How to Learn from Your Mistakes in Commercial Property Brokerage

In commercial real estate brokerage, mistakes are common practice as you start to understand who you are working with, what the clients want, and how the deals should be negotiated.  It is a fine balance of activity that you can learn from.  The parties to a transaction, the property ownership structure and the pressures of local market conditions will all influence the situation.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)


Good things happen!

So the key fact to remember here is that things will go wrong and mistakes will happen for you and or your brokerage.  Through all of that, some good things will evolve with listings, negotiation outcomes, and client relationships.

You will always have choices in what you do as an industry specialist so look for the choices and resolve the best outcomes.  Over time you can make better choices and learn from the bad ones.  It’s all the same in sales, leasing, and property management.


Top agent results?

Show me a ‘top agent’ and I will show you someone that has made lots of bad mistakes over their career.  In balance though, they pushed through the ‘tough stuff’ and the challenging issues.  They found ways to move on a client or prospect opportunity.  The first refusal was only a trigger to push through the barriers.

Understand that you have choices as a broker or agent, and you also have the advantage of using market circumstances to show the other parties how they also have good choices available.  Local market evidence and information will always help you through.


What’s up?

So let’s say that you have had your fair share of brokerage challenges.  What can you learn from?  Try some of these for starters:

  • Why was the property inquiry low for a single listing? – when you analyze listing activity, you can see the results that you are getting from each listing; you can also see what is driving better inquiry on particular property types or locations.
  • Why the client’s (or your) expectations didn’t convert – every client will be different, as will the listed property. Look at the facts for what they are and see if the expectations were realistic or not so.
  • Why the marketing did not attract much inquiry – there are many different levels of marketing to work with; a lot of promotional choices will come from the funds available from the vendor. Tune your presentations so that your conversions of vendor paid funds are high on the agenda for every listing that you are chasing.
  • Why the client didn’t really take to your recommendations – some clients don’t listen, others are influenced by other brokers, and perhaps you really didn’t give your client the fullest facts about the property situation in a way that they could relate to. Trust is a big issue in our industry.  Make sure that the client listens do you and that you have all the local property facts ready to support the momentum of the deal.
  • Why the negotiation failed in the end result – some transactions are hard to get across the line. In each listing and property deal you have to assess and see what the elements of the transaction really are and then you should work through the strengths and weaknesses.  Be prepared for the client’s questions, and the changes of the negotiation as they take shape.

So mistakes in commercial real estate brokerage will always happen. You can do some good things when you really understand what is going on around you locally and with the property.

(N.B. these ideas are also sent out to regularly to our friends in Commercial Real Estate Online Snapshot to help amplify brokerage results…. Get your access here)

By John Highman

John Highman is an International Commercial Real Estate Author, Conference Speaker, and Broadcaster living in Australia, who shares property investment ideas and information to online audiences Worldwide.