Commercial real estate professionals know that new business development is the life blood of a long career in the brokerage business. When brokers start out in the business, virtually 100% of their time is devoted to new business development. Naturally. When starting out, every day consists of learning the market and making contact with the principals who either control the assets or actively seek to enter the market you have claimed as your own (hopefully). It is a relentless pursuit consisting of research, calls and meetings. At the beginning of your commercial real estate brokerage career, most days are somewhat similar. Then you begin to reap some rewards from your efforts. You land an assignment, take a listing, write an offer. Now your day has to include marketing, fielding calls from interested parties, negotiating, etc. Some of these calls, marketing activities and negotiations naturally lead to additional business such as tenant or buyer rep assignments, referrals, etc. Now things are getting exciting! That paycheck is coming into view! You must focus on these activities because they represent the highest likelihood of getting paid in the near term. This is what you got into commercial brokerage to do right? Close deals.
True, but as your day compresses with each new activity demanding your attention, you can’t ignore the activity that got you here and ultimately will keep those checks flowing in….NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT. To ignore or drastically reduce those actions such as cold calls, initial client meetings, networking, etc. would be to cut off the blood that keeps the business alive. In essence, you would be succeeding your way to future failure by taking your foot off of the business development gas pedal.
That certainly isn’t to imply that marketing your listings, representing buyers, negotiating deals and managing your transaction pipeline isn’t vitally important. It is. But equally important is your ability to navigate your time so as to include a set block of minutes (or hours) where you are speaking to new people, making new contacts, meeting the principals in your market and generating future business opportunities. There have been countless books written on “time management” and perhaps you have a system that you follow. It’s really as simple as making a daily appointment with yourself that you will not break, at a set time (or times) where you block everything else out to aggressively seek out new business. Perhaps as you get busy this consists of only 60 to 90 minutes a day. If the other 7 to 10 hours of your work day are jam packed with existing business activities, this is enough. If you only have a few things in your pipeline, you will warrant spending more time on new business. Regardless of the amount of time you determine you need to block out, commit yourself to relentlessly finding new business during that time. Your longevity in the commercial real estate business depends on it.