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Commercial Real Estate FAQ With S.L Van Der Zanden On Retail Properties & Special Servicers

What Do All The Top Grossing Commercial Real Estate Brokers Have In Common?

The following Q&A was completed as part of our conversational Commercial Real Estate FAQ Interview Series, we hope you find it helpful:

The top grossing commercial real estate brokers have knowledge, experience, and tenacity in common. One of the smartest things young aspiring brokers can do is join a skilled and successful team and learn from all facets of that team while working their way up the ladder. The most successful brokers have teams behind them that allow them to complete the “big” work, while all other facets of their business are being taken care of. 

Richard Wilson: And what do all of the top grossing, most high volume, most productive, commercial real estate brokers all do and all have in common that, you’re probably training those new people that you hire to be like those people, what could you point out that would really help a CRE broker who’s really looking to be a top performer willing to put in the time, the effort, and the education to do so? 

S.L. Van Der Zanden: Well, personality trait would be tenacious and persuasive, but what the most successful guys do is build a team. It’s so much more powerful than doing your own thing, and so that means you’re going to have people doing analytical work, you’ll have people doing marketing work, marketing materials, gathering data, and maybe some of the better ones are actually doing some showings and stuff, too. That broker, the top broker, has so much more time to spend on selling because all of this other stuff is taking care of itself while you’re doing that. It’s amazing the numbers people can generate that are good at it and that have a good team. 

Richard: Right, so if I’m reading into that as someone more junior, I’m going to say “Well, I need to join a strong team, see how a team operates, learn from that, be mentored as part of a dynamic team”. But then long-term my goal should be to have my own team so that I’m only doing the part which I’m best at, or which makes the most money, or that closes the big clients, etcetera, right? 

S.L.: Yeah, right. The real attraction to that is that you’re learning from one of the best people out there. And he has to share his knowledge because he benefits by the team being stronger. 

Richard: Right. 

S.L.: Yeah, that’s a real sweet spot for people that are on the ladder still reaching for that level. 

Richard: Right.

About the author

Richard Wilson