Corporate Real Estate Is NOT a Relationship Business! – Part Two

(Read last week’s blog for  Part 1)

So, who do you hire?  How do you make that choice when everything hangs in the balance?  Do you hire the guy who takes you to ball games and tells great jokes or, the service provider you trust the most, the one who has creatively and successfully represented other companies in similar circumstances, the one in whom you have the greatest levels of confidence in his or her ability to complete your company’s project, accomplish its objective, and protect your interests?

Did you just ask yourself : “What if the guy with whom I’m friends is also the best qualified”?

That answer is simple….Hire Him!   Ask yourself another question:  If your friend was not qualified, could you put the future of your company, your employees, your customers, your career, and maybe your family, in his or her incapable hands?  Of course not!  So, the true decision here would not be about who you like.  Of course, like ability is always a factor because people want to be around people they like.   But, it is not THE factor, and it does not define the commercial real estate industry, or any other industry for that matter!

Here’s another way to look at it:  You’ve been incorrectly accused of a crime and you’re going to trial.  Your entire future, everything you’ve worked for your entire life, hangs on your ability to be proven innocent.  Do you hire the attorney who tells the best jokes or the one who you trust will have the greatest ability to keep you out of prison?

Here’s another one:  If a loved one had a life threatening disease, would you hire the surgeon who knows the best restaurants, or the one in whom you have the greatest confidence will save that person’s life?

Consider this important note on the like ability factor:  If the client dislikes you, even if you are the most qualified for his or her project, a greater chance exists that you will not get hired!  So, lack of like ability certainly can work against you and keep you from getting hired.  But, being liked by your prospective client is not the key decision point that will ensure that you will get hired.

Engaging service providers, in commercial real estate or in any other aspect of business or life, is not solely about relationships.  It is about trust and confidence, upon which relationships can be formed and can usually grow.  Personal relationships, and the like ability factor, are certainly important but, only secondarily.

If you have proven yourself to be trustworthy, confidence inspiring, and an expert in your field, you’ll have a greater chance of getting hired and building a relationship.  If your clients like you but, feel that they can’t trust you or believe that you don’t have the expertise they require, then find another business, because your relationships won’t help you succeed…not over the long term, anyway.

Everyone likes to work with people they like.  But, few executives can afford to put their companies, their careers, and their reputations at stake because they hired the wrong person for the job, especially in this economy.  Of course, you should make it easy for people to like you (Why wouldn’t you?).  But, remember that you’re in a service business.  The reality on this issue is that being liked or having a relationship may get you an opportunity to present your ideas and services.  But, if the client doesn’t have confidence in your ability to deliver, your resources, support, or experience, or if they don’t feel that they can trust you, your like ability and relationship won’t win the day! 

So, focus first on learning all there is to know about your craft and on providing superior services.  By doing this, you will permit your prospective clients the opportunity to build confidence and trust in you.  Focus on both the results you will achieve for your clients and the experience you will create for them, and you’ll likely get hired again and again!   Do a great job for them, and they’ll like you even more!

Corporate Real Estate Is NOT a Relationship Business!  It is a service business built on trust, confidence, competence, expertise, and creativity.   Do you disagree?

Read Part One of this Post.  http://wp.me/py4BE-11

Copyright Real Estate Strategies Corporation 2009.  All Rights Reserved.

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12 Responses to “Corporate Real Estate Is NOT a Relationship Business! – Part Two”


  1. 1 TurnoverTantamount July 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    If corporate real estate were truly a relationship business, then the industry would not have the astronomic employee turnover it has in real estate director positions, real estate manager positions, VP of RE positions, CEO’s, and broker business.

  2. 3 Bradley Jones July 14, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Mr. Zezas, we believe in a similar philosophy in our company, and we win a lot more than we lose!

  3. 5 James Brennan July 15, 2009 at 1:47 am

    Andrew- Nice entry. Commercial real estate is a unique field because of the interdependence on different players within the field and how emotional attachments can make or break a deal. For the last five years I have been focusing on real estate taxation where the number of players in my specialty is slim. However, I worked as part of a leasing team with [LARGE COMPANY BEGINNING WITH AN “S”] right out of law school and boy was it driven by politics, favorites, and rebating commissions!

