Waters has an eight-step process he continually upgrades, which
he applies to every transaction. “It’s worked for me; it provides cost
savings and cycle time savings to the clients,” he asserts.
Waters does not eschew technology, however. He is on Twitter,
and has a blog to increase brand awareness. “That also helps me stay
within my specialty -- 24/7 access is key,” he says.
“This isn’t a time when what we did in the past will work today
and into the future,” notes Gunn, who calls this the worst economy
he has ever seen. “We have to be constantly vigilant and constantly
changing our course and approach. What we need to do to be more
successful is not to hurry faster and take on more than we can do.
What we need to do is to take some selected times to slow down and
to review our plans and goals, make course adjustments and then
execute in a timely and planned manner.”
Gunn sets aside Fridays to work out of his home office, and uses
it as a “planning day.” That way, he can selectively decide who he
wants to talk to, by checking his voicemail and e-mail.
What does he do on these “planning days?” “I do a lot of office
tenant representation, so I review the companies I’m working with,
evaluate what’s the best next step with each of my clients, how can I
be proactive, stay ahead, and give better service,” he says.
Gunn says he is always open to course adjustments. “Sometimes
when working with a client the best thing to do is to walk away,” he
advises. “Maybe I’ve made three or four different attempts, tried to
work with other people to get through and haven’t, so it’s time to
cut my losses and walk away. Somewhere you reach the point of
diminishing returns based on how much time you’ve been working.”
“I think the most productive and efficient means of growing your business are in this order: Face to face, telephone,
e-mail,” Barker insists. “People might say it takes more time to go
"What we need to do to be
more successful is not to
hurry faster and take on
more than we can do. "
down to see a guy, but you do it that way because you might make
three personal calls and send 300 e-mails and you get the same
If someone is looking to pay $1 million for something, he con-
tinues, “you’re not selling; they’re buying.” Fewer and fewer people
run their business models that way, he concedes, noting that they do
not spend the time they once did to canvass, cold call, and knock on
doors to get in front of someone. “But as much as they say technol-
ogy can run your business, we are still sales people,” he insists.
Apps Improve Access
Adams says he uses a number of different apps to help him access
documents whenever (and wherever) he needs them. There are ways
to use this technology where it won’t create extra steps, he explains.
“I typically have different drives set up on my computer. I can set a
default so when I save something it goes into the Dropbox slot; it’s
just like saving something to your ‘C’ drive.”
The time savings have been “huge,” Adams claims. “I spend a lot
of time in the car, and very little time in the office,” he explains. “If
someone calls me and they need a copy of a lease, for example, in
a matter of minutes I can send it from my phone or iPad instead of
trying to create a reminder to do it when I get back to the office or
at night when I get home. In the amount of time it takes to call my
assistant and ask them to send it I can do it myself. This way I know
it’s done and done properly.”
“I put my deals on ClientLook, which I got at an SIOR conven-
tion,” adds Zelonker. “It’s a cloud CRE program, and gives all the
people inside the deal accessibility. I personally do not post finan-
cials; I share those with the accountant and banker, and send a PDF
to others. I’ve also migrated to Apple, so I use an iPhone and iPad.”.
Of course, doing things more quickly could mean you’re sacrific-
ing quality; to ensure that this doesn’t happen, Adams says, “I’m
very cautious; I do not want to send something if I’m not sure it’s
formatted correctly on my iPad, for example – if it does not look
professional. But I’ve used these things long enough that I know
the tricks of the trade. It’s like e-mail; it took awhile to learn how to
format correctly, but once you learn its second nature. You just make
sure it is uniform and looks professional.”
As for Zelonker, he brings things back to the basics. Despite the
fact that he uses technology extensively, he says “I’m a long-time
believer that technology will not replace the foundation of this busi-
ness. I believe business is truly only done face to face -- period.”