The North Texas commercial real estate community is truly blessed by the number of quality organizations for professionals. The Real Estate Council, NTCAR, NAIOP, SIOR, ICSC, CREW and many others offer avenues for CRE professionals to enhance their expertise and build relationships. With so many organizations and events to choose from, how does one decide? I always suggest aligning with an organization where you find the most commonality with your professional focus.
The fastest way to create relationships in this business is by interacting with your fellow professionals AWAY from an actual transaction. Whether that’s at a breakfast, lunch or happy hour, it behooves an individual to build these relationships. Being an office professional, I remember finally meeting up with an Owner at a NAIOP breakfast who I had been calling on for a number of years. Once the personalities meshed, a solid relationship was formed and I’m happy about future possibilities with this client. Another example: My time on the NTCAR (North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors) board allowed me to meet over a dozen people who I have subsequently completed difficult transactions with over the past dozen years. In addition, there was also invaluable mentoring from some of the more experienced board members that taught lessons that I carry forward to this day.
Speaking from a strictly business mindset, I can recall 3 specific transactions in the past 6 months where the deal would have failed if not for the trust between the brokers. At some point, you have to trust the person across the table is telling the truth that you’ve pushed far enough. That trust was born from decades of interaction AWAY from a transaction. And since we’re talking numbers here, I can comfortably reveal those 3 transactions alone netted well into the six figures in commissions. As we create value for our clients, we also get to enjoy the financial benefits of closing those lease transactions. This is a business…not the Boy Scouts.
None of these relationships exist with a 9-5 punch the clock mentality. Immersion in the industry differentiates the person who views commercial real estate as a job versus a career. There are a number of reasons for not networking and I have heard them all, from family obligations to work/life balance. However as I told some of our young professionals at a recent black tie industry event, as we dined on steak and drank wine, getting involved isn’t exactly a painful affair.
by: Ed Pachecano, Senior VP, Managing Partner