Nobody is ever born as a commercial real estate (CRE) broker. Even if you know a few people who absolutely excel at their jobs, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they were proficient from the first moment they started to work as brokers. This proficiency stems from years of hard work and honing their skills in order to climb the ranks and become the absolute best they can be.
But what kind of a skill set does a CRE broker actually need to have in order to thrive? Whether you’re someone who wants to hire a CRE broker for your business or perhaps want to become one yourself, there are a handful of characteristics that come in handy in this profession. Look for these seven skills that make a successful CRE broker:
1. Market Knowledge
Having all-encompassing market knowledge is a vital element in any successful CRE broker’s career. This is something you cannot fake in front of clients or competitors, so you should never overlook the importance of this skill. A highly successful broker never settles with their current knowledge and always strives to learn more about current situations, as well as future predictions regarding the ever-changing nature of the commercial real estate market. With the help of this skill he or she can stay ahead of the curve, have a clear view of what’s to come and advise accordingly.
Similarly to market knowledge, experience is also a critical skill which one can’t exactly perfect overnight. It takes years and years of hard work to become one of the most insightful CRE brokers in the business, but the invested time and energy will pay off tenfold once you manage to outshine your competitors with your vast experience and knowledge, which clients tend to notice immediately. This is a tough skill to achieve and takes a lot of time and patience, but it’s what makes successful CRE brokers stand out from the crowd.
3. Insight on Law and Regulations
A good CRE broker always knows all the aspects of existing market conditions but that’s not worth much without thorough knowledge of current laws and regulations. Contract law, real estate agency rules and regulations, zoning and other legal codes, court procedures and political processes are quite far-reaching topics, which all successful CRE brokers strive to understand, learn and pass on to clients.
4. Mathematics and Economics
CRE brokers that wish to outshine their colleagues should definitely work on perfecting their mathematics skills. They need to be perfectly aware of how they can apply statistical analysis, calculus, algebra and geometry into the business and should be able to calculate cap rates, ROI, NOI and other indicators when needed. A vast knowledge in finance and economics is similarly important, since an excellent CRE broker deals with accounting principles, reporting and analyzing financial statements and banking and lending regulations on a daily basis.
5. Negotiation skills
Excelling in negotiation is a vital aspect of any CRE broker’s professional career because after all, their most important mission is to represent the interests of their client. Thus, brokers need to prove themselves time and time again that they have the abilities necessary to negotiate the best terms, conditions and prices on behalf of their clients. This is yet again a skill that needs to be continuously learned and improved, so an open mindset in this regard helps a lot.
6. Persuasion Skills
Negotiation and persuasion skills go hand in hand and neither can exist without the other in the daily challenges of a CRE broker’s life. In order to become a superstar CRE broker, you need to learn to be persuasive on different levels. You need to pay attention to the persuasive skill of reciprocity, so people will return favors when you need them to.
With the persuasive skill of commitment and consistency, you can provide consistent value to your clients, through which you can get closer to signing a deal. The persuasive skill of familiarity and similarity can prove to clients that you have plenty of common ground which can help earn their trust faster and have a better relationship with clients. The persuasive technique of authority shows others that you’re a leading figure which they can trust and follow. And last but not least, by perfecting the persuasive skill of scarcity and creating the illusion that something is in short supply, people will immediately be willing to pay more and will even want it more, which you can definitely turn to your advantage.
7. People Skills
Perfecting all the skills mentioned above will all be worth nothing if you cannot translate it into an approachable language that your clients can understand. Dealing with competitors is also of paramount importance, similarly to building a network of professional individuals you can count on and work with.
These seven skills all complete each other and can definitely help you become the superstar CRE broker you always wanted to be. Just remember to keep an open mind, soak up all the information that comes your way and never stop learning.