All of us learn how to communicate at the very early stages of life. It’s one of those essential things that we all have to do whether it’s with our spouses, partners, work associates, kids, or clients. I am sure that there are many people who have studied communication, but I have had no formal training. The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to everything that I do in life.
How does this relate to commercial real estate? In my opinion, it is equally as important to be a skilled communicator, as it is to have technical knowledge in CRE.
As my team knows, I always talk to them about communication. When we get a referral from one of our residential agents, stay in touch. We certainly don’t close every referral, but let the agent know. COMMUNICATE!
We take on a new listing. While it may only be one of many listings the agent has, to that seller or landlord, this is one of the most important things in their life. Let them know what is going on with their property. Ask them how often they want to hear from you. How do they want to hear from you? Do you want a phone call (yes those are permissible), email, or text? COMMUNICATE!
Communications come into play when we are negotiating transactions as well. It will never cease to amaze me how other CRE agents communicate. Some of them you call, and they never call back, or you have to try them multiple times. If I have my property listed I would expect my agent to call back anyone that inquired on my property, the same day. COMMUNICATE!
What really prompted me to write about this was an issue I had with non-verbal communication. I am currently Chair of the National Association of REALTORS Real Property Operations Committee, which overseas NAR’s real estate investments. We have a negotiation going on with one of our vacant spaces. We started out with a written Letter of Intent. But the following communications were back and forth by our broker and the tenant broker, via email.
I was travelling and reading these on my iphone, and it become clear that our negotiations were unclear, because of so many emails flying back and forth. Could the brokers have just changed the original LOI to what they were trying to negotiate? I finally asked the brokers to give me, and my committee a clear document of where we were, that could be understood by my all. COMMUNICATE.
I strive, to say what I am going to do, and do what I say. I strive to follow up or call back anyone that contacts me during my business day. COMMUNICATE WELL is the foundation of my business success.