    • 6 realstrat July 16, 2009 at 7:25 pm

      James:

      That’s an interesting point. While we don’t take on projects that require commission rebates if, for those companies that do, relationships were as strong as often suggested, then rebating wouldn’t be necessary. Thanks for writing in to us. Keep your ideas coming.

  4. 7 Geoffrey Kasselman, SIOR July 16, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Andy you are both wise and insightful, great piece! I have but one question: what do you say to the corporate RE decision-maker who counters your relationship point with the observation that any broker will likely produce very comparable results – within a reasonable range of acceptability – regardless of their skills, team formation, etc., in which case, why not hire based on an existing relationship where at least that decision-maker knows they will get the straight scoop and a complete effort from start to finish from someone they already know and trust? Keep blogging, you rock! Thanks and best, GK

    • 8 realstrat July 16, 2009 at 7:42 pm

      Geoff:

      Look back at your comments, where you wrote: “straight scoop and a complete effort from start to finish from someone they already…….trust”. That’s the true basis for the relationship you’re writing about, not a personal connection, baseball tickets, common interests, etc., etc. As I wrote in my post, relationships that matter in corporate real estate and in any other business effort, are based on confidence and trust. So, if your clients have confidence in you and can trust you, they absolutely should hire you again and again, and knowing you, I’m sure they do…unless, of course, if they want to hire me! Just kidding. I wouldn’t want to compete against you. 🙂

      By the way, you are the first person to tell me my business writing “rocks!” Thanks!

  5. 9 Jeremy Cyrier, CCIM July 17, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Andy and Geoff,

    Great points. I’d like to add that anyone who says that they’ll basically get the same “reasonable” results from a range of brokers really hasn’t been asked a few key questions (that really show you know what you’re doing.)

    1. (Broker) If you have a relationship, then why are we talking?

    2. (Broker) If this is really about just getting reasonable or acceptable results, then what am I here for?

    3. (Broker) Reasonable results makes sense. Could you be more specific about what reasonable means?

    4. (Broker) What if you end up with unreasonable results? How long with unreasonable results would be too long that it may start hurting your company? How long could you go on like that?

    5. (Broker) This isn’t about hurting your buddy’s feelings, is it?

    Keep the blog coming. I really like what you’re doing.

    Best,

    Jeremy Cyrier, CCIM

    • 10 realstrat July 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm

      Jeremy:

      I like your energy. Relationships as the reason why people engage service providers is a myth. If a service provider is re-engaged for future business, the true reason is rarely because he or she is liked by the client but, more so, because they did a great job the first time. I know you’ll agree that despite any personal relationship, if a service provider screws-up in a big way, they’ll get the boot…a friendly boot but, the boot nonetheless. Thanks for writing.

  6. 11 RelationshipsAreMeaningless July 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Relationships are meaningless in a world where you have 4 CEO’s in 5 years. Each CEO wants to “change things,” which usually ends up being change for change’s sake with little to show for it. How can any broker be given enough time to produce in this choppy environment?

    • 12 realstrat July 21, 2009 at 4:31 pm

      Dear Meaningless: If you’re referring to your clients, I feel your pain. We’ve experienced some global companies that systematically cycle their U.S. CEOs every two years and them send them back to their home country…nothing gets done…no strategic planning…a lot of busy work.

      If you’re writing about your own company and you’re in the brokerage business, there are plenty of stable real estate companies from which you may choose. Thanks for your thoughts. Visit us often.


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THIS WORK IS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE PRACTICAL AND USEFUL INFORMATION ON THE SUBJECT MATTER COVERED AND REPRESENTS THE OPINION OF THE AUTHOR. HOWEVER, IT IS PROVIDED WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE AUTHOR IS NOT ENGAGED IN RENDERING LEGAL, FINANCIAL, ACCOUNTING, OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE TO THE READER. IF LEGAL, FINANCIAL, ACCOUNTING, OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVICE IS REQUIRED, THE SERVICES OF A COMPETENT PROFESSIONAL SHOULD BE SOUGHT. THE AUTHOR SPECIFICALLY AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY THAT MAY BE INCURRED AS A RESULT OF THE USE OR APPLICATION OF THE INFORMATION THAT IS CONTAINED IN THIS WORK.

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