Posts Tagged ‘commercial real estate broker’

How to Recruit the Types of Brokers you Need to Grow your Brokerage

April 22nd, 2014 No comments

Last week I re-introduced the 5 Challenges of Owning and Maintaininig a CRE Brokerage Firm.  I committed to reviewing each one of these challenges in greater detail, while also introducing our newest coaching platform, the CRE-BOSS, our Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Owners Success Series, which addresses and provides solutions to each one of the five challenges.

So, without further ado, let’s get to Challenge #1: Recruiting

The fact still remains, if you cannot grow your commercial real estate brokerage, it will die. After all, no matter how good you are at retaining your existing brokers, you are going to lose some. Some will retire, some will move and others will just decide to do something else. Worse, others will stick around and become less productive.

To address this challenge, there are three different types of candidates you need to recruit: new brokers, mid-career brokers, and “whales.”

You will need to take different approaches towards recruiting each of these pools, and you need to bring all of them in. A good recruiting program will do just that, but it will do more than just replacing lost personal: It will bring new talent into your office while also exhibiting to your existing brokers how others believe working with you and your firm is a good idea. Done right, recruiting can really step up your morale and increase motivation.

How to develop a top class recruiting program is just one of the topics covered in our Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Owners Success Series.

New Brokers

Most new brokers will be recent college graduates. They are energetic, hardworking and, thanks to the proliferation of collegiate real estate programs, might be the most technically skilled people in your office. Get to know the people who run the Real Estate and Business programs at your local colleges and recruit from their pool. While you are doing this, web ads at the local college and at major job posting boards will also bring new candidates to you.

New brokers are typically worried about one thing: can they succeed? To successfully recruit them, be ready to explain how you will be able to get them trained and supported for success. Most managers either have a training program or have teams of brokers that are looking to grow and to take on training duties.

Furthermore, you need to confirm, and then reconfirm that these recruits have the ability to support themselves, without compensation for up to six months, and more reasonably one year. You must also reiterate your expectations and ideally team them up with a mentor so they can learn, while making limited mistakes.

Mid-career Brokers

Mid-career associates will usually come from your competitors or from other industries. They should have some baseline knowledge of how to do the business and are just looking for a better place to do it. The best way to find these candidates is to stay involved in the brokerage community. Go to events, speak on panels, get quoted in the local media and generally make sure that they know who you are. If you really want to get aggressive, pop them a friendly email or call every time that they close a deal or a lease.

Another absolute is your current associates’ ability to articulate your company’s value proposition. It is one thing for them to share with recruits that you have a “great place to work”, but what you really want is your team to understand why others may be looking to make a change and communicate with them why your firm is the best platform for them to succeed.


You know who the largest and most active brokers in your market are. Imagine if one of them joined your team. You’d get a big revenue boost while you send a strong message to every other broker that your office is THE place to be. Big prizes take big efforts.

While everything that you do to attract mid-career brokers is an important part of attracting whales, bringing in a major player will require you to go much further. Recruiting major brokers starts with getting to know them. If you can build a relationship with them and gradually demonstrate that you can add value to them, they will let you know when they are ready to make a move. This process can take years to unfold, but brings major benefits.

I watch brokerage owners simply assume they cannot land the whale.  Similar to associates assuming they can’t get bigger listings. This is a huge mistake. Whether it is equity, team support, a new opportunity or simply a change, whales have pains and gains that you can leverage.

Essential Point

Regardless of the level of broker you are targeting to recruit, you must have a recruiting process. Going with your gut is simply no better than winging it. We screen every coaching candidate, with online assessment tools that define their natural behaviors.  As do our owner-clients with their associate / broker candidates. Your process should have several steps, from team interviews to background checks to competency validation. Recruiting a friend or someone who is “a nice guy” is nothing more than applying a “mirror test” and hoping they have a breath. This is no way to build your practice.

In my next post, I’ll discuss the second challenge in brokerage management – managing the brokers.


2013 Brokerage Earnings Report – Location and Focus Impact Growing Commissions

April 1st, 2014 No comments

Good news, the economy is improving, and, after a hiccup in 2013, so are earnings for commercial real estate brokers.   In addition, the prospects for more opportunities in commercial real estate look positive for the next 2 + years.  No one can accurately forecast what will happen after November, 2016.

But how much did the average commercial broker make in 2013?  Based on the limited public data available on brokerage earnings, there is a wide range for commercial brokers and agents, depending on where they are located. So what does this mean for brokerage earnings?  As North America’s leading commercial real estate consulting and coaching organization, the Massimo Group tracks the earnings of all our 100’s of individual commercial brokerage clients (this does not include the 100’s of client’s participating in our group coaching programs).  This private data represents every level of experience, focus and success in the industry.

