First, I am not starting a commercial real estate brokerage company. I love what I do – owning (what I believe is) the best commercial real estate coaching company in the world, and I am surrounded by great people.
We have the privilege of currently working with hundreds of fantastic commercial real estate professionals, so we see what is working in the market and what is not. We know how to find, win, and close high-quality, high-fee transactions. So, it is only natural that I am frequently asked “why don’t you start your own brokerage firm?” Given my reasons outlined above, the better question to ask would be, “If you were to start a commercial real estate brokerage company, how would you do it?”
There are several critical components of a commercial real estate brokerage company – the people, the platform, and the process are the first three that come to mind.
The people are the greatest assets of any brokerage firm. Although the producers/brokers are “elevator assets”, in that they can simply change companies whenever they wish – they are the most valuable personnel in the firm. The producers need to be supported with great people, including admins, research, marketing, and IT.
The platform is the structure on which the brokers operate. This is the technology they use: the CRM – like Apto, Clientlook or Realnex (there are many others), and the operating system – like a RealCore. I am not suggesting one is better than another; I am simply stating that all team members must be committed to utilizing a shared platform, or they are not a fit for my team. We would integrate the technology that creates the greatest efficiencies for our processes.
The process, is simply how things work. All team members must be committed to the process as much as they are committed to the platform. I would ensure we have specialists, in both sales and leasing. I would require a territory-like system, where dedicated professionals know every building owner and/or user in their territory.
As you can see, these first three criteria do not reflect a large organization – but instead, a dedicated team of specialists. I would ensure everyone who works at the firm do these 6 things:
- Complete a personality/ natural behavior assessment
- Invest in themselves with a personal commercial real estate coach
- Keep track of their weekly metrics
- Update their pipeline semi-monthly
- Create a business plan, including a marketing budget
- Commit to a code of ethics and principles
After coaching thousands of clients and consulting scores of CRE firms, you should note that these 6 criteria outlined above are a reflection what we see working throughout North America.
In Part 2 of this series (set to be published next week) I will address how I would recruit and compensate team members.
Don’t forget – I will be co-hosting “Building Your CRE Pipeline with LinkedIn” with LinkedIn Guru, Christine Hueber. Click here to join us TODAY January 25th at 1:00pm EST, where we will share how to best leverage LinkedIn to start building stronger relationships and securing prospects.