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15 Top Skills of Successful Commercial Real Estate Brokers

Have you ever noticed how some commercial real estate brokers perform consistently well regardless of market conditions? Some people might say they’re lucky, others might say they’re overachievers. But no matter what you call them, successful CRE brokers must be doing something right to out-perform their peers every year. Here are the 15 top skills of successful commercial real estate brokers, that must be mastered to remain unfailingly at the top of your game:

#1 Sales & Marketing: marketing strategy and tactics as well as knowing the main methods for showing, promoting, and selling commercial real estate.

#2 Customer Care and Personal Service: assessing customer needs, converting prospective customers into clients, and meeting client performance expectations.

#3 Law & Government: knowledge of contract law, real estate agency rules and regulations, zoning and other legal codes, general court procedures, and the political process.

#4 Administration & Management: business and management principles such as strategic planning, budgeting, resource allocation, human resource management, leadership skills, and coordinating people within available resources.

#5 Finance & Economics: financial market operation, banking and lending regulations, general economic and accounting principles, and reporting and analyzing financial statements and data.

#6 Mathematics: basic mathematical calculations used in commercial real estate, such as cap rates, ROI and NOI, as well as how to apply algebra, geometry, calculus, and statistical analysis in your business.

#7 Media, Social Media, and Communications: media production and dissemination, methods and techniques used, and the mix of traditional advertising as well as social media and video marketing used to inform the public.

#8 Building, Construction, and Development: materials used, methods of construction, how infrastructure such as mass transit, highways and roads are developed, and construction and repair of buildings.

#9 Clerical & Administrative: back-office and administrative support procedures such as word processing, file and record management, bookkeeping, and office procedures and terminology.

#10 Training & Education: principles and methods used for developing and designing training material, individual and group teaching techniques, roleplaying skills, and how to measure effective commercial real estate training.

#11 Psychology: people skills such as knowing how humans behave and perform, interpersonal communication skills, understanding and utilizing differing skill sets and abilities among individuals, psychological research methods, and learning and motivating a diverse workforce.

#12 Human Resources & Personnel: various principles and human resource procedures used in commercial real estate brokerage to select and recruit brokers, the best training and compensation plans, personnel information systems, and labor relations and negotiation.

#13 Land & Geography: how to best describe specific land features, the various government agencies regulating land use, different types of survey systems, environmental impact laws, and Phase I and II environmental site assessments.

#14 Public Safety & Security: adherence to all laws protecting employees and the general public, data security for all stakeholders of the commercial real estate firm, and development of policies and procedures.

#15 Sociology & Anthropology: group behavior and dynamics, changing trends and influences in society, demographic shifts, and the effect of migration and ethnicity on the local market and the general population.

12 Tasks Typical of Commercial Real Estate Brokers

In addition to the top knowledge skills listed above, successful commercial real estate brokers must also master a variety of tasks to outperform their peers and the market:

  • Speaking to effectively and persuasively convey information.
  • Reading comprehension to understand legal documents such as contracts, leases, and private placement memorandums.
  • Listening actively by giving full attention to the person speaking, understanding the points being made, and asking appropriate questions when the time is right.
  • Thinking critically by using logic and reasoning to identify the pros and cons of different approaches and solutions to problems.
  • Learning constantly to understand new information to be used for problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Negotiation to bring all parties together and reconcile differences, and persuading people to change their minds or alter their behavior.
  • Decision making to weigh the costs and benefits of different alternatives and choosing the most prudent course of action.
  • Perceiving the reactions of others and understanding why people react the way they do.
  • Writing to effectively communicate with the unique needs and expectations of each audience.
  • Monitoring self-performance, the individual performance of team members and the overall organization, making necessary improvements and taking corrective action when needed.
  • Complex problem solving by reviewing disparate data sets, compiling information, developing and evaluating options and implementing the best solutions.
  • Time management skills to make the best and most productive use of each and every day.

Succeeding in Commercial Real Estate

Being a successful commercial real estate broker requires combining very specific skills sets and tasks. The best CRE brokers are constantly learning, able to analyze market and property data, and know how to work with different people and personality types.

Although their peers might consider them lucky overachievers, luck has very little to do with becoming a success in commercial real estate. Instead, the most successful commercial real estate brokers master the skills and tasks needed to succeed regardless of market conditions, and put in a lot of hard work.


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