Overall, based on both public and private data, we identified certain trends that impacted earnings.  For example, 2012 brokerage income generated from  investment sales was actually stronger, on average, than 2013.  Why?…

To download a free, full copy of this report, CLICK HERE.


Brokerage Business Perspectives from the 5th Row of Cameron Indoor Stadium

February 18th, 2014 No comments

This weekend I had the opportunity to sit 5 rows behind my beloved Duke Blue Devils basketball team and directly in line with Coach K.  Duke was playing the University of Maryland, which has historically been a very competitive match up.  I have been to several games in the past, but this one was special as my nephew, Greg – who is a big Duke fan himself – was recently accepted into the Naval Officers program and it was a celebratory event.  He wanted to see a game in Cameron and I wanted to watch Coach K and his managing of a game.  Heck – I run the commercial real estate industry’s biggest and, may I say, best, coaching organization so I am a student of any coaching similarities I can find. maryland

As the game progressed I found several elements that tie directly to our business and to yours as commercial real estate professionals.

 The warm up – We don’t go into a pitch or a presentation without ample preparation and practice.  Even though you may have given a similar pitch, phone call or speech several times in the past, it doesn’t mean you can wing it and expect perfection.  I am sure Jabari Parker, Duke’s top freshman and major NBA prospect knows how to dunk, but yet he as dunking in warm ups.  It wasn’t a coincidence that he had a thundering game-changing dunk in the final minute of the game; he had practiced that move thousands of times if not more.

The Game Plan – Everyone has a game plan. At least, everyone we coach.  You need to know how to set up your year, your month, your week and your day – every day.   Some days will not go as planned.  Duke had a game plan, but as it turns out they had their worse shooting performance of the year.  Simply put, their shots weren’t falling.  When the same happens to you – your shots aren’t falling – what do you do?  You adjust.

YOU HAVE TO WANT IT – After halftime, a normal phase of Duke Basketball games where Duke comes out more focused and makes one of their patented runs.  Uncharacteristically, things went the opposite way and Maryland gained the momentum.  Coach K called a time out, and stared down at his team and assertively and passionately repeated these five words, again and again and again. You Have to Want It!   Shortly thereafter momentum shift back to the Blue Devils.  Do you “want it”, do you have the passion to set a vision and make it happen?  Losing momentum in sales happens – no one is perfect.  You need to have a clear vision and passion to get the momentum back on your side.

Get Creative – The “Cameron Crazies – Dukes’ student section – are known for their creativity.   During the game one student held up a “Maryland Stinks” sign while wearing a gas mask.  He wore that darn mask throughout the entire game.  And it gets hot in Cameron!  No offense to the University of Maryland, this is just a creative example, albeit at their expense.  From a sales perspective, we must be creative.  Why did this student stick out in a sea of blue?  Because he was different.  Obviously you don’t want to offend anyone in your marketing or sales approach – that’s just wrong.   But how are you promoting your difference to your audience?

Everyone needs advice – The picture inserted in this blog, taken by yours truly, is my favorite. Cameron It shows two of the better college basketball players on the planet looking at their coach for instructions, and Coach K – the one with the BIG championship ring on his finger- instructing them what play to run.  Regardless of your level of success, freshman or senior, new-to-business or top producer, you need a mentor, a coach, or an advisor.  Someone to share how you can get better, make more sales, close more deals or work within the framework of a team.  If you don’t have one, you are simply going at it alone.  So many of your successful peers have leveraged others for their personal success – who are you leveraging?

Despite being heavy favorites, Duke managed to barely pull out another victory at Cameron.  Sometimes it takes more than what you expect to win a client, but then it is seemingly more satisfying.  Follow these five perspectives and you will certainly win more than you lose.


Cameron Crazies photo courtesy of the News and Observer



5 Things Every Broker Must do to Finish 2013 Strong

November 19th, 2013 No comments

November marks the last 60 days of 2013. When you take into account the last two weeks are generally lost for personal, well deserved, family time, as well as reflection on the year that was, we really only have about 45 days. But wait, there’s Thanksgiving break, other holidays that you may not recognize, but certainly your clients do and of course weekends (for those of Strong finishyou that observe these) so now we are down to less than 20 to 30 solid business days to make a difference. So what are five things you should do now to make the most of this limited time?

