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  • | 12:00 p.m. September 14, 2006
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by Jim Gillespie

Special to Realty/Builder Connection

(Jim Gillespie is a Ph.D. and an author of books on commercial real estate.)

One of the qualities I’ve noticed about a lot of commercial agents is a desire to do their brokerage business all by themselves without getting any input from anyone. This fits in perfectly with what I think two of the strongest reasons are why people gravitate towards being commercial brokers in the first place:

• The opportunity to make a lot of money

• The opportunity to be your own boss

And when it comes to being your own boss, that’s both the good news and the bad news. As long as it’s making you the kind of money you want to make and having you live the quality of life you want to live, everything is fine.

But if you’re not producing the results you want to in your business and you’re also continually taking direction from only you in your business, can you see the problem here? You’re taking direction from the same person who hasn’t quite found a way to produce the results you want to in our industry, and you’re very likely to continue trying the things that won’t move you to the next level.

This, by the way, is a very common feeling for agents to have in our industry. Whether you’re having a difficult time making money, or you’re a mid-level producer in commercial brokerage, or you’re one of the top producers in our industry, that inner gnawing feeling of “What can I do to take my business to the next level?” can be one you become very familiar with.

But if you know what you need to be doing to improve your business and you’re not doing it, or you keep trying different things to improve your business and they’re not working for you, you definitely have a problem.

This is the reason why companies have business consultants. People recognize they’re locked in the paradigm of seeing things as a business person operating on the inside of their business, and they know they’re probably missing the big picture and costing themselves a lot of money in the process.

Can you imagine if Bill Gates tried to get to where he is today by doing it all alone? One of the reasons he’s so successful is he’s surrounded by great people and consultants who show him how to grow Microsoft in ways he could never have imagined.

But as a commercial real estate agent, it’s normally not that way. Quite honestly we oftentimes think we know everything we need to know as commercial agents, and this can cost us a lot of money...especially when we recognize there are higher levels of productivity we’re not getting to in our business.

So ask yourself the following questions:

• What do I need to do to take my commercial real estate brokerage business to the next level?

• How long have I known that these are the things I need to be doing in my business?

• Why haven’t I already gotten these things done at the level I want them done in my business?

And as you go over your own answers to these questions, you’ll probably either come away feeling that you’re on track and just need more time to implement some of these things in your business, or you may come away feeling like you’ve been kidding yourself about how on track you really are in taking your business to the next level.

And here’s a hint...if you’ve known what you should be doing in your business for some time now and you’re still not doing it at the level you feel you should be, there’s a good chance you’re just deluding yourself about how on track you really are.

In addition, if you don’t know what you should be doing to take your commercial real estate brokerage business to the next level, you’re most likely off track also. The probability of not being sure of what you should be doing, and somehow falling into doing exactly what you need to be doing by pure luck, is pretty small.

What’s most important around all this is that you get to the truth about what you need to do to improve your business, and determine whether you’re on track towards getting it done, or really just off track and deluding yourself about it. It’s also important to determine how motivated you are about taking your business to the next level. Because if you don’t have the strong underlying motivation to transform your business, you’re just not going to get it done.

If you’re off track from doing what will have you grow your business, and you’re deluding yourself about being off track, you may constantly feel extremely busy in your business throughout the week, but you’re probably busy doing a lot of things that don’t bring you the deals you really want to be working on.

So if you’re off track and deluding yourself, recognize this, determine who can get you on track and making the kind of money you want to make, and make sure you get that person involved immediately in transforming your business.

— Jim Gillespie can be reached at



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