already realized it wasn’t going to be sports. I took a few months of lessons and then kept playing. By the time I got to college, I was OK at best.
Then Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds played a show at my college. They were incredible. Two guys with their acoustic guitars on stage playing. No band. Just them.
I heard a great story this week that has had my wheels turning ever since. I’m going to share it with you in a minute.
But first, I want you to consider how you talk to yourself – in your head. I think I’ve heard someone call this self-talk.
Photo by David Meier
The way I talk to myself holds me back all the time. My first couple of years in commercial real estate, it held me way back. I would talk myself out of making a call. I would decide for a prospect that they weren’t interested…before I made the call.
This self-talk makes a difference. What does the talk in your head sound like? Consider this story.
A rich oil sheik decided he wanted to learn how to play golf. So he built one of the world’s best golf courses. It was perfect – gorgeous.
The sheik then invited a US club pro to spend two weeks with him on his new golf course giving him lessons. The pro accepted the invitation.
So the Sheik sent his private jet to collect the pro and bring him to the Middle East. Once there, the pro spent two weeks in complete opulence. Everything that he could have wanted was available to him.
The pro loved the course and very much enjoyed teaching the Sheik.
After 2 weeks, the pro was boarding the private jet to go back to America. The Sheik, being very pleased with his two weeks of lessons, offered the pro anything.
The pro responded and told the Sheik that this had been the best 2 weeks of his life. His hospitality and generosity were payment enough.
The Sheik insisted, asking the pro if he collected anything.
If you are reading this blog, it is likely that you want more. You want to improve your productivity, your prospecting, your presence, your something. Nobody gets up every morning with the goal of being mediocre. Ultimately, you want to dominate your market. But the truth is, you can’t.
My kids are in the driveway right now playing basketball with the neighbor kids. When I was their age, the Bad Boys version of the Detroit Pistons were winning championships. I remember playing in the driveway and pretending I was Isaiah Thomas and Joe Dumars.
I wanted to dominate a basketball game the way they did. But I topped out at 5’7” with less than average athletic ability and a suspect jump shot. I was never going to dominate a basketball game.
And you are never going to dominate your market because of these 7 reasons.
I remember the first day I started in commercial real estate. I got out of the Marine Corps the day before. All of the sudden, I’m wearing civilian clothes and standing in a blank office. There was a phone and a laptop on my desk and little else. If I’m being honest, I didn’t have a clue what to do.
I spent the next two years trying to figure it out. I shadowed my dad constantly. I noticed how he handled situations – what he said to clients and prospects. I was soaking it all in. I battled the nagging thought in my mind that said, “Why would anyone want to work with you when they could work with your dad.”
I lacked confidence. I lacked a framework. I lacked understanding about what were the most important things. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
Commercial real estate is not easy. Most new to the business (N2B) brokers don’t make it past their first year. I was fortunate that I had a dad who wouldn’t let me fail. Everyone doesn’t have that. This is why Rod Santomassimo, founder and president of the Massimo Group, and I are hosting a free webinar later this week on How to Thrive as a New to the Business Broker.
We believe any N2B broker can thrive if they focus on 4 critical needs.
4 Needs of Every N2B Broker
Pipeline – A broker’s pipeline is the bloodline for his/her business. In fact, a 10-year study showed that the amount of time between a broker’s first and second deal accurately predicted the long-term success of their career. A N2B broker needs deal flow in a full and vibrant pipeline.
Prospecting – Prospecting is how you fill up your pipeline. I spoke with a N2B broker last week who said his shop gave him a phone and a book of property owners. His directive was to start calling. Is that the best way to prospect? How do you learn and apply the best prospecting practices of top-producing brokers?
Production – Prospecting is one thing, but what do you do when you start to win some business? How do you get that exclusive to the finish line so you can actually get paid? In many industries, you gain a client when the prospect buys something. There is an added step in real estate. You have to find the business, then win the business, and then fulfill the business. Then you get paid.
Planning – How should a N2B broker spend his/her time? Should it be on research? 20 hours a week prospecting? Networking? Oh that someone would have given me a blueprint at the start of my career that could have accelerated my success.
My dad started developing self-storage units somewhere around 1980. The name of this company is AAA Rent-A-Space. About the same time, my mom had one of four or five Century21 franchises in our town. The name was Century21 A Barron Company. Both of these companies were named so they would be listed first in the yellow pages. How do you think the yellow pages business is doing right now?
One of the comments I hear most often as I engage with experienced brokers across the country is this. “These kids are coming out of nowhere and taking my market share.” They are lamenting that the presence that took them a decade or more to develop is being eroded by younger, new to the business brokers who are creating dominating digital presence.
Presence is being known – being top-of-mind. You know you have it when the most influential and connected people in your market are sending business your way. You know you have it when people are glad you called and don’t need to ask who you are.
It is no secret that commercial real estate is behind the curve when it comes to digital presence adoption. We have an industry that is dominated by white men who aren’t in their 20’s or 30’s anymore. That is just a demographic fact (though I see this changing.)
There is a reason why younger brokers are having this kind of success. What used to take a decade or more to build, can now be accomplished in a year or two. But this is not just a younger person’s game. The landscape has changed. Anyone can take advantage of this powerful aspect of building your business.
In fact, everyone in a sales or service profession should create a digital presence. Here’s why.
Last week I received an email from one of my coaching clients. He asked a question that we receive on a regular basis. He asked when is the best day and time of day to call.
The answer is there is nothing that says a certain day at a certain time is the best time to call. To be sure, you can google this topic and find information that will tell you many different answers. But the truth is, there isn’t a magic bullet.
There is, however, optimal times for you to call your database of prospects. You simply have to figure out when those times are.
Before I get into how that is done, I want to address a fallacy. Many who are in sales try to time their prospecting like someone would try to time the stock market. This is a bad idea. Your results will always be better – over time – if you consistently prospect on a daily basis. You just need to keep doing it.
Icoach new to the business (N2B) commercial real estate brokers with the Massimo Group. In my web-call with my newest group today, I was asked the question that I get asked most often. How do I find the numbers for the prospects I need to be calling? That is a key question, is it not?
For those of you who have never seen one of these – it is a Rolodex. Ask your boss about it.
Do you remember the second half of 2008 – when the economy completely tanked? You may recall how the sky was falling. Everything changed. Many in the CRE industry didn’t make it.
For the number of years before that time, a monkey could have made six figures. Transactional velocity was everywhere. Cap rates were compressing. Capital was cheap and readily available. Deals would just walk in your door. But when the market turned, top producers kept succeeding while others fell away. How did they do it?
My family and I started going to church when I was 10. That year, 1987 or ’88, I was in my first youth musical. It was called Fat Fat Jehoshaphat. I still go to that church. In fact, I met my wife in that youth choir.
Many of you may not know this about me, but I am a Sunday School teacher. It may be the most fun and rewarding thing I get to do every week. I’m going to share with you my favorite closing technique, and it is straight from the Old Testament.
Now I understand some of you aren’t the bible-believing type. That is fine. I challenge you to hang with me for the next couple minutes. I promise you there is something for you in this post.
How to Thrive as a New to the Business (N2B) CRE Webinar
CRE brokerage does not come with a playbook or a manual. It is super easy to get into CRE, but very difficult to survive – let alone thrive. In this webinar, we discuss:
How the N2B broker should spend their time to rapidly ramp up their career
How to implement a targeted prospecting system to generate consistent deal flow
How to track your metrics and analyze your pipeline