Commercial Real Estate Secrets: Competing the Right Way

A few years ago I went on a meeting with a new agent that had just completed commercial real estate training. We sat down with a small private owner that had a rough 12-or-so unit multifamily property and pitched our services to help him sell his property and get out from a big debt problem.

Over the course of the conversation, he let slip that he was talking to another broker. After asking a few times, he finally gave us the name of the other commercial real estate broker.

The other broker was the number two agent on one of the town’s best known institutional apartment teams. He had a reputation for arrogance and was known for doing an acceptable job of selling deals to the most obvious buyers. The deal we were working on was 1/20th of his target deal size. He had over 10 years of experience, as well.

So what was I to do? The agent I was helping had just gotten through my introductory commercial real estate courses, had never listed a deal, and was still living with his parents.

I complimented the heck out of the broker. I let the client know that he was one of the most active brokers in the community and that he would be in good hands with the other broker. This set him at ease. Once he was at ease, I pointed out how my agent’s highly targeted database of small property investors was the best tool to sell the property. And I never mentioned the competitor.

There’s one thing that I didn’t tell you…. I knew that the competing commercial real estate broker would badmouth my firm and my agent to get the business.

He did. And we got the listing. And sold it. And since then, that agent has sold a lot more deals by doing the right thing and letting his competitors look like jerks.

How do you compete? Let us know below!


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