  1. Review with your clients any year-end planning issues.  Next week I am meeting with our accountant to review 2013 and discuss strategies for next year.  We are looking at some structural changes and other business issues.  When you approach your clients as business owners, instead of simply investors, owners or tenants. change your role from mere broker to trusted advisor.  Don’t focus on the transaction, focus on their business and they will include you.
  2. Identify clients 2014 objectives.  Similar to #1, however, much more of a look-forward perspective.  Your clients may have investment, business or personal issues that you can directly affect via repositioning of real estate or restructuring of business leases.  Owners need capital for business expansion, or child’s college, perhaps a sale-lease back, lease renegotiation or building refinancing is the answer
  3. Share any and all success stories for 2013.  Probably the number one failure of most brokers and brokerage firms is the sharing of their success.  We have found most do this improperly and have very little results from their efforts.  We share with our commercial real estate coaching clients  a specific approach for securing testimonials, creating powerful success stories and leveraging these to secure additional opportunities.  The exact approach is reserved for our clients, however, you should review all the closed transactions you completed in 2013, and be assured there are prospects in your market who would be interested in learning more about what you provided to others.
  4. Review all 2013 proposals/OVs submitted and revisit these prospects.  It is unlikely you won every pitch that you delivered this year.  No doubt, you responded to more than a handful of proposals, offered numerous opinions of value or directly proposed your services that unfortunately did not lead to a representation or listing.  Whatever happened to all these opportunities?  Were they really motivated at the time – perhaps they are now.  Things change and if these opportunities were being explored earlier in the year, they may still have some life today, or early next year.
  5. Review and Reflect.  December is the ideal time to review and reflect on the year, not January.  If you wait until January you are already behind the preverbal “8 Ball.”  In December we will post our 2013 Review and Reflection document.  Look out for it, as it will be a free download.   In general, it is time to
    • Review your prospecting, personal marketing and financial progress over the year
    • Reflect on what met and did not meet your expectations
    • Set a vision for 2014

You may have noticed the first two items focused directly on your client, the third item focused on both your client and you and the final two focused directly on you.  Ideally the primary focus of your 2013 was appropriately on your clients, and if so, you should be pleased with your year.


See you at CRE // Tech Intersect NY

October 15th, 2013 No comments

CRE // TECH INTERSECT brings together dynamic industry speakers, live demos from leading CRE tech companies, as well as great food and an open bar.

The mission is to unite today’s forward-looking CRE professionals, angel investors and venture capitalists that drive innovation in the commercial real estate industry, all in one, fun, relaxed evening.

We will be there demonstrating our Massimobile TM Virtual Coaching Platform!

So, if you are in New York or simply want to see the latest in CRE Technology, come say hello!

Here are just a few of the companies that will be showcasing their technology.



Systemizing Your Prospecting

October 7th, 2013 4 comments

For many brokers, the hardest part of the business is prospecting. If you’re one of these people, your antipathy to calling makes sense, especially due to the combined challenges of starting up systemconversations with people that you don’t know and the additional risk of rejection. However, getting out there and prospecting is well worth it. Just one good call could turn into tens or thousands of dollars of income. One of the keys to successful prospecting is to take what could be a random activity and turn it into a systemized process.

The key to successful prospecting is momentum. When you get into a groove, you make more calls in less time. It also becomes progressively easier to pick up the phone after each call. The momentum also creates similar benefits on the call as you are able to use what you learn on previous calls to make subsequent calls more effective.

Building momentum can be challenging. Between all the interruptions that most offices bring and the tendency to procrastinate during your calling campaigns, you might find yourself just making a couple of calls at a stretch. Here are some techniques that can help you to increase your focus and make more calls in less time:

- Block out times to call. Making an appointment with yourself to get on the phone eliminates the excuse that you don’t have time to do it. If you treat the time as it is a meeting with a client and close your email program, switch your cellphone to silent mode and let incoming calls go to voicemail, you might be amazed at how much you get done.

- Sometimes “time” can be intimidating.  A “1 hour call block” may seem like 10 hours for some.  In these instances we suggest setting a “rep” goal.  Instead of one hour, perhaps the goal is 10 dials, or 10 connections.  The latter of course will take much longer to achieve, but setting a small “rep” goal can be the catalyst to quickly building a habit and growing from there.

- Plan your prospects. Instead of randomly paging through your database looking for people to call, take the time to predefine your dialing list. This makes it easier for you to go from call to call quickly.

- Pre-book follow ups. After each call, put an entry in your CRM’s calendar or your calling program to remind you to make your follow up call. Even if your call was not fruitful, consider booking a call for two to 12 months in the future so that you can touch the prospect again and have a chance at better luck. As you do this, you will find that you are making more and more pre-planned calls and fewer and fewer cold calls, reducing your planning time.

