Stephen Nostrand, President, ONE Commercial Real Estate
December 19, 2019
Technology advancements in the commercial real estate space have been slower to advance than in residential real estate. The big exception is in Proptech which, over just the past couple of years, has provided a lot of options for property and asset managers. Broader advancements are coming, and coming big. When tokenization takes hold, it will be truly dramatic. Properties will be bought and sold where literally the click of a button will create and close a competitive process for investors to be equity owners in assets worldwide. The equally dramatic changes that predictive analytics will provide are much closer and we are working with a lot of those tools now. So how does that and many more aspects affect what we do in providing commercial real estate services to clients?
DISTINGUISH TO SURVIVE
It is no longer adequate to provide information to clients. That has become a commodity. Proving the analysis and interpretation of the information, not always something a machine can do, is the value play. Brokerage companies have to recruit and retain brokers who can connect with the assignment and use the best in class support tools to deliver a difference. They must have both the technical approach and the human connection.
We are not psychic. We can’t pretend we know what a client or prospect needs. Nor can we suggest any solutions until we completely understand not just what they say, but more importantly, what they mean. Those are different. When we do all the talking and not all the listening, we fail to serve our clients. It does not matter how much experience we have had or how many deals we have closed. All of that is irrelevant until we connect and summarize what we have heard and have the client say yes, you understand. Brokerage companies need brilliant listeners. A machine cannot do that.
SHARE THE GOOD AND THE BAD
Constant and consistent communication leads to loyalty and success even though the outcome may be different from the expectation. Sharing the bad news, which we all know is difficult, builds character. Clients deserve good character brokers. Commercial brokerage companies need relationship brokers who can prove they really care and are not just transacting business.
INNOVATE – LIVE THE FUTURE
Every client relationship is different and one of a kind. If we cherish those relationships and always challenge ourselves to find different ways to get to the finish line, success is sweeter for everyone. What we did last year or even six months ago, doesn’t work anymore. There are new ways, new aspects. Take a football. Hold it in your hand and close one eye. It is still a football, but it looks much different and as you move it around the shapes change. Brokerage companies need to find brokers who want to change the shape of the clients’ solution. They put in a lot of “think time” and test those solutions.
When you do the right thing and commit to finding the treasure for your client, you can define yourself as being capable. But going beyond capable requires something special. It has to come from the heart and the gut. It is hard to describe but those who have it, will feel it and put it to work for their clients. Commercial brokerage companies need more feelers.
As a commercial real estate brokerage company, we look directly at ourselves all the time. We try to find the “true us”. And when we are honest with each other about how we can match the true us and continue to grow our company with those who are committed to be ing better, then we know that the future looks very bright.
President/COO, ONE Commercial Real Estate
Professor, University of Miami
Masters in Real Estate Development and Urbanism Program
Performance Life Coach