Whether you’re fresh to the CRE industry or a well known market expert, I’m sure you have noticed a new wave of professionals making their debut: the modern broker. When you talk to these brokers they are typically boasting about some new CREtech application or market trend which they are leveraging to get in front of more prospects. Although these individuals are not necessarily new to the CRE stomping grounds, they are definitely making their presence known everywhere they go.
After conducting a survey with a group of CRE professionals all holding different years of experience in the industry, below is a list of the 5 items they considered the most important for getting ahead in today’s competitive CRE industry, ultimately becoming a modern broker.
1. Organization + Time Optimization
“Time kills all deals.”
Since brokers are well known for their fast paced conversations, constantly ringing phones, and busy travel schedules, it probably comes as no surprise that both organization and time optimization scored very high on the survey. Luckily, many CREtech applications are already on the market catering to different needs. Tools like Apto, a CRE-specific CRM allows brokers to manage a deal from prospecting to close out. Professionals looking for real-time access into leasing and portfolio data in one centralized location noted they are adopting tools like VTS. Other professionals requiring a holistic view of the market enjoy tools such as REscour since it provides users both proprietary property and comp data management, as well as a powerful visualization platform. This way users can login to one platform and see everything their team knows and everything REscour knows. In an industry where time kills all deals, CREtech is clearly key to both organization and optimization.
2. Strong Social Media Presence
“If I have to create a Twitter account to put myself in front of more prospects, I’ll do it.”
Based on our survey results, data concluded that 77% of surveyed CRE professionals strongly agreed that having a strong social media presence is indeed a must have in today’s industry. Despite being a relatively new must-do item, social presence is becoming increasingly important to driving professional growth. Thankfully, developing a social media presence is as easy as consistently sharing market trends to places like Twitter or Linkedin. Some brokers already using social media commented that by doing so they have been able to expand their network, and market themselves within an even greater pool of prospects.
3. Client Education
“I gained trust by educating my client on market trends they were unaware of.”
Sharing knowledge with a client throughout the entire deal process is crucial to securing their future business, as well as trusting them to send referrals your way. Previously, brokers would only research and provide what the client originally requested, but today’s clients demand a full consultative approach. Clients want to know all of their options, as well as trends they might be missing out on. For example, if a client insists on an office space with individual cubicles but based on market knowledge the broker believes the client’s industry is moving towards all open floor plans – they educate their client!
4. Leveraging proprietary data to get ahead
“Having personal access into my company’s proprietary data would be a huge asset. “
Research teams throughout major brokerage firms are quickly adopting CRE data management and visualization tools giving modern brokers an opportunity to leverage their company’s proprietary data. Brokers can now be more efficient with their own time, as well as quickly provide clients with the metrics they request versus waiting days on the data to be sent up from the research department.
5. Embracing Change
“No one wants to do business with the professional still using pen and paper.”
Since clients are constantly adopting and creating new technology they expect their brokers to be equally tech-savvy. Regardless of how promising the technology presented is, some brokers continuously shy away from these growth opportunities without ever giving them a chance, ultimately leading to them falling behind. Modern brokers on the other hand are at the front of the line as technologies hit the market, leaving them more desirable to clients. As a matter of fact, 92% of individuals surveyed stated that they believe adopting CREtech is directly linked to their success and overall growth within the industry.
As you can see, there is no denying that this industry is becoming more and more tech-savvy. One survey participant, Dany Koe from Colliers International even commented that “Both clients and prospects ask about my CREtech capabilities before any engagement. Because of today’s expectation of instant gratification, I always try to adopt technologies that create a competitive advantage by allowing me to provide my clients up to date and accurate information with just the touch of my finger.”
This new wave of CRE professionals might throw around buzzwords like ‘social and mobile’, and many of them might do their work from a smartphone but do you blame them? In today’s competitive market everyone is looking for a way to set themselves apart. Modern brokers are just a step ahead.
* Nicole currently leads Customer Success at REscour, a CRE data management and visualization solution. For more information send her a message today.