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8 Tips And Tricks To Super Broker Success

In most things in life, it helps to have role models. While up-and-coming architects may look to Bjarke Ingels and developers to Related Cos chairman Stephen Ross, brokers have a bevy of options.


Last week at SIOR’s Fall World Conference, four “Super Brokers"—CBRE vice chairman and head of investment properties group Darcy Stacom (second from left), Savills Studley CEO Mitchell Steir (middle), CBRE global brokerage chairman Stephen Siegel (second from right) and Cushman & Wakefield global brokerage chairman Bruce Mosler (right)—gathered on stage with moderator NAI Global president Jay Olshonsky (left) to give their insights on what it takes, and what it means, to be a successful broker.

Here are eight nuggets. 


Time Doesn’t Stand Still, And Neither Should You

Steve believes brokers will always exist, but Bruce stressed the industry's continuously innovating nature and client's increasing demands. Those who are able to proactively reshape themselves and evolve their services to meet client’s needs will have a leg up on their competition. 

Evolution's also necessary, he adds, because the industry's nature is to be “grading you every day.”

Never Tell Me The Odds!

Brokers should always, always be fighting for every deal. 

“Even if you're 1,000% convinced someone else has that listing,” Darcy said, "bring everything you have, because chances are your competitor also assumes they have [the listing] and are going to give a mediocre pitch."

Nothing comes easy, Bruce adds, and brokers should look for every tool and strategy they can find to push the odds in their favor.

Reading Is Fundamental

“You should know as much, if not more, than the person you’re about to meet,” Stephen said. 

“The more homework you do on the front end, the less risk on the back end. And don’t do it on the cab ride over,” Mitch added.


A Sharp Mind And Open Ear Keeps A Customer Happy

Throughout the panel, the four emphasized the importance of listening, flexibility, concentration and mental sharpness. Deals can change at a moment’s notice, and Darcy said that 70% of the time, she has no idea who the ultimate buyer of a property will be. 

Brokers who listen to clients and can quickly tailor strategies—as opposed to having a set plan in mind—create a greater sense of collaboration.

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

“You’re not a super broker unless you surround yourself with the necessary talent,” Bruce said.

This not only means finding a team that has a high level of drive and competence, but also treating them with the fairness and respect they deserve as a team contributor. 

Compensating fairly is the only way you’ll keep a good team around,” Bruce added, "and that’s instrumental for sustaining success."

To Err Is Human

Bruce encourages his team to make mistakes, believing that the only way brokers can improve themselves is by learning what not to do.

Darcy explained how some of her biggest mistakes—although painful and embarrassing—brought her to a new level of success. But, Mitchell stressed, if you make a mistake, admit it to yourself and to your client, so you can both quickly move on.


The Focus And Family Factors

All four panelists say they dedicated themselves fully to their craft, to the point where they put on blinders to anything else. 

“If you’re not pushing yourself or you’re looking at the clock every day, you’re in the wrong business,” Stephen said. "Even if you’re getting a solid income but not achieving the full level of success you’re capable of, you’re failing."

But all four of them are married with kids, so time management, creative thinking and communication are vital. Darcy, for example, never entertained outside of work, but after having two kids, she made it a priority to hire a team and never be more than 20 blocks away from her home

The Human Connection

Stephen balked at the idea of communicating with clients electronically, instead requiring his team to meet with clients weekly to keep them updated on a deal's status.

Face-to-face interaction also helps build relationships outside the boardroom. Darcy detailed how she grew closer to Empire State Realty Trust CEO Tony Malkin—a keynote speaker at Bisnow's Big New York Office Event—after trying to bring him and his wife onto a charity board.

“It makes people realize that you’re still human,” she said.

In a similar vein, Bruce believes giving back to the community is the strongest sign of success, even more than deals.