The following blog post is from HBS Resources President and Massimo Group coach, Blaine Strickland. I am thrilled to share that Blaine has just launched his first book, Thrive: Ten Prescriptions for Exceptional Performance as a Commercial Real Estate Agent.

In today’s post, Blaine discusses a simple, yet powerful CRE Marketing tool!

Ever wonder what goes on in that trailer at the back of the development site?

Typically, the trailer is the site for vendor meetings, a safe haven from the weather, a real toilet, and the place where the master set of architectural drawings is stored. But there is an even more important use of the trailer – it is where the project manager constantly pores over the project schedule.

Next time you stop in to the trailer, look for that guy near the back hunched over a giant Gantt chart. If you linger long enough, you’ll hear him on the phone. “Terry, you gotta have that PVC on site by Tuesday night. If we don’t lay pipe on Wednesday morning, we’ll never pour the slab by Friday. No slab, no loan draw. No draw, I’m toast – but you’ll go down with me.”

The project manager is using the Gantt chart to help him manage the job’s priorities, materials, schedule and flow. If you’ve never seen a Gantt chart, any contractor, engineer or architect can give you a quick overview.

We can use that same chart to drive our marketing campaigns – just like a construction project. We have the same tasks – manage a lot of issues so that they converge for a successful ending. Gantt charts have been around for over a century – they are a tried and true tool.

If you are not sure how to employ this tool, take a few minutes to watch some introductory videos on YouTube or The concepts are not hard to master. If you can’t create one yourself, it’s easy to find someone on (I recently launched a Gantt chart project there and received more than 30 proposals, ranging in cost from $25 – $175 for the hour’s work that would be needed.)

Your clients will be impressed – they’ll realize that you understand the roster of tasks that must be completed, their sequence, the duration of tasks, and the critical path. It’s a great tool for reporting, too – you can always explain where you are in the process of achieving their goals.

If you’re interested in learning more about using these charts, check out Blaine’s new book, Thrive: Ten Prescriptions for Exceptional Performance as a Commercial Real Estate Agent.

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