In Commercial Real Estate, we are not selling a “product” so to speak. It is our intellectual capital, our knowledge of the process, our related specialty, and the market that ultimately leads to successful transactions.
However, amongst a sea of real estate companies providing what often appear to be identical services, how do you differentiate your own brand? Here are five (5) common traits I have recognized that the industry’s best professionals use to stand out in today’s competitive environment:
#1: Spend Smart Capital to Promote Yourself
Success as a broker today requires significant financial investments in one’s career. Look at the highest income producers in your market and you will find they place large amounts of capital back into their business to fuel growth – including technology, networking, advanced education, and more. They develop a well thought out plan, budget for it, and execute accordingly.
Whatever stage you are in your career, start developing a renewed promotional strategy and setting aside the financial resources to help support your brokerage business. Of equal importance, review this plan each year, evaluating what works and adjusting what doesn’t.
#2: Be a Leading Voice in Social Media
Thanks to our connected world, marketing and public relations is now a 365-day, 24/7 occupation. There is no off switch and today’s winning professionals know this. While you are sleeping, decision makers are scrolling your website, reading your bio and social media feed, and in the process – determining if they want to work with you. As a result, your online presence and overall brand recognition have never been more important for your business.
Industry leaders have figured out how to tell their story in a different way online, to stir emotion, demonstrate true expertise, and more importantly, they consistently do this year after year. If you are not positively leveraging social media and your digital presence, get started today. It isn’t going away.
#3: Networking, Networking and Networking
Personal interactions have always been at the core of the real estate industry. As a result, it is impossible to overstate the importance of creating and maintaining a professional network – even in today’s world of COVID-19. In addition to staying in contact with past clients, the best forward thinkers cultivate a strong, extensive network of industry relationships – and not just other brokers, but attorneys, developers, architects, accountants, and other top service providers.
Achieving high-level networking, in person and online, is a crucial element to success in any profession. In commercial real estate, there are no shortage of networking organizations to join. Start by participating in a few and determine which ones not only catch your interest but also truly challenge you. Above all, keep networking. Done the right way, your group of contacts, organizations and ultimately, relationships, will continue to increase over time.
#4: Keep Pace with and Leverage Technology
Observe the landscape — things are changing at an accelerated pace. One can’t ignore the influences of technology and the corresponding rapid rate of change. Further, we are just getting started in terms of understanding their overall impact on our lives.
Technology continues to be a catalyst for change in all areas of business. The best way to maintain relevance in the backdrop of this transformation is to keep pace with today’s technology and educate yourself on the emerging trends that surround each sector.
#5: Earn a Leading Industry Designation
Last but certainly not least, pursue a leading specialty designation from one of the few globally respected real estate organizations. Make sure to pick a specialty that fits in line with the type of real estate you will be handling like the Society of Industrial & Office Realtors (SIOR).
As a longstanding SIOR member, the benefits created through the association are endless. SIOR is comprised of the world’s elite brokers and every member is a professional I know I can count on for collaboration, support, and local expertise. Anyone who values the importance of high standards and a continually improving approach to their career will benefit from the unparalleled networking and knowledge driven opportunities. Spending the time and effort will help build up the kind of experience and credibility needed to attract the most lucrative deals and develop life-long relationships.
The old formula of simply telling everyone how great you are, how innovative your state-of-the-art solutions may be, or your commitment to customer service, just won’t cut it anymore. The best in our business understand this and have found unique ways to make themselves and their teams memorable. The good news is, you can too!