- Use an automatic dialer. Many customer relationship management (CRM) software packages can interface with a networked desk phone or with an Internet telephone on your computer to dial calls for you, saving you from stopping to dial and taking the risk of doing something else instead of dialing.

Prospecting might be hard, but it’s very fruitful. Spending a little time up front to set up a system and using your discipline to stick to it can make the process easier, and even more fruitful. Now stop reading this and go call someone!


Avoiding the 5 Biggest Broker Failures in Commercial Real Estate

September 17th, 2013 4 comments

I was driving back from a meeting the other day, listening to one of my favoritFailuree CD Series from Success Magazine. The topic of the CD was failure. More specifically, the lessons we all learn from failure. Reflecting on my personal career, and the growth of the Massimo Group, and even our clients, I appreciate how much influence failure has had.

Failure is life’s greatest teacher. So let’s look at 5 ways you can leverage the all-encompassing educational tool that is failure, to grow your  commercial real estate brokerage practice.

1. When you don’t get the listing or representation assignment, ask the prospect (unfortunately not your client) why not. How else can you win the next opportunity with this prospect unless you fully understand where they found deficiencies in your presentation? Use this opportunity to better position yourself for consideration next time. “Well, I am sorry to hear of your decision, but we greatly appreciate your consideration. If you would, can you provide us with some specifics on where we fell short. I only ask because I value your opinion and critiques from qualified owners/tenants/etc. like you are one of the best ways for us to grow”.

2. When you get rejected on the telephone. Stop. Don’t make the next call until you debrief on the last one. This is true when you have had a great call as well. But when rejected, you need to ask yourself why. Was it a poor value proposition, did you fail to properly qualify the prospect, was your demeanor less than enthusiastic or did you simply give up too easily and invite the prospect to blow you off?

3. When a deal falls apart, you know, the one you have been working on all year and have already envisioned how you would spend the commission, review everything. And, I mean EVERYTHING. Somewhere along the process an assumption was made that started this downward spiral. It could have been in the beginning when you did not properly qualify the prospect, was it when you assumed the other broker would take care of that deal point, or the attorney was smart enough to not get in the way? A vast majority of the deals that die, die because of someone, somewhere somehow making an improper assumption. You know what they say about assumptions.

4. When a co-broker skirts you on a commission split, what did YOU do to let this happen? Did you do everything you committed to when the commission arrangement was first established? Did you get the commission agreement, along with division of responsibilities in writing? Did you monitor the progress of the other broker, and of yourself, during the transaction and address any inconsistencies while they happened?

5. When you fail to make your financial goal for the year do you understand why? Did you initially breakdown how many commercial real estate deals and what size of deals would need to be consummated for you to reach your goals. Did you then project how many prospecting activities and presence impressions you would need to generate the deals? Did you consistently review your pipeline and focus your efforts on those transactions that had the highest probability for you and your client, did you watch your numbers, your dashboard or seek advice from you mentor, colleague, manager, spouse or coach when you felt a change in course might be needed?

Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine refers to failure as “The F word”. Like Mr. Hardy, I really LOVE failure. Why? As expressed by many, there is only one true “failure” in life and that is the failure to try. If you can relate to any of the 5 reasons above, then it means you are trying. If you start to increase your failure rate, you will be increasing your effort rate and ultimately you will increase your success rate. Do yourself a favor and go out and fail today, and fail a lot.  Success is right around the corner.


4 Keys to Handling Objections in Commercial Real Estate

August 3rd, 2013 1 comment

Learning to successfully handle objections could have more impact on your success Objectionthan any other skill. It will help you land more listings, take higher fees, put more deals under contract, keep them under contract, and protect your final paycheck. Not only is the skill powerful, but it’s relatively simple to master.  Here are four techniques that will help you handle every objection more effectively.

1. Don’t take them personally. Some clients have objections that are truly legitimate, while other will throw them up just to see what they can gain in a negotiation. In either case, remember that it’s just business and stay cool. Not only will it make the negotiation easier, but it’ll also show what a calm negotiator you are and, hopefully, boost your perceived value.

2. Understand them. For example, when a client says they don’t believe in exclusive listings, they could actually mean one of many things. They could be saying that they really aren’t serious about selling, in which case you might not want the assignment. In some cases, they just don’t understand what you can do for them if they retain you. Sometimes, they’ve had a bad experience in the past and you’ll need to prove you’re different from the previoius agent that did a bad job for them. Once you know this, you can attack the objection the right way, instead of just making arguments blindly. In fact, to be sure you have it right, repeat the objection as you understand it back to them and get their confirmation before proceeding.

