Posts Tagged ‘commercial real estate advice’

A CRE Exercise for Black Friday

November 24th, 2014 No comments

image001If you are like most professionals, you are looking forward to Wednesday afternoon when you leave your office and work behind and don’t return for another 100 plus hours.  However, if you are like most top producers, you will take some time this holiday weekend to move your business forward.

Here is a 1-hour exercise that you can do while all those lunatics are hoarding the aisles in their regional malls (yes, those that still have not discovered how to use a shopping cart on the internet) of “Black Friday”.

First, you will need to gather a few things to complete this 1-hour exercise, namely original copies of the following:

  • Your 2014 Prospecting Plan
  • Your 2014 Personal Marketing Plan
  • Your 2014 Operations Plan
  • Your 2014 Team Development Plan
  • Your 2014 Operating Budget

Given you are more than likely an independent contractor, you should have completed all these last December – you are the CEO of your “Me, Inc.” remember?

Review these documents and answer these 2 questions:

  • What met or exceeded my expectations?  Don’t forget meeting expectations is a good thing!
  • What did not meet my expectations?

This will help you prepare for our annual Review, Reflection and Vision exercise that we will be posting to our website next week.  Every year 1,000′s of CRE professionals download this free exercise to help them prepare for the next year.  We will be sure to let you know when it is available.

Happy Thanksgiving!


The One Scary Truth about Commercial Real Estate in 2015

November 3rd, 2014 1 comment

2014As we have officially entered the last 60 days of 2014, we are preparing to both review our commercial real estate coaching client’s annual progress, as well as establish new initiatives for our client’s individual growth.

Generally, it is during this part of the year that I look back at the industry as a whole, revisit industry articles on market projections and information sources, such as Real Capital Analytics and others on market trends. I generally attend the various commercial real estate free “market update” webinars that most national CRE firms offer.

From all these inputs I have concluded one truth above and beyond anything else. And this one truth will impact every commercial real estate broker, commercial mortgage broker and property manager who serves our industry in 2015.

Before I get to the one scary truth, let’s start with the good news for 2015.

Interest rates should remain historically low. Yes, they have increased over the past 12 months, but put in proper perspective, interest rates are very attractive for investors in commercial real estate as well as business owners who elect to invest in their operations.

Capital is available. Direct lending, private lending and crowd funding will compete for investors’ attention. Don’t get me wrong, there are still more hurdles to get approved today than in the past, but there are also a myriad of financing alternatives.

The flight to quality will not only continue, but expand to secondary and tertiary markets. With all the capital available investors will continue to look outside primary markets. Simply, more attractive cap rates are available outside these normally targeted primary markets and investors, including foreign investors, are taking notice.

On the leasing side, new development will create more competition for the tenant’s business.  Landlord will need to become more aggressive to attract and retain tenants. Land prices will continue to rise – and development sites specifically will demand a premium.

All bodes well for those services the commercial real estate industry. All is good…or is it?

Here is the one scary truth about 2015.  It not only should be your best year ever; it HAS to be your best year ever.

Barring any economic, political or military knockout blows, 2015 will be a solid year for your personal production.  You should sell more buildings, lease more space, manage more properties and place more capital than you ever have during your career.  2015 must be your best year ever.

As we look to the horizon, we cannot say with the same level of confidence, the same will be true for 2016 – no one can know that. No one. 2016 is an election year, and there is too much uncertainty in such years. Historically, decision makers are cautious during such periods.

Face it. Whether you are 1 year in the business or 50 years, 2015 must be your best year ever.  So, here is the scary element of this truth. What are you going to do about it? What got you here, will not get you there.  What are you going to change to take advantage of this market opportunity?  What are you going to do differently?

You have the chance, if not the obligation, to make 2015 your best year ever. Chances are you won’t have this chance in 2016.


5 Lessons from the SIOR Conference

October 27th, 2014 7 comments
SIOR Conference

Massimo Group founder Rod Santomassimo with Eric Northbrook, SIOR Eric’s story was highlighted in Rod’s best-selling book Brokers Who Dominate

Last week I had the privilege of presenting at the SIOR Global Conference in Nashville, TN. The conference was phenomenal.  In my 25+ years in the industry, I have been to too many industry conferences to count.  I would certainly put this one as one of the best ever.  As I took countless notes during my several coaching prospect meetings, walked through the vendor/exhibitor space and attendance of several powerful presentations, I thought I would share with you five key lessons from my visit.

