Massimo’s Tips for Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Success
As the “Commercial Real Estate Show” debuted in 9 new markets around the nation, I was excited to produce a show about sales success for brokers. In our industry all commercial agents are typically called brokers, regardless if they hold an agent, associate broker or broker’s license.
When a new year arrives, brokers, like most everyone else, make resolutions to be more physically active. Well, if you’re a commercial real estate broker aiming to be a top performer, a good resolution might be more business generation activities. “Always be active” was one of the tips from commercial real estate consultant Rod Santomassimo.
Rod, the founder and president of The Massimo Group and the author of the book “Brokers Who Dominate: 8 Traits of Top Producers,” was my guest for the entire show.
During the show, Santomassimo provided a wide array of career advice for brokers, including tips on business-generation activities, pitching customers and time management. He also detailed the eight common traits of dominant brokers.
Overlaying Santomassimo’s detailed advice was his general theme that brokers should be active in many ways; they can’t just focus on transactions.
“Activity begets transactions,” said Santomassimo. “Get more active … When market velocity decreases, and things tend to get a little stagnant, [the top brokers] get more active – more prospecting, more promotion, more presence, more, more, more.”
Consistent customer prospecting and personal marketing efforts are the two biggest ways brokers can generate new business, Santomassimo said. “Every morning when I wake up, I look in the mirror and I say, ‘It’s time to get employed,’ and I get on the phone and start asking for business.”
Next in importance are engaging in market research, establishing a client-retention program and learning how to effectively manage your time.
“As we all know, it’s harder to get a new client than to retain an existing client,” Santomassimo said. “There’s nothing worse than losing a client. What are you doing to retain them?”
I heartily echoed Santomassimo’s sentiments on time management. “I think that’s very important for commercial agents,” I told listeners. “Most agents are independent contractors, and no one’s telling them what to do, so they’ve got to understand the value of their time.”
Santomassimo provided some really great advice when he cautioned brokers not to make sales pitches about themselves. He joked that everyone’s favorite radio station is WIFM, short for “what’s in it for me?”
His point was potential clients don’t want to hear how great you are. Instead, they want to see that you understand their needs and have the knowledge to specifically address each of those needs.
“When you call somebody and tell them how great your services are and what you’ve done in the marketplace, they couldn’t care less,” he said. “You have to focus on your prospects: What are their issues? What exactly is moving them from one side of the equation to the next?”
As you may know, I’m a big proponent of social media and believe that Twitter and LinkedIn are the best systems for commercial real estate.
Santomassimo agrees that social media can be very effective in increasing a commercial agent’s visibility and credibility within the marketplace. “It’s much easier to go and out prospect [when people can say], ‘Oh yeah, I’ve heard of you.’”
However, “if you rely solely on social media to build your business, you’re making a horrendous mistake,” Santomassimo added. “Commercial real estate is a face-to-face business … [Social media] is not the Holy Grail of business development.”
At one point in the show, Santomassimo spelled out “dominate” – with each letter standing for one of the eight traits he says top brokers have in common:
D is for discipline.
O is for “oriented to the client.”
M is for market presence.
I is for industry focus. “We don’t see many generalists per se in those top-producing brokers,” he said.
N is for navigate. Top brokers successfully navigate their careers by making moves that truly offer the best long-term benefits and not just a short-term improvement, according to Santomassimo.
A is for assertiveness.
T is for “team-oriented.” “Every top producer has a team. Even those that work by themselves have some type of team, [even if it’s] a virtual assistant in India. Top producers recognize what they shouldn’t be doing, so they have a team,” Santomassimo added.
Last but not least, E stands for “being an entrepreneur.”
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