Many people have a brokers license, but a few people obtain the skills and professionalism that is required to be a first-rate office broker. If you desire to become one of the elites in the field of commercial office brokerage you need to understand that there are goals that you can obtain through study and experience. The other skills are based more on your personality.
In my opinion some of the goals and characteristics that successful office brokers have mastered:
MARKET SPECIALIZATION Many of us know people that claim to know everything. Not only are these people usually annoying but their information is often average at best or incorrect. Now, look at a real estate market as large as Dallas. There are many types of product for a real estate professional to a broker. You have industrial, office, residential, retail and land to sell, lease or buy. Good brokers acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to assist their clients. Yes, a seasoned professional may master more than one kind of product, but for the new broker, it is best to focus your attention on one product type and understand it very well. By doing so, you will help your client and yourself.
Along with this same trend of thinking. In a market as large as Dallas you can specialize in a particular product type and a market. For example, the downtown Dallas-Uptown market is a large area with over forty-three million square feet of office space. There are one hundred thirty-five buildings in this market and over a thousand tenants. A broker that specializes in this market can do very well by helping their clients get what they are looking for in this market alone. Be the best and earn the reputation as the expert in a particular specialty and market.
TENACITY The real estate business sounds glamorous, and it can be, but it is also like every other business with peaks and valleys. Unfortunately, the low times in our industry can be meager because most office brokers are working on a commission basis. To be successful, you need to have confidence in yourself and must possess the ability to stick it out through the tough times. I have many successful broker friends that are doing well now, but there was a time when they were struggling.
If you are a broker that has the good fortune of making it through to the top of the industry never forget the times when you were struggling. Always be willing to extend a hand to somebody that is having a tough time and get them through it. You will be playing it forward because somebody did it for you.
COMMUNICATION This skill is vital to have a successful office brokerage career. You need to keep your client in the loop regarding your activities. I have found that my clients appreciate updates on my progress on their behalf. They like it when I share valuable information with them, so they are informed, and they can redirect my efforts if it is required.
You must also communicate with the other brokers and let them know what is happening in the transaction. The broker has a responsibility to treat all parties fairly and truthfully. So the best way to do this is to have an open dialogue. It also helps a good broker put together a better deal for their client.
GOOD NETWORK A good network is something that an office broker develops over time. You need to know the various brokers in the business and form relationships of trust. The broker's connections help their clients because they are looking at properties with you and the other side knows your reputation. They may not know of your client, but they know you, and because you are a right person, your client automatically is given credibility.
Additionally, you need to build a network of professionals that support our industry. You must network with transaction attorneys, contractors, economic development offices, building standards staff, CPAs, and architects. There are many other professions, but I think you get the idea. You must build relationships with people that will help you give your clients the best possible service.
PATIENCE This can be one of the hardest characteristics for many of us including myself. We work diligently for our clients based upon what they express the need at a given point in time. Unfortunately, we may have delivered what they require. Then they get a call from the home office and the entire scope of work changes, and we must start from scratch.
I know this is frustrating. However, it is life and why we get paid the big dollars. You must have the ability to look like oak but bend like a willow. It is essential to understand that we are in a position that everything around us is volatile. The space that is perfect for our client is leased to somebody else and we lost it because our client's attorney dragged their feet or the size of the area needs to be reduced because of new corporate policy. You have to be able to understand that it isn't personal and it is just the way it is.
There are so many more areas to discuss. I will follow up with more thoughts later, but for now, these are an excellent place to start. The office brokerage business is a fantastic career. You help so many people and get to make many new friends. I wish you well and a prosperous future.