  1. Create an undeniable value proposition. The conference value proposition was strong, even with a secondary market (if not tertiary) such as Nashville.  The conference organizers orchestrated a powerful lineup of speakers, breakout sessions and social activities to draw almost 1,000 members to a city that is not very easy to get to.  With a membership of over 3,000, 1/3 of the membership felt this program was strong enough to attend.  Compare this to the CCIM event this same week, an association with many more members, in a major city (LA), and an alliance with RealShare.  That conference only drew an estimated 200 designees, or so I have been told by several colleagues. Heck, I am a CCIM, but their event was simply too expensive when considering travel to the west coast and time away from the office and projected attendance too light for me to feel I would have a substantial return on investment (money) or return on involvement (time). What is your value proposition?  Is it strong enough to attract your targeted prospects.
  2. Be Passionate and set a vision.  Diana Nyad brought down the house.  She was the keynote speaker on day 2.  The marathon swimmer, who – at 60 – is the only person to swim from Cuba to the US.  Diana spoke about consistent habits, and doing simple things every day to prepare her for her this enormous challenge.  She was a fanatic, a perfectionist, and more importantly, she was passionate about a vision she set for herself as a 5 year old girl.  What is your passion, what is your vision?  In our world of providing commercial real estate services, we should all be passionate about our work and set a vision for where we are going.
  3. Leverage a team and recognize their value. Diana Nyad also shared the story of team work.  She stated how, after everyone lost faith and interest in her quest to cross the gulf stream, her team remained with her.  She shared how 2 hours before reaching Key West she had her team of 44 circle around their boats around her and she, after the marathon swim, had the insight to tell them when she reaches the shore, everyone will be saying how incredible her accomplishment was, but it wasn’t her accomplishment, but the teams’.  As I continue to study the best practices in commercial real estate, the presence of a team and team leaders recognizing their value is an overriding lever to success.
  4. Align yourself with a coach. Diana Nyad also shared stories about her coach and accountability partner.  Someone who would not only assist in setting a plan and strategy for success, but also be there to navigate when the seas got rough and motivate when Diana’s momentum and passion was diminished.  Once when Diana believed she could not go any further her coach pleaded for “just 5 more strokes”.  And when those strokes where completed, her coach would ask for 5 more.  Certainly what we do as commercial real estate practitioners cannot compare to a marathon swim, but a coach, a partner, a strategist and motivator will help you reach your vision.
  5. Invest in yourself.  The attendees were engaged in every aspect of the event.  The energy level was incredibly high.  I presented two sessions on “Maximizing Your Income in 2015″ and the large room was packed for both sessions.  The second session was on Friday afternoon from 4 to 5:30 and competed with cocktail events for attendance.  The attendees delayed the cocktails and proactively participated in my and other breakout sessions.  They understood the importance of making a commitment and investing in their greatest asset - themselves.  If you want to grow, you need to plant some seeds.  You need to invest in yourself.  Many SIORs are the most seasoned professionals in the industry; that is, many are a older demographic – yet they recognize they won’t maintain the same level of success by doing the same things.

So, in summary:

  • Create an undeniable value proposition
  • Be passionate and set a vision
  • Leverage a team and recognize their value
  • Align yourself with a coach, he/she could be your spouse, your associate, a mentor or even us, but get a coach
  • Invest in yourself – recognize you are your greatest asset and you must grow, or else your business will die

Commercial Real Estate Prospecting Lessons from a Commercial Airlines Pilot

October 20th, 2014 No comments

Commercial airline pilots don’t “wing it” on take-offs….Why should you?

For example, the take-off is one of the most critical elements of a flight and even with thousands of hours in the cockpit, professional pilots use a checklist, each and every time they execute their take-off. The reason is simple; the procedure is proven, efficient and most importantly it works. This eliminates most human error and provides consistent take-offs that get the plane & its passengers safely in the air. UntitledMuch like the pilot’s checklist, prospecting for commercial real estate opportunities is the beginning of our flight with a prospective client. Yet, most CRE professionals “wing it”; applying hit and miss efforts & techniques that result in…you guessed it – hit and miss results! It doesn’t have to be this way. To get consistent results from your prospecting, try replicating what pilots do and create a checklist to follow each and every time. Here is what your checklist should look like.

