Chances are, you are familiar with “March Madness”, or have at least heard of it. Hopefully this does not describe your commercial real estate brokerage practice in the month of March — but instead, refers to the NCAA college basketball tournament with 64 teams, divided into 4 divisions of 16 teams each.

In the long history of this tournament, no #16 seed has ever beaten a #1 seed. This weekend, the #1 seed University of Virginia (UVA) was favored to beat the #16 University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) by 20.5 points. Ironically (if not miraculously), it was UMBC that beat UVA by 20 points.

It was historic.

Regardless of how “established” you are in the market, or how “entrenched” you are with your client — there is no guarantee that you will win the exclusive listing or representation.

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One of the biggest mistakes commercial real estate brokers and agents make is assuming they will get a listing. This happens when you are working with an active client, or believe no one else is competing for the assignment. You walk into the meeting, only to learn you are in a beauty contest. Your client (you know, the one you thought would never go elsewhere) decided to see what other options are available.

To make things worse — you didn’t prepare. Instead of sharing how you have grown, and what assignments you have completed since the last time you worked together — you came with the “Hey, you know me, what else do you need?” approach.

Now you find yourself shaking your head (like those shocked UVA players), wondering what happened.

UVA simply didn’t show up, they played unlike they had all year. However, UMBC brought their very best game, came prepared, and put themselves in position to win.

Make sure you approach every opportunity with your very best presentation, even if you are not competing with anyone. Because, in fact, you should always be competing with yourself.


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UMBC, UVA, and Other Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Upsets
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