Commercial Real Estate: The making of a top CRE broker - by Michael Weiser

November 07, 2017 - Front Section

Success in CRE brokerage is usually measured by marquee deals, but when recruiting brokers, I find it important to look at personality. Because while CRE advisory is a rewarding career, it’s not a fit for everyone. Over the years, I’ve discovered several character traits that make a candidate likely to succeed as a broker. 

The most important is collaboration. Brokers often operate independently, but it’s common for them to tap into the rest of the team when faced with complex transactions. At GFI, our brokers know they can rely on their colleagues when necessary—in some cases, because they’ve been working with one another for a decade. This collaboration breeds excellence, as each team member adds a unique specialty to the mix.

We also seek brokers who are energetic and tech-savvy and can thrive in the fast-paced real estate world. GFI recently developed a proprietary CRM to help brokers track leads, and our brokerage also features a robust marketing team active in social, content marketing and PR. We put these tools in place to help brokers succeed, and those who can capitalize on them are best equipped for professional success. 

Perhaps the most important attribute is openness to learning. Advising clients is about much more than hustle, and it’s imperative for our brokers to fully understand the real estate industry. We also have infrastructure in place to help brokers learn the trade, including regular educational seminars and a training/mentorship program. Naturally, brokers who take these initiatives seriously are most likely to gain CRE expertise and success as an advisor. 

Our top brokers come from all walks of life. Some came from other firms, some joined from various industries (including the legal world), while others are recent grads. The common denominator is that they exhibit teamwork, energy and openness to learning, which helps them succeed in the unique world of CRE brokerage. 

Michael Weiser is the president of GFI Realty, New York, N.Y.

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