There are three components to a prospecting call:  1) Pre-Call Preparation 2) The Call and 3) Post Call

Pre-Call Preparation

1) Identify who you are going to call.
2) Classify your prospect as an A, B or C prospect to represent how often you plan on contacting them (for example A clients touch 12 program (monthly); B clients touch 4 (quarterly) C clients touch 2 ( 2 x per year).
3) Validate contact information (i.e. phone number, email address, physical address) and lastly confirm the person you are going to call is the correct person.
4) Research the account. What do we know about the business; the decision maker; their physical location(s); their industry. Tools such as google, hoovers, annual reports, co-star, social sites such as LinkedIn etc. are quite useful here.
5) Schedule the call. Set a specific prospecting time on your calendar for making this call (i.e. Monday’s calls include the following prospects).
6) Update your CRM with the information you acquire during the pre-call phase.
7) Determine your pitch, marketing strategy and practice it! (Know exactly what you are going to say)
8) Send your prospect letter to the prospects telling them that you will be calling and delivering your value proposition.
9) Time permitting, send presence materials.

The Call
1) Review your file, notes & marketing strategy.

2) Deliver the call including the four critical elements.
- Introduction that establishes credibility and professionalism.
- Involve the prospect in the call; in other words, why you are specifically calling them.
- Deliver data or compelling information that creates interest and credibility.
- Close with a value proposition on why they should meet with you and ASK FOR A MEETING.

3) Take notes during the call of important information obtained

4) If you get voice mail, leave a message including the previous elements and a commitment to call back in a few days

Post Call

1) If you get the meeting great:
- Send an email confirmation to be sure your prospect will show up
- Prepare and practice your winning presentation

2) If you get rejected, remember that the rejection may have been to your message; not you, so:
- Reschedule a follow up call in accordance with your designated touch program (A, B, C clients) and try a different marketing message/value proposition
- Precede the next call with more presence materials to enhance your credibility

3) If you get voice mail: – Schedule your follow up call to the prospect. This should be for the next day, or within the same week at the very least.

4) Update your CRM with information obtained from the call

If you create & follow a checklist, you can’t help but be better prepared for your calls; more consistent in making them; and most importantly more successful in getting the meetings.

Good Prospecting,

Paul Reitz | CRE Coach | The Massimo Group


5 Responses When a Prospect Says “No Interest”

October 6th, 2014 2 comments

Last week, I outlined my experience with the general commercial real estate professional community giving up too soon in their prospecting efforts. It is common for most brokers, mortgage brokers and even those pursuing property management assignments to stop calling on a prospect after only three tries. Furthermore, I shared statistics that suggest it takes 7 attempts for a prospect to even reply, and 7 rejections from a single prospect before they will say yes. In other words, most of your peers (hopefully not you) are not even trying to win business!

Sadly, not only is there a general lack of effort in getting in front of a prospect; but when your peers (again, hopefully not you) finally get a prospect on the phone and the prospect says they are not interested, many callers will say thank you and hang up. That’s right – the prospect answered the phone – yet you (I mean your peers) let them off the hook!

Let me repeat that. You feverishly attempt to get in front of a prospect, and when you finally do, you articulate the most alluring value proposition ever created and somehow you allow that prospect to simply blow you off. I don’t think so. You need to go down with a fight. No bullets left in the gun, no arrows left in your quiver, no electrical charges left in your tazer or laser zaps left in your death ray. OK, you get the point. Here are five approaches you can take when a prospect informs you that they have no interest.

1.  Ask your prospect why not. Seems simple enough, but if they truly do not have an interest, versus simply blowing you off, they should be able to articulate it. And this will provide you invaluable information for future questions or future calls.

2. Ask your prospect when they would have an interest. It could simply be a matter of time. Either they picked up the phone at a bad time, or your prospect simply has no need for your services.

3. Ask your prospect what they are interest in. In other words – cross sell. Regardless of your focus, you can cross sell so many different services from brokerage, to financing, to management to appraisals to consulting, etc. The list goes on and on. Even if you do not have these services internally, you can align yourself with external sources. The point here is that you need to be resourceful to the prospect.

4. Ask your prospect if they know of anyone who may be interested in the benefits your service provides. Owners know owners, tenants know tenants and investors know investors. For example, “Mrs. Tenant, may I ask if you are aware of any other business owners or tenants in your network that may be interested in how I saved another tenant in your building over $200,000 in rental costs?”

