It isn’t easy being a commercial real estate broker. In fact, statistics show that around half of all commercial real estate brokers will leave the field in the first three years.
While the nature of the job is rough, it’s no secret some brokers are making common mistakes that lead to their downfall—common mistakes that, if recognized, could be easily avoided.
From wasting time and resources to not relying on their network enough, below is a round-up of the top mistakes we see commercial real estate brokers make. And, of course, how to fix them.
Productivity Mistakes CRE Brokers Make
There’s no denying that CRE brokers have busy schedules. But avoiding these top productivity mistakes can help set brokers up for success…
Failure to Maximize Their Time
Between running to client meetings, vetting new deals, drafting contracts and connecting with prospects, a broker’s time is stretched thin.
But that’s no excuse for letting time management slip off the radar. In any job, commercial real estate-related or not, maximizing time and staying organized is necessary for success. Unfortunately, we see CRE brokers wasting time, resources and energy that, if re-routed, could completely change their trajectory.
Don’t know where to start? Mobile productivity apps, software and tools now exist to help keep brokers on track. Some of our favorites include Todoist, Trello and Slack, but for the full list, read our round-up of top 10 productivity apps.
Thinking strategically about your workflow and the actions you’re taking can also add more time back in your day.
For example, is it worth more to spend an entire day cold calling prospects you’ve never met? Or, can you leverage your network for business referrals? While there is a time and place for cold calling, oftentimes referrals lead to more lucrative opportunities.
Similarly, if you’re working with a team, is it worth it for you to handle everything? Or can you delegate tasks accordingly, splitting up the work to get things done faster?
Time is of the essence. Being strategic in planning and leaning on productivity apps can help CRE brokers avoid major time management mistakes.
Failure to Use the Right CRE Software
It’s 2019, which means if you’re not using competitive property intelligence to maximize your prospecting strategy, you’re doing it wrong.
Now, powerful CRE software exists to elevate your prospecting methods. Gone are the days of flipping through the Rolladex to find prospects, knocking on doors looking for business and scrambling to find ownership records. Tools like Reonomy, the market’s leading provider of property intelligence, allow you to maximize your time by completely transforming your deal-sourcing strategy from start to finish.
How? Reonomy harnesses the nation’s leading commercial real estate database of more than 50 million off market properties. Using search filters based on criteria like property type, mortgage maturity date, size, location, and more, you can narrow down the nation’s stock to find the exact type of property you’re interested in.
So, once you find the property you want to explore, you can dive deep into granular building details, including sales records, portfolio history, ownership information.
Simply put, Reonomy gives you direct access to millions of real estate professionals. Talk about a proactive prospecting strategy, eh?
Even better, Reonomy provides you with a systematic approach to sourcing and managing real estate leads for sellers and listings. You have the potential prospects and opportunities clearly mapped out for you.
Using Reonomy takes the hassle out of having to manually source prospects and find reliable contact information for property owners. Using Reonomy allows you to maximize your productivity, spending the time and energy on what matters most—winning more business.
Networking Mistakes CRE Brokers Make
Commercial real estate brokerage is driven by connection and networking. When this is jeopardized, so is the potential success of a broker’s career…
Failure to Manage Real Estate Prospecting and Client Relationships
Brokers know that the key to a new, lucrative deal is by sparking connections with potential clients and building warm relationships.
However, we often see brokers putting networking on the back-burner, when in reality, it should be a top priority. While less seasoned brokers are sporadic in how they get to know new clients, a successful broker takes a systematic, organized approach to managing their real estate prospects and client relationships.
Why is this so important? Failing to methodically manage your real estate leads and prospects is a fast track route losing out on deals. If you don’t keep your relationships warm, you run the risk of losing out on business.
Luckily, client relationship management (CRM) tools can help take stress out of these important business fundamentals by automating and streamlining lead generation and CRM processes.
CRM tools, such as Salesforce allow you to organize and manage all of your leads and clients in one, single database. Such tools can be used to help you easily find client information, automate your cold calling process, and analyze your business metrics.
