They said that real estate is all about location, location, location. I would argue that except for certain retailers, that statement couldn’t be further from the truth.
For me, it’s all about process.
As seasoned real estate professionals, we all know how the process works best. However, I know that at times I am so eager to please the client that I am afraid to lay out the process in a way that I am confident will achieve the best results. Rather, I let them dictate the process which sometimes leads to issues along the way.
And at other times, we take on projects that, for whatever reason, are doomed from the start. The chemistry is wrong, there’s no consensus on the process, and each step is a struggle. I recently worked on a building sale in a market that was outside of my core market. While I tried to bring in the right resources to assist, the process was frustrating for both the client and me. The results met or exceeded their expectations, but getting there was painful.
We all know what it’s like to work with great clients and what it’s like to work with painful clients, and it’s all tied back to the process. How we get to the finish line dictates how we feel about the outcome as much as the outcome itself.
I recently hired a contractor for a project in my house. This contractor came recommended from a member of my family and provided me with a price that was significantly less than the other prices I received from his competitors.
Once hired, he made a regular habit of rescheduling meetings at the last minute, missing deadlines, and adding to the price with things that he hadn’t considered previously. His communication skills were poor and he gave me too many excuses for why things weren’t happening. Frankly, I didn’t care why. I fired him five months after I hired him. There was no amount of savings that was worth working with him. The process was broken and I didn’t see it getting any better.
One of our largest and longest term clients told us years ago that the process is more important than anything else. One missed deadline causes a domino effect. If the process is bulletproof, it’s difficult to question the outcome.
We’ve done over 50 deals with that client in the last 13 years.
So while my friends in retail might still be preaching location, location, location, I will keep telling anyone that will listen that the key to repeat business is process, process, process.
By: Jeremy Neuer
Senior Vice President | CBRE New Jersey