5. Ask your prospect when the benefit of your services may be a priority to them. Note, this is the much more assertive version of #2 and #4 combined. It’s not for everyone. For example: “May I ask when achieving a x% cap rate on your building may be a priority to you?”

Getting in front of a prospect takes effort. It is your responsibility to ensure that these leads are given your fullest attention and strongest presentation. When you call a prospect on the phone and they tell you they don’t have an interest, don’t let them off the hook, instead use all your resources and qualify what their version of “no interest” really means. Their answers will be the key to you getting a meeting.


You’re Giving Up Too Soon When Prospecting

September 29th, 2014 No comments

This month I have been traveling the country and presenting strategies on prospecting. This week I hosted a national webinar on the same subject. During these sessions, we addressed the meaning of prospecting (asking for the business), the objective of initial prospecting efforts (getting the meeting) and approaches of prospecting (letters, calls, meetings – never emails).

One question I always ask my audience is frequency of prospecting; that is how many times they may call a prospect before giving up. More times than not the answer is 3. 3! Really? The underlying reason is the adopted mindset of “3 strikes and you’re out!”

Last time I checked commercial real estate was not played on a diamond-shaped field. There was no one pitching you balls to hit, although the idea of prospects calling you directly is where you should strive to be. If you must use baseball as an analogy, consider this:

Babe Ruth is known as the Home Run King (The magical 714, before the great Hank Aaron, and the presumed medically-enhanced Barry Bonds).
Babe Ruth also held the record holder for most strike-outs (now held by Reggie Jackson, who also in #13 on the most homeruns list of all time).
Ironically Babe Ruth’s jersey number was “3″.

How many home runs would Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds or even Reggie Jackson have hit if instead of “3″, the rule was “7 strikes and you’re out!”

Seriously, how many more home runs would Babe Ruth had hit if he had 4 more chances to swing his bat every time he got up? One could easily project double. How many more times would he have struck out? Given the hypothetical “7 strikes and you’re out”, he would have actually struck out a lot less.

Now consider these facts on prospecting:

- It takes an average of 7 attempts to simply make a contact with a prospect.
- It takes an average of 7 no’s from a prospect before they say yes.

Those that make more quality, targeted calls, make more money than those that do not.

Professional persistence pays off. Drop the baseball mindset. By putting these limits on your efforts, you are putting limits on your success.


3 Reasons Why You Are an Obstacle to Your Own CRE Success

September 22nd, 2014 No comments

By definition, most people working in the commercial real estate industry are “average” producers. Thus, chances are you are average. Hopefully not, but you understand the logic. So why are you average? What’s holding you back? There could be a myriad of reasons: underutilized strategies or tactics, poor teammates, poor work environment, but mostly, you are average because of you. Here are 3 possible reasons: 

1) You don’t believe in you.

You must be confident in your abilities to serve your clients better than anyone else. I mean, deep down in your gut confident. If you are not, then hopefully you will know the reasons why (lack of experience, resources, direction, etc.) and therefore you can address and remove these constricting thoughts from your physique.

As the founder of the Massimo Group, the greatest commercial real estate consulting and coaching organization in the world,I know we can help anyone, regardless of their level of success or experience, in propelling their personal business and income to new heights. We can always grow, that is a given for everyone, but this belief allows us to pursue and win more high-quality opportunities.

2) You don’t invest in your greatest asset – you.

Owners and managers of commercial real estate, brokerage, finance, property management firms repeatedly share with us that their team members would rather buy a new set of golf clubs than spend a day at a symposium or personally invest in a new technology. More so, the average commercial real estate professional looks at everything as an expense and not, as you should, an investment. No investment = no professional growth, personally or financially.

Yes, we are a coaching organization, and according to #1 I believe everyone should have a coach. There is a reason that vast majority of top producers have coaches and it’s not because “they can afford to”, it’s because they realize they CAN’T afford NOT to. I have 3 coaches. Every time I retain one we make far more money than the investment in coaching. Regardless of how you do it – reading, training, designations or coaching – you must invest in yourself.

3) You act as if you have a job.

Most commercial real estate producers are independent contractors. By this mere distinction, if this is you, you own your own business. Let me repeat that – You are the CEO of Your Name, Inc. As such, you must have a sales program, a marketing program, an HR program, and operations division. Stop looking to your company’s owner or manager for all the answers. Leverage their resources and strong brand, but don’t act like a dependent; you’re not one.

