Basics for Success in Real Estate Brokerage

“What has worked?,” “What is working?” and, “What will work in the future?”

As one looks back at good times and bad, it always is important to go back to the “basics.” This checklist is for all brokers, to step back and take an inventory on the “basics” to attain success in our business.

1. Keep your personal priorities in correct order: faith, family, and career.
a. Your word and integrity can never be compromised!

2. Focus on learning every day.
a. Seek out mentors and try to learn from them.
b. Attend seminars and education to learn from the masters. Don’t think that required low-cost continuing ed courses are your route to success.
c. Attain accreditations and memberships that contribute to your knowledge and network niche.
d. Learn creative formulas to give you more tools to close.
e. Learn how to exchange properties to obtain new benefits, not just for tax considerations.

3. Develop your client counseling skills.
a. Transactions are due to the people involved, not the properties they own or the properties they desire to own.
b. Ask questions and then ask more questions.
c. Listen, listen, and listen.
d. Learn client goals, immediate needs, and motivations. Make sure your potential transactions complement, solve, and fulfill with appropriate benefits.
e. Learn to turn down clients with unrealistic expectations and objectives. Your counseling approach is to interview a “client applicant.”
f. Learn all of the parties that will have input and control on the client’s decisions during your relationship. Involve these people in your counseling sessions if possible.
g. Counseling sessions should be scheduled regularly, as needs and motivations can change rapidly.
h. Remember that client counseling never stops until the transaction is closed.

4. Develop your property analysis skills.
a. Become an expert in a few different classes of property (i.e., development land, ranches, apartments, ministorage, etc.) but also become proficient in other types of commercial real estate to serve diversified clients competently.
b. Focus on the “benefits” a property can deliver.
c. Understand property rankings by “benefits” using the “Transaction Feasibility Pyramid,” or “Ladder of Real Estate Investments.”
d. Understand that price can be a secondary issue in finding solutions.
e. Recognize that the “market” could be very local or national for a particular situation or property.
f. Finding “takers” is the first step! There are always many more “takers” in the market than “buyers.”

5. Fully cooperating with other brokers expands your abilities. Being “protective” of your listing does not best serve your client.
i. Participate in local, regional, and national marketing sessions. If there aren’t any in your area, than organize a regular group of like-minded brokers to do business.

6. Finding and creating the transaction options are what the best “brokers” do – not just locate a “buyer.”
a. Outline the transaction illustrating the “benefits” to all parties.
b. Identify the pitfalls or problems to overcome in order to close.
i. Eliminate these obstacles by developing a strategy to overcome each problem.
ii. Be careful not to delegate to clients or lawyers and assume they fully understand the proposed transaction. Stay involved daily to fix problems before they become insurmountable and explain misunderstandings.
iii. Have a concern for “before” and “after” client situations, so when the dust settles after closing, tax consequences and new responsibilities still let your client truly accomplish a positive objective.

7. Learn to become your own best client. Invest in real estate whenever and however possible. Few brokers survive on fees and commissions only, so get started investing early in your career.

8. Relish and enjoy the business, celebrating the successes and learning from the failures.

Good luck is always helpful, but hard work makes one lucky!

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