Old school or new school. Pavement pounding cold calling or social media and technology. I spent a little time in the great city of Chicago this week(ironically doing two panels for social media and commercial real estate) and had some in depth and thoughtful discussions with several smart and savvy brokers. Interesting to me was the different opinions about what is or is not the way we in commercial real estate are should maybe or can be doing THE business of getting deals. Now obliviously I have leaned towards the tech side but there is still a pretty serious contingent of non tech people getting it done. This made me think a little bit back to the “old” days and I thought I would post up something I did along time ago. Basically I sat down and had lunch with a good friend of mine who I would certainly call old school. Picture an ex football linebacker type,clean shaved head pinstripe suit and a stare the melts the ladies and puts the boys on their heels.
Old School Real Estate Still Kicking Your Ass.
Think that all of your beeping gadgets and tethered toys are just the coolest things ever? Do you know what the latest I- pop app or whatever they call them are and think it rules the world? Well, great for you. I have some news for you son. I’m kicking your ass and here’s how and why.
1. I get my butt up and moving- First of all commercial real estate does not happen sitting at the desk. It happens in the field. A successful pro must be in the field every day, yes every day.
2. I am mobile- As in get in your car and drive your market, yes every day.
3. I am really mobile– They have these things call shoes. Walking, knocking on doors, climbing stairs, you would be amazed what you see and hear. On the ground and the street.
4. I meet people- Tenants, property managers, building owners, (remember them?)they are the ones who actually need my service.
5. I listen and learn- I get info from them about their families, politics, hobbies and their business. Guess what, they tell me stuff. Like lease information, when they are moving and what they really need. In great detail. They like me. I am their “professional” friend and connection to commercial real estate.
6. I feel the market- I keep up with what businesses are expanding and contracting who is creating jobs and who is bailing out. I analyze why. It’s my job.
7. I know the ropes– Zoning, planning, permits, water, local, municipal. Yes, I went to school with the wonderful gals behind the desks at the city and county. I don’t abuse the relationship. I nurture it.You can’t get that type of info from any GIS or computer.
8. I know where to go– I attend the events that matter for commercial real estate. Guess what they call it? Networking. Chamber of Commerce,Golf charity outings,BNI,Toastmasters,Monday morning lead group. Take your pick. I am their go to guy.
9. I’m a pro– The average broker spends 8 or 9 years in this business. How many do you think are left from this last bloodletting? Think they will jump back in when it looks like a little easy money can be made? I’ll be here if they want to come back, but I doubt it. They made the real pros look bad. They probably went on to some Social Media “consulting” job. It looked easy for a while didn’t it. Good effin riddance.
10. Time- as in you are not willing to:
a. Stay away from the gadgets. They are just distractions…..for the lazy.
b. Realize commercial real estate is NOT an online business.
c. Take time away from your “real” life.
This one may hurt but, you are not willing to be away from your family, friends and fun. “17 hours a day for 25 years. That’s my secret.” Balls in all the way or not?
Take this as friendly or not so friendly advice. Just telling it like it is and showing you the way it’s still done today. Play with your toys all you want. I’ll just keep cashing my checks…for the next 20 years.
My boy does not mince many words. Now you may say hey a mix of the old school stuff with some tech is the way that I do it and that most are seeing the next wave of new broker finally breaking the old school ways. Think for a minute. You have to know two, three, four guys in your market doing it old school. My simple question to you is why then are these boys still getting it done?