Avoiding the 5 Most Common Broker Failures in Commercial Real Estate

Rod N. Santomassimo
President and Founder
The Massimo Group

I was driving back from a meeting the other day, listening to one of my favoritFailuree CD Series from Success Magazine. The topic of the CD was failure. More specifically, the lessons we all learn from failure. Reflecting on my personal career, and the growth of the Massimo Group, and even our clients, I appreciate how much influence failure has had.

Failure is life’s greatest teacher. So let’s look at 5 ways you can leverage the all-encompassing educational tool that is failure, to grow your commercial real estate brokerage practice.

1. When you don’t get the listing or representation assignment, ask the prospect (unfortunately not your client) why not. How else can you win the next opportunity with this prospect unless you fully understand where they found deficiencies in your presentation? Use this opportunity to better position yourself for consideration next time. “Well, I am sorry to hear of your decision, but we greatly appreciate your consideration. If you would, can you provide us with some specifics on where we fell short. I only ask because I value your opinion and critiques from qualified owners/tenants/etc. like you are one of the best ways for us to grow”.

2. When you get rejected on the telephone. Stop. Don’t make the next call until you debrief on the last one. This is true when you have had a great call as well. But when rejected, you need to ask yourself why. Was it a poor value proposition, did you fail to properly qualify the prospect, was your demeanor less than enthusiastic or did you simply give up too easily and invite the prospect to blow you off?

3. When a deal falls apart, you know, the one you have been working on all year and have already envisioned how you would spend the commission, review everything. And, I mean EVERYTHING. Somewhere along the process an assumption was made that started this downward spiral. It could have been in the beginning when you did not properly qualify the prospect, was it when you assumed the other broker would take care of that deal point, or the attorney was smart enough to not get in the way? A vast majority of the deals that die, die because of someone, somewhere somehow making an improper assumption. You know what they say about assumptions.

4. When a co-broker skirts you on a commission split, what did YOU do to let this happen? Did you do everything you committed to when the commission arrangement was first established? Did you get the commission agreement, along with division of responsibilities in writing? Did you monitor the progress of the other broker, and of yourself, during the transaction and address any inconsistencies while they happened?

5. When you fail to make your financial goal for the year do you understand why? Did you initially breakdown how many commercial real estate deals and what size of deals would need to be consummated for you to reach your goals. Did you then project how many prospecting activities and presence impressions you would need to generate the deals? Did you consistently review your pipeline and focus your efforts on those transactions that had the highest probability for you and your client, did you watch your numbers, your dashboard or seek advice from you mentor, colleague, manager, spouse or coach when you felt a change in course might be needed?

Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine refers to failure as “The F word”. Like Mr. Hardy, I really LOVE failure. Why? As expressed by many, there is only one true “failure” in life and that is the failure to try. If you can relate to any of the 5 reasons above, then it means you are trying. If you start to increase your failure rate, you will be increasing your effort rate and ultimately you will increase your success rate. Do yourself a favor and go out and fail today, and fail a lot. Success is right around the corner.