The Nature of CRE Brokers
There is a famous saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” which means, people who have long been used to doing things in a particular way will not abandon their habits.
Most commercial real estate brokers at least those over 50 or maybe even 40 having been approaching their business the same way for years and years and are reluctant to try new things or approaches to their business.
In their defense, a wise soccer coach of mine once told me that the great players all have the ability to execute the fundamentals extremely well and while some part of their game might be exceptional, the great ones all have the fundamentals down as if they are second nature.
As I entered the commercial real estate business some twenty five years ago, I tried to apply this principle, so learned the in and outs of a commercial real estate transaction. I learned to run the numbers and all the elements of a lease document. I studied my market and every aspect of commercial office space as well as I could. I eventually learned how to sell effectively. I mastered the basics and it has served me well.
However, I have never been reluctant to try new things such as incorporating technology into my commercial real estate practice as new tools evolved. When I dove into experimenting with social media and content marketing as a tool for my commercial real estate practice many around me rolled their eyes, the old dogs anyway. My willingness to try something new has paid off beyond my expectations and at the risk of sounding arrogant, I have mastered social media for commercial real estate. I am not the only one, but the list of those who have is a relatively short one.
Looking for the Next Big Thing
I staked my claim online among commercial real estate professionals when the field was empty. It was easy, anyone could have done it with a little persistence and the vision it would one day be important.
The day is coming when if your not maximizing your visibility and credibility online you will be at a disadvantage. The old dogs will be fine, they made their way along time ago without an online presence.
The next wave of big producers won’t have that luxury as the real estate decision makers of tomorrow who routinely “google” their potential service providers will expect it.
So if I you are a late “twenty-something” CRE broker, my advice is in addition to mastering the fundamentals, I would start building my online presence and establishing myself as a thought leader in my niche. I would also be looking for a new empty field to play in, one the old dogs don’t play in. I am looking for that field and I am an old dog.
One final note, the Schnauzer in the picture, that is our dog Rocky, he is kind of old and set in his ways.