The idiot light on my wife’s car illuminated the message that the front right tire was low on air. One of the little things that frosts me is having to go to a gas station and pump 4 quarters into a machine to pay for air.
There aren’t too many other options for solving the problem, so whenever the need arises to put air in a tire, I dig out the change and grumble my way through the process.

Then one day I pulled into the new WaWa gas station and saw a little stand with a vertical machine holding a sign that said “FREE AIR”. I immediately saw this establishment in a whole new light. It isn’t that saving a dollar every time I put air in my tire is such a big deal, it is just the principal of it. At the stations where I have to fork over 4 quarters for something that I think should be free, I always felt like I was being ripped off. Taken advantage of. Resentful.

Now WaWa was making me feel just the opposite. I didn’t have to buy gas or something from the convenience store in order to get the free air. I didn’t have to spend a dime with them if I didn’t want to. The air was free to anyone who needed it. So what the heck does this have to do with commercial real estate brokerage you ask? It is about Value.

The fact that WaWa offered up something of value….something as simple as “air”, instilled a good feeling and sense of loyalty. I connected with this establishment because I felt like they were offering up something that would help me with no strings attached. No gimmicks. No obligations. Just an implication that they would like to earn my business.

Commercial real estate brokerage starts with relationships. The most successful commercial real estate agents know that many times they have to deliver value to their prospects long before ever having the opportunity to transact business with them. This may come in the form of providing market data, consulting, property evaluation or just brainstorming ideas that would be helpful to the prospect. That is your “free air” and it will form the building blocks of trust in the relationship. These are the things that cause your prospects to respect you and feel good about doing business with you, even if the opportunity to enter into a transaction doesn’t happen until sometime in the future. When prospects see the value you are willing to bring to a business relationship with them, they are much more likely to provide you with referrals and speak well of you in industry circles. That is how you build a brand of integrity and a long term career in commercial real estate brokerage. The revenue is a natural result of bringing value in every client relationship you foster.