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The Best Strategy for Building a Successful Commercial Real Estate Team

Statistics show that a high percentage of real estate transactions are closed by a much smaller percentage of real estate brokers (think of the 80/20 rule).

It seems like every market is dominated by a handful of superstars, followed by a pack of agents who do pretty well, and then a big group who are churning, barely making desk costs with a high turnover rate.

Many owners and branch managers have unfortunately come to accept this dynamic as “just part of the business,” but in reality, it does not have to be this way.

Top producing commercial real estate brokers may be a rare breed, but there are certainly enough of them out there to fill your team if you use the right tools.

Today there are much more powerful and accurate diagnostics available to hiring managers that can greatly increase their odds of hiring high-aptitude talent without wasting time and money on people who cannot be developed to their expectations.

Leverage the deeper knowledge of high-performance personality characteristics available and the means available to help you identify them in your recruiting process.

How to Identify Top Real Estate Talent

Identify Top Real Estate Talents

Many hiring managers in commercial real estate start out by emphasizing the wrong things when hiring agents. They put an emphasis on skills or experience, which may ultimately be important, but what good is it to hire someone who has “experience” but underproduces?

The real key is to go deeper, much deeper, to assess the core aptitude a person needs to sell. And not just real estate — to sell period. Remember, once you find a high-aptitude candidate, you can teach them the commercial real estate business, but all the real estate training in the world will not turn a low aptitude candidate into a sustained producer. So what composes the aptitude you should be looking for, and how do you measure it prior to hiring?

Three Core Qualities of a Successful Commercial Real Estate Broker

Years of research, data and rapidly improving technology have led to the current findings that there are three things almost all high aptitude salespeople share, in terms of innate personality traits – and they cannot be taught.

1. Need for Achievement

Need for achievement is the fire that burns in the heart of high-performance real estate agents. It is almost an obsession to keep pushing the achievement bar higher and higher. The agent lives and breathes the business and will work longer and harder than most real estate agents without any need to be pushed. It is simply how they are wired.

We often see this trait in world-class athletes who, although are already blessed with enough physical prowess to outperform others, nevertheless spend even more time in the gym or on the court practicing than their peers because they must push themselves to be satisfied.

Unfortunately, despite marketing claims, there is not a motivational speaker or real estate seminar in the world that can take a person who does not have a high need for achievement and create it. A high level of need for achievement has to be in place first before a trainer can nurture and develop the agent further to sustain their efforts over time.

Training and motivation are awesome when you have an athlete that possesses the core foundation necessary to leverage them.

2. Competitiveness

The second, non-teachable trait to look for in successful commercial real estate brokers is competitiveness. Great salespeople and great real estate brokers are inevitably highly competitive. They want to be the biggest producer in the office, in town, in the region!

Additionally, top salespeople actually enjoy “competing” with the prospect when trying to convert them into a client. These types of salespeople love “the chase” — the competitive contest of wills — as they try to win over the prospect.

For average and below-average salespeople, prospect pursuit and engagement can be highly stressful. For highly-competitive salespeople, it is the ultimate turn on.

3. Optimism

The third core aptitude trait shared by top performers is optimism. Optimism serves as an invisible, emotional armor that protects the ego and emotional well-being of the salesperson. Sales is a particularly challenging profession emotionally because it involves so much rejection, a stress point that literally drives many people out of the business.

But not the big producers; they are wired differently and do not take rejection personally. They just see it as part of the game, like striking out occasionally in baseball. They do not dwell on past failures because they believe the next call or the next meeting will be successful.

Strategies for Measuring Real Estate Sales Aptitude

Strategy: Use an Assessment Tool

Today’s sales personality and aptitude tests can be very accurate in pinning down the traits of high producers. But it is important to find a sales assessment that measures these three characteristics and administer it prior to a behavioral interview.

The DriveTest® is the only sales assessment designed to identify these three traits: Need for Achievement, Competitiveness and Optimism, collectively known as Drive.

Identifying Drive prior to the behavioral interview will allow you to bring in only high-aptitude candidates for further vetting, saving you time and money.

Strategy: Conduct a Behavioral Interview

Real Estate Sales Test

After you narrow down your candidate pool to high-potential brokers, you are ready to move on to the behavioral interview. Behavioral interviews emphasize asking candidates about action as opposed to feelings or hypotheticals. And remember: past behavior is always the best predictor of future behavior.

To probe deeper into these three non-teachable traits, use the following:

  • Need for Achievement: Ask the candidate about their past achievements — listen for things like commercial real estate sales awards and recognitions, or on the personal side, accomplishments like running a marathon or achieving some sort of recognition in a hobby. High-performance brokers will have accomplished some very tough tasks that they are very proud of.
  • Competitiveness: In the interview, ask your candidate about specific instances of when they competed hard for something and had to try harder than anyone else to win. Watch them light up when they tell their stories. Competition is in their blood.
  • Optimism: Have some fun with this in an interview. Ask the candidate to think of a deal they did that seemed to be dead, but that they kept driving until it finally closed. Resilience and grit are powerful manifestations of optimism and high-Drive commercial real estate brokers never give up.

Remember, it all starts with high Need for Achievement, Competitiveness and Optimism, collectively known as Drive. This core personality aptitude is shared among top producers and cannot be taught to those who were not born with it.

Once you identify real estate agents who are high in Drive, you can invest your precious time and money in developing them with confidence.

Identifying Drive prior to hiring a commercial real estate broker is the best way to build a high performance commercial real estate sales team.

The commercial real estate industry is constantly evolving. Learn what sales marketing techniques and strategies are best to keep you ahead of your competition and relevant in the industry. These commercial real estate marketing strategies can easily be implemented across your sales team.

Request a free DriveTest assessment today and never hire a bad real estate agent again!

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