Taking listings in Long Island’s hot industrial real estate market is fighting in the trenches. Every property has been combed over thoroughly by many skilled brokers some with existing relationships. Every time you turn around, Alliance, Industry One and Newmark are adding brokers. How can you break in?
The key is knowing which owners are truly ready to sell. Many sellers love the attention. Like waiving a steak in front of a group of tigers. This attention can go on for years with brokers wasting much time and effort. One of the best ways to know something is real is when someone tells you that a friend is getting ready to sell. You will never know this without quality conversations with other owners and managers in your select area. Once you have unsolicited information like that, you know it is real, game on.
Persistence can not be undervalued. Just showing up physically, emails, phone, text etc on a continuous basis puts you into an elevated position in the sellers mind. Bring a Starbucks, bring cookies. My old boss from Ashlind did this for years. Everyone knew it. He became the best in the game and even though everyone knew exactly how he was doing it, no one copied him. When a decision finally gets made to sell, if you are the guy in front of the seller, your chance of getting the listing just skyrocketed.
Most decisions are impulse decisions. Big and small. Buying a car comes down to a last second decision, so does a home, so does which restaurant to go to. As brokers, we can over value our competition’s position. It is easy to say that the best guy from Newmark or Colliers is in the game and I can’t get this listing over him. The seller has already made up his mind. That thinking leads to retreat. No one has an advantage over you. In fact you have the advantage because they are tired and are relying on their past and you are relying on your future.
See your position as strong and see your chances of getting a listing as good as anyone else’s. Remain in the fight. Don’t lose the listing and realize it after the fact. My career changed when I got so angry that I lost a listing and didn't know about it for weeks. I promised myself that would not happen again. If you lose, you should be in the sellers face and force the seller to tell you in person. Losing is good and losing makes you stronger. Don't be afraid to lose. Ask the seller why you lost, ask why he gave the listing to someone else, if you ask in the right way they will tell you. That is doing your job.
Keep to a geographic area, keep to a category. I sell industrial buildings in Suffolk County. Not all of Suffolk County, Western Suffolk. Every time I take a listing that is a retail listing, an office listing or something out of my geographic area, I realize that I am wasting my time. I am not an expert in that segment and I don't want to become one. All of the market information that I gain while working on that listing goes to waste. I want to be great at my specific task. Taking a listing is about selling that property but even more importantly giving me visibility into the local market. Making me an expert. People are not paying brokers to sell buildings, they are paying for an expert to guide them in the most important transaction in their life. If you can't tell them what the building three doors down sold for, you are in trouble.