Overall, this technology can ensure you’re keeping a pulse on your clients and prospects, rather than letting relationships with them go cold. So, when an opportunity arises, you’re top-of-mind for them to connect with.
Failure to See Beyond the Competition
Yes, CRE brokerage is a cutthroat business. But that’s only one part of the game—investing in supportive business relationships with other brokers is important to help you succeed in the world of CRE brokerage.
Frequently, we see brokers make the mistake of trying to go it alone by perceiving other brokers solely as competition, rather than as sources of guidance and expertise.
The reality is, relationships with other successful brokers will always be beneficial, providing you with the support to keep building your business while offering advice and guidance on how they grow their own.
How should you connect with other brokers? You can build strong relationships with fellow brokers or find potential mentors by attending local networking events, looking into mentorship training, and reaching out to other brokers in your area.
Rather than perceiving other commercial real estate brokers as a threat to your business, see what you can learn from how they do business: What are they excelling at? How did they get to where they are today? What challenges did they overcome, and how did they mitigate those issues?
Each broker may have something new to teach you about how to generate real estate leads, how to boost your marketing efforts, or how to build up a strong commercial real estate network to source future deals. Don’t be afraid of the competition. In fact, lean in.
Prospecting Mistakes CRE Brokers Make
Aside from not using the proper tools to win new business, here are the top prospecting mistakes modern CRE brokers make and how to avoid them…
Failure to Pierce the LLC
Piercing the LLC is a universal struggle that spans the entire world of commercial real estate, not just brokerage.
LLCs are put in place for a reason—if owners didn’t want to be found or protected, then they wouldn’t lean on the corporate structure in the first place. This is bad news for CRE professionals, and it’s often the downfall of new brokers who don’t know how to get behind elusive owning entities.
Want to avoid this pesky pitfall? Software like Reonomy can help.
Reonomy’s powerful technology is no match for LLCs. Say you find an office building in Stamford, CT you want to pursue, but the office building is owned by an LLC. With Reonomy, it doesn’t matter. You can simply click “Unlock TrueOwner” which will automatically pierce the LLC to retrieve accurate owning information.
Then, not only can you access the owner’s name and contact information, you can see anyone else who is associated with the LLC to maximize your chances of getting in contact.
Nowadays, getting stuck at the LLC is no excuse for not getting in contact with property owners. CRE brokers can avoid this common mistake by simply investing in the right tools and technology.
Failure to Market Their Business
Like any successful company in any industry, marketing is a key component of finding new deals and winning new business.
CRE brokers need to maximize their exposure. They need to get their name out there so, when the time is right, prospects and clients know who to call when they’re listing or buying property.
Unfortunately, many CRE brokers don’t make marketing a top priority. Between all of the other tasks they need to complete, marketing their business and making a name for themselves somehow falls by the wayside.
However, as with the other aforementioned common mistakes, this can easily be avoided with the help from the right tools. Having the right resources to 1) find leads and 2) easily market to them are necessary to succeed in today’s competitive landscape.
For example, Reonomy makes it easy to build leads lists that fuel strong marketing strategies.
When you’ve found the properties you’re interested in and have unlocked the relevant contact information you need, you can tag the assets to export into a custom report. Then, you can export the report into a CSV file of relevant property information—including accurate and up-to-date email addresses, phone numbers and mailing addresses.
From there, you can import these CSV files into your CRM or other marketing tools. If you want to focus on cold calling, you may upload these reports into Salesforce which can streamline the cold calling outreach process.
Or, maybe you want to try the faithful direct mail marketing approach. Services like MailJoy and Vistaprint make it easy to send custom mail collateral to directly to leads—all you have to do is upload your leads lists of addresses and hit send.
Regardless of the marketing route you take, promoting your brokerage business and services should be something you’re actively doing.
Avoid These Common Mistakes
Falling into these common pitfalls prohibits many great commercial real estate brokers from excelling in their field. By ensuring you make the use of your time with productivity apps and CRE software, keep your business relationships warm, and elevate your prospecting tactics, you’ll help ensure you always have an edge on your competition.