When I started in real estate in 1998, I had a distinct advantage. I was comfortable with a computer, including programs like Excel and PowerPoint.
I could create spreadsheets and presentations, not to mention simple reports. I quickly bought my own mapping software (on CD rom for those old enough to remember those), as neither MapQuest nor Google Maps had been invented yet. I was able to create custom maps that looked much better than the paper ones, with scratch off numbers on them that my team was using previously.
The list goes on.
Why was this skill an advantage? Because the senior brokers I was working with not only weren’t as comfortable as I was with computers and software, but they saw this as something that could help them make money.
Therefore, I had job security.
As I discussed in a previous post, many young brokers think their primary job is to get meetings by canvassing. In my opinion, that’s not what it’s about. If you are truly invested in the team concept, then it’s about helping the team, including the senior brokers, make more money. That can take on many different forms. Showing space, developing reports, running surveys, and other mundane tasks make up the day, along with canvassing, which for most, isn’t a lot of fun.
But what if you brought a tool to the table that increased the efficiency of your team? And what if you were the expert on how to use that tool, the way I was the expert with a computer at the beginning of my career? My guess is that you’d have job security and maybe wouldn’t have to spend as much time on the mundane tasks.
My junior partner, Matt Wassel, quickly learned the ins and outs of Hightower when we moved our landlord practice to their platform. Could I have learned it? Definitely. But it made more sense for Matt to have ownership of the tool and use it to improve our process and delivery to our clients.
With new tools being rolled out regularly, I often ask Matt to check them out before I spend my time doing so. Is he less busy than I am? No way. But he might have a few more working hours in his day since he doesn’t have three kids.
On our team, we place a premium about staying ahead of the tools that will positively impact our service delivery to our clients. That said, I think we are somewhat of an exception, rather than the rule, but that’s only because so many in our industry don’t know what’s out there.
Next week, Matt and I will both attend CRE/Tech Intersect, which is the premier conference in our industry for tech tools. Will you be there to see what’s available and what’s coming next?
So, to the young brokers reading this, here is the message. If you are on the right team and you choose to, it can be your job to introduce new tools that will help the team make money and impress clients. The real magic is not only introducing the tools, but becoming an expert in putting them to work for the team. Then, you too can have job security.
And when you have job security, everything is easier. Your canvassing results will get better because you will have more confidence. Your level of trust on the team will increase. And most importantly, you will have more clients and be able to provide them a higher level of service.
Isn’t that what it’s all about?
By: Jeremy Neuer
Senior Vice President | CBRE New Jersey