3.  Have evidence ready. Some clients will not just take your word for your capabilities. Instead of telling them what you’ll do – show them by bringing samples of marketing strategies you’ve performed for other clients. If they disagree with your pricing, bring comps to support it, and be ready to explain why the comps they have are wrong. As another example, if they think you aren’t experienced enough to represent them, bring your senior partner with you.

4. Solve the problem. This might seem obvious, but I’ve seen many agents fail to do this. Once you’ve identified the objection, focus exclusively on it. For example, your track record isn’t the solution to a fee objection. Assuming you already described who you are and what you’ve done, the client is aware of  your track record. They just don’t want to pay what you charge for it. You, instead, need to point to the specific value you add and why it’s worth what you’re charging.  Remember you already had your client tell you exactly what their problem was, so you should be able to make a focused argument to solve their issue.

In commercial real estate, objections are simply part of the process.  Objections are your opportunity to shine and reinforce your expertise.  Follow these four simple rules and you will move past the hurdle and on to the listing.


Brokerage Lessons from a day with Coach K

June 6th, 2013 6 comments

This past weekend I had the honor of attending a lecture from one of my coaching icons, Coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University and USA Basketball.  Coach K is widely considered one of the greatest coaches of all time.  My most gracious host was Brian Zoubek, current broker at Cushman & Wakefield and starting center from the 2010 Duke National Championship team.

Coach K1I admit I am biased.  In addition to getting my graduate degree from Duke, I also served on their athletic council and was as an assistant lacrosse coach during my two years there.  Now as the head of Massimo’s coaching and consulting practice, I tend to watch more post-game press conferences to see how coaches position their comments to inspire their players and analyze their challenges.

Coach K addressed a group of participants at this year’s K Academy, a major college basketball fantasy camp, regarding how he orchestrated the 2012 USA men’s basketball team to the gold medal.  Imagine working with some of the world’s best athletes and getting them to hit a goal, which several have already achieved four years earlier.

Here are some highlights Coach K outlined regarding  his staff’s orchestrated, concerted, and progressive approach for his team achieving the ultimate goal.

  • Inspiration vs. Motivation- If you want to win you have to be inspired.  Coaches can’t motivate.  Either you are motivated to be the best or you’re not.  Our brokerage coaching clients, who achieve the best, are also the ones who are the most motivated.Biran Zubes
  • Set the Vision Up front.  Months before they headed to the Olympics Coach K asked Lebron James and the boys to vision what  they would be doing on August 14, 2012 – the day of the gold medal game.  Having a vision helps you to commit to a roadmap to get you where you want to go.  Your vision may include being the top producer, the top prospector, or simply to achieve a number of listings or amount of income.  The important point is you need a vision.
  • It’s Time to Recommit – Success only breeds success if you can commit the first time and then recommit every time thereafter.   Top producers are consistently top producers because they recommit to being the best.
  • Follow the Roadmap.  This is the plan of action to achieve your Vision.  Having a vision is great, but it won’t materialize just because you have one.  You need a specific plan of action and then commit to this plan.
  • Have Standards.  This is a way to do things all the time, which of course reinforces the goal.  What are your standards?  Do you hold true to them and consistently apply them during your pursuit to find, win and fulfill business?

Coach K, the winningest coach in college basketball history, is a master of inspiration, preparation, orchestrating and, well, coaching.  If you are motivated, then set a vision and commit to a roadmap.  Your own gold medal of brokerage is within your reach.




Massimo Group Client – Massey Knakal – Launches CRE News Network

May 24th, 2013 No comments

Massimo Group client, Massey Knakal Realty Services, recently announced a new initiative called the Knakal News Network (KNN). KNN is hosted by Massey Knakal Chairman, Bob Knakal.


Ranked by CoStar as the #1 New York Brokerage firm based on the number of investment properties sold for each of the last twelve years, Massey Knakal is presenting to all participants in the commercial real estate market Mr. Knakal’s views, perspectives, and insights via weekly video presentations. These video clips will delve deeply into a new topic each week to convey the most recent news and trends.


Mr. Knakal has been the chairman of Massey Knakal since founding the firm with Paul Massey in 1988.

Although these videos are centered around the New York metropolitan area, the strategies and tactics shared by Mr. Knakal are applicable to any investment broker in any market.


To view this latest video, please click on the image above.