Succeeding in the Summertime
David Greene Aug. 14, 2014, 2:23 p.m.
If you are a successful broker, you are running all day, every day. You take care of clients and prospective tenants and landlords on the phone and by email putting together cost projections, analysis and lots of research, including research about your tenant or landlord as well. You are probably thinking about expanding the areas that your tenants might consider. You may also be searching for a solution with your landlord and that credit tenant who is seeking to lease space in your building. You are probably thinking about how to separate yourself from other brokers who may be competing for similar business. You also know that you are at your best when you are in front of your prospective client. You are juggling several prospective transactions at once and are also thinking about the calls you need to make in order to lengthen your pipeline and make the next deals possible.
If there is one simple way to make yourself more attractive to a prospective client and help separate yourself from others competing for similar business, it is the ability to recite what is happening on their street and in their submarket as well as within their industry. An important tool is to read everything you can get your hands on, every pertinent real estate newspaper, magazine and periodical. Immerse yourself. It is important to keep up with the everyday general news and especially business news. Many of the real estate reporting websites can be informative as well. Though I sit on panels from time to time, I find it very interesting and often thought-provoking to attend the various industry discussions and of course the REBNY events to hear what people have to say. I purposely call friends and other professionals in the industry that perhaps I don’t know, to chat with them about our business. It motivates me. It keeps me fresh; it helps me look at things from a slightly different perspective.
But what happens when the clients go on vacation or take a break? Welcome to August in Manhattan. While the weather has been mild, more people are getting away from it all. Despite that, the market remains strong, with positive absorption during a period when business ordinarily slows down. Bear in mind though that nothing goes straight up without a slight correction. While the leasing market has been on a tear this year, with people taking time off, August has given us a chance to take a short breather and recalibrate what we do. This is a chance to review our accomplishments and think about how to improve ourselves. I am not referring to cleaning your office or taking mom out to dinner (though you should do that). Rather, I’m urging you to take this opportunity to think widely about the market and your tenants and to broadly contemplate the business itself. Our industry is not only about taking that 7,500-square-foot tenant out to find space. Think big. What have you never worked on and want to accomplish? Take advantage of this very brief respite, even if you’re on vacation. Good brokers never stop thinking about the business and this, in and of itself, improves who they are.