It’s a silly routine, but every morning I look in the mirror and say to myself, out loud, “It’s time to get hired”. Like you, I eat what I kill. I have learned to surround myself with hunters and gatherers, but ultimately it is up to me to produce.


I don’t share any of my personal experience with you to impress you. It’s far from impressive. I still feel, as good as our company is, we are in our infantile stage. However, I do want to impress upon you that you, and only you, have the power to decide how tomorrow and the rest of your career are going to proceed. I ask you to recognize that average isn’t you.


What Market Leaders Do and How They Do It

August 25th, 2014 No comments

Massimo clients earn 4x the average CRE Professional. How do you compare? Where do you compare against industry best practices? Challenge yourself to find out with R.A.M.P. UP©! 2014

“Great program. Systematic stepwise approach to place all facets of the CRE business in perspective while providing a system to make the necessary changes for improvement and to have the metrics to monitor and measure the efficacy of your actions. The professionalism of The Massimo Group sets a standard for the Commercial Real Estate industry.”
                                                                       ~ Stan Kitrell, Kitrell & Armstrong

R.A.M.P. UP© is 30-day program consisting of a series of exercises, organized into 5 modules – Role, Area, Monetary, Presence, Utility & Processes – that you take at your own pace. For each section of R.A.M.P. UP© completed you receive a “rating” that allows you to see how you stack up and allows you to identify the areas of your business that will have the greatest impact on your income.

At the end of R.A.M.P. UP© your CRE career will be in better shape than when you started, and you will be on your way to joining the Massimo member community that, on average, earns 4x the typical commercial real estate broker.

For more information on R.A.M.P. UP© and to learn how you can win one of 6 R.A.M.P. UP©! 2014 prizes, Click Here.

The program starts on September 15. Sign up before September 7 to receive $100 off R.A.M.P. UP© 2014! (regularly $249.00).

Don’t let 2015 be another average year! Sign up for RAMP UP today!


Step 1 to Making 2015 Your Best Year Ever

August 21st, 2014 No comments

The Massimo Group announces R.A.M.P. UP©! 2014.  This national event will provide the commercial real estate community with access to the Massimo Group’s proprietary, personalized, revenue-identification platform. R.A.M.P. UP© is a 30 day, self-paced event that includes live webinars, on-line programs, over 400 proven revenue driving strategies, bonus exercises and the opportunity to win one of six Massimo Group coaching programs!

R.A.M.P. UP© is designed specifically for:

  • Commercial Real Estate Brokers
  • Mortgage Brokers
  • Property Managers
  • Brokerage Owners and Managers

The program has been successfully implemented by 1,000s of professionals in over 5 different countries.  We are so confident that after completing this program you will be in a better position to maximize your revenue that we will guarantee your satisfaction.

R.A.M.P. UP©! 2014 starts September 15.  If you want to finish the year strong and make 2015 your best year ever, take the first step and sign up for R.A.M.P. UP©! 2014 today!


Your F-Factors to Managing Your Week

August 11th, 2014 No comments

The continued feedback from my previous blog on how several new to business professionals stated they worked “up to” 40 hours a week continues to be tremendous.  So much so that I thought I would share with you how I look at my week, and how I allocate my time. Admittedly on some weeks, I am in my office for 60 to 70 hours. Most weeks, however, I spend 50- 60 hours “working”. Like many of our readers, I really don’t consider what I do as “work” as I love what we are doing at the Massimo Group.

Every week boils down to one’s personal “F-Factor” and how we choose to allocate our time among 5 buckets. F-Factors are (in no particular order) Family, Friends, Faith, Financial and Fun. Yes, like most, I always put my family first, but most weeks I allocate much more time to the Financial elements that support my Family. My Fun factor can be allocated to both vacations and work-related initiatives. I believe the Faith and Friends are critical, and these are self-explanatory. The allocation of these five “F-Factors” will have a direct impact on how much time you “work” in a given week.

As far as how you spend your time at work (The Financial Factor) – may I recommend you visit my short video on time management.

Finally, to assist with your Financial Factor we have created 2 new programs to make 2015 your best year ever. Our plan is to announce those next week, but this week I am personally allocating a lot more time to my Fun Factor!

Keep your F-Factors in mind as you plan and progress through your week – and always be moving forward.