Never Say Never
Employing People and Using Social Media to
By Bill Gladstone, SIOR, CCIM
Throughout the course of my life, I’ve heard the expression,
“Never say never” more times than I can count—and as a real
estate practitioner working under some of the most difficult circumstances of the past 25 years, I believe this statement can
have an especially significant meaning. More so now than ever,
our earning potential depends on our ability to increase clients’
and potential clients’ awareness of the services we provide
them as their broker. Once they are made aware, we are judged
by the level of service we provide, our knowledge, experience,
and our ability to perform when it matters most. It is simply
imperative that, in order to survive, we remove every obstacle
between the client, and our ability to service their commercial
real estate needs at the highest possible level.
So how can social media help? Can it be used to effectively
increase awareness and effectively market our services to
potential clients, and communicate better with existing clients?
To this I say, “Never say never.” I was a disbeliever of the
power of social media—a stubborn man tied to the old ways of
doing things. But if you are a risk taker (and most brokers by
nature are), then you too can learn from my trials and tribulations. After rethinking its uses, here is what I’ve found:
First thing’s first—with social media I know that it’s much
less expensive (most of the time, it’s free) than the conventional
marketing services I have used in the past, like print media.
Because of this, I realized that if I could not successfully
improve my clients’ perception of my services through social
media, I would have most likely spent that time trying to market through some other medium, which also might not have
worked, and many have cost me more money.
It’s important to remember that in today’s business environ-
ment, in order to meet your clients’ commercial real estate
needs, you are going to require help. Whether you have a secre-
tary, administrative assistant, personal assistant, or multiple
assistants, it’s important that you have someone there to help.
You need to carefully consider how bringing on new people can
better help you provide your services to your clients. You want
your clients to remain loyal to you—to believe that you are,
unequivocally the best choice. There are sole practitioners in
commercial real estate that are, in fact, highly successful (I
know some of them). But my thought has always been that by
bringing on more people, you can increase your earning poten-
tial as much as three to four times, including the additional sal-
ary expenditures. There are economies of scale that you can
now leverage to meet the expectations directed by your clients.
Ten years ago you never saw “teams” or “assistants” at many of
the national brokerage forms. Now, you do. There is a reason
why this trend caught on. It works!