I was asked by a very smart sharp new Commercial Real Estate agent to have a little lunch He wanted of course to “pick my brain”, you know get a little “seasoned” perspective. I picked out my usual masculine spot and we met up. We sat and talked about family and personal get to know you stuff. We schmoozed about interest rates and market pricing, Cap Rates and ROI. The standard Commercial Real Estate talk. The lunch went well and after an hour or so we parted ways with the normal “let’s do some business together” pleasantries.
The young guy reminded me a little bit of myself way back in the day so this started me thinking a little bit and I sat down and made a list. If I were to have lunch with myself say, back when I was just starting out . You know back in my twenties. When I had it all figured out. What are the things I would tell myself ? What Golden Nuggets of business wisdom would my cocky young self need to hear?
Well this is pretty obvious. Face to face, belly to belly. Start your outlook up, start connecting and get your ugly mug out there.
2. Invest more in more property
You know as much or more about it as anyone Or at least you have access to all the data and or the people to make a good investment decisions. Build your own portfolio. There is also this thing about competing with your clients, be careful.
You really need to work with the people in similar industries. They have need and want the same clientele. Architects and commercial builders are obvious, how about a landscaper or tech support people. Get creative.
4. Get involved in local regional and national board stuff.
Don’t bitch about what’s not happening and just do it. Don’t be a Hater. The old geezers need your help more than you think. Besides that tech/data thing is important.
5. Speaking of the geezers
There are great amounts of knowledge and experience in your Commercial Real Estate peers. They know almost everything and are more than happy to tell it to you…many, many times over.
6. Don’t wait for tech, try and help create it.
Everyone says wait and use what works Wrong. Be on the edge, use it as an advantage. That data stuff is Gold.
7. Gain the most knowledge about your local market.
The conversation always starts with “do you know the building on x street with the dock and blue trim on the front?” Research, analyze, and maybe actually go in all the available buildings. If you don’t know the answers to those basic questions, start working on the phrase “Do you want fries with that?”
8. Don’t just carve out a niche for your self.
Instead. Rip a hole thou the earth and create your own.
9. Gain the most knowledge about your business.
I know I just said don’t niche yourself but, each of these segments will help you gain an overall picture of Commercial Real Estate. You can be good at all of them. Some people may not think so. Who cares what “they” think.
10. Don’t be such a bull headed ass.
(I said I was talking to my younger self.)
11. Pay attention to the local politics.
You can sit on the fence politically if you want but stay very involved. Think the board of works meetings in your area are boring? Go to a couple and you will probably meet the next mayor. The city and county reps who will all be involved in politics for the next 10 or 15 years are there, that’s where they start. By the way, that land your buddy’s friend owns is in the right of way for the new school expansion. Infrastructure equals new business.
While I pick up the check…. Just a few personal side notes:
A. Buy Wal–mart stock and if you here someone say Google. Pay Attention.
B. That girl you proposed to, the one that said yes. You are way out of your league. Remember the look on her mother’s face, when she told her she said yes? Priceless.
C. Work you ass off 24/7 this is your chosen profession. You love this business. Don’t just half-ass it.
These are just a few of the things that came to mind. Or at least the one’s that could be posted. If you could go back and have an hour or two, what would you say to your self at lunch? Better yet, what would you tell that new Commercial Real Estate agent if you had lunch today? I can’t wait to see your responses.