Today I was attending a coaching session outside the office. I wasn’t the one coaching, but I was getting coached. I have a few select coaches and mentors I work with to build my business — with this specific group, I meet quarterly to discuss progress in the last 90 days, lessons learned, and identify key initiatives for the next 90 days.

During one of the breaks, one of the attendees asked me what my least favorite attributes were of the commercial real estate brokerage industry. Interesting question. After a pause to collect my thoughts, I shared with him what I see as CRE’s greatest restrictors to growth — and it had nothing to do with the market.

Here is my list of the 5 greatest pet peeves of commercial real estate brokers and agents — and I promise, there are lessons for growth in my rant.

1. Agents who have an employee mindset. Cheese and crackers, you are an independent contractor — stop looking at your broker to hold your hand! You are the CEO of your own business, so start treating your personal commercial real estate practices as a business and not a job.

2. Brokers who refuse to support their agents. At the same time, brokers align themselves with agents and don’t provide any support at all. Then they complain that their agents are not productive. This is not only true for independent firms, but national firms as well. I was on a call last week with a representative from a top 10 firm and I was told, “our company has absolutely no interest in investing in our production team”. Hmmm, good luck with that approach!

3. Agents who refuse to share. These are dinosaurs, working by themselves, relying on the “old boys club” and focusing on pocket listings or shoehorning deals. Note to you, you’re growing nowhere.

4. Agents who are “fine” or comfortable. It still amazes me how many commercial real estate professionals say they are “fine”. What the hell does that mean? Newsflash, your broker doesn’t want you to be “fine” or “comfortable”. Either you’re growing or you’re dying — if it’s the latter, then make room for those that want to make the most of their careers.

5. Brokers and agents who are cheap. This is probably my biggest pet peeve of all. Brokers and agents will buy a new car, a new set of golf clubs, a sweet vacation — but would not think for a second about investment in themselves. Maybe a designation, some training, or even coaching. Hell, just read a business book at least!

During the coaching session I attended today and yesterday, the instructor shared a quote: “The Past is Just Lessons. The Future is Opportunities. Today is Reality.”

Today’s reality can change tomorrow. Change your mindset, invest in yourself, stop working in silos, and start getting uncomfortable.


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