How a nerdy golf kid turned self-reliance into real estate career – Daily News

I was honored recently to be a podcast guest. Because of my tenure in the business and presence initiatives, I’m sought frequently. I guess they figure – after 38 years – I might have something to say to their audiences.

My latest interview was at the behest of Massimo Group, my professional coaching organization. The founder and CEO, Rod Santomassimo, and I spent some time together discussing commercial real estate and my pillars of success. I believed them to be column-worthy. If you’d like to listen go to https://open.spotify.com/episode/2OHyYnWAG7imnyaMHGT5df?si=iy8zBft6QaCOFVnb4j_6ww.

First, allow me to expand upon a question Rod asked at the outset: describe yourself in high school. In a word – a nerd. Too skinny and small for football, too slow for track, and afraid of a baseball – suffice it to say, I wouldn’t have been a Steve Fryer feature. But, I discovered golf.

Sure, golf is cool now, thanks to Tiger, Phil, DJ and Rory. But in the 70s, only visored, bespectacled misfits hit the links – with Arnie being the exception. But golf created self-reliance that no team sport can do. This prepared me well for a career brokering industrial buildings. My parents divorced during my high school years. Being the oldest of three siblings, I often found myself in the role of intermediary. Once again, good prep for advising owners and occupants of commercial real estate. So a self-reliant intermediary I became.

During the podcast with Santomassimo I dug into my list of three pillars of success.

Be client-centric

By this, I mean your client’s best interest is more important than your fee. Period.

So many new agents suffer from commission breath. The fee takes priority over all else. After all, we are salespeople whose livelihood depends upon transacting. But, if at the expense of your client, your longevity will be short. Early in my career, I counseled many against purchasing when I believed they’d be better off leasing. I should mention, that the fee for selling is greater than leasing. You see, buying requires a certain set of criteria – years in business, abundant operating capital, stable growth trajectory, and an ownership structure that can benefit from owning the building in which your business operates.

Agents can be a great source of new business

Many view an agent within their firm or another as a competitor. They certainly can be. But, I’ve found they can also be a great source of referrals. I’ve found if agents in your market know your skill set and expertise cooperation can exist. I attempt to be uber transparent – without compromising my clients position – with my fellow agents. This transparency has served me well over the years.

Do what you say, when you say

With clients, with agents, with friends and family – just do it! One of my keys is to only commit when I know I can and then don’t let anything – short of a frontal lobotomy – cause you to break your promise. This is such a simple concept but not an easy one.

So, there you have it.

Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a principal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at abuchanan@lee-associates.com or 714.564.7104.

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