A Different Approach: “When Everyone Goes One Way, You go the Other”

Dec 13, 2021

As an independent commercial real estate agent, I have for years taken the approach of going in the opposite direction of what conventional wisdom of the marketplace says to do. And it has proven to be quite successful for me.

New Opportunities Await.

Right now, during this pandemic, it’s easy to take the “let’s just wait and see” approach. Most of my largest institutional competitors are still closed.  Starboard has now been open for over a month, since we were allowed to go back to our offices in May. While others are waiting, YOU have a tremendous opportunity to grow your business.

Years ago, one of my most successful clients told me that he buys buildings in cash during a down markets. During the down market, he’d spend that time renovating these buildings. Once the market turned, he had a viable product to lease immediately.  Once he leased the property, he would then put debt on that property so that when the market turned negative again, he had cash to buy in a down market and start the process all over again.

As salespeople, you can apply this same approach today.  Look at this time as an opportunity to grow, not retrench.

Work on your systems and take advantage of this slow time to rework them.  Work on your social media campaign, update your linkedin profile. Find ways to let your existing and future customers to know you are not only around for them, but seek them.

If you look at markets where firms pull back, it does not mean that the market has dried up. It means that larger players believe the market remaining is not large enough.  As an independent, this means you can take advantage of what’s left in that market and aggressively dominate it.

Change Your Perspective, Change Your Mindset.

Think of yourself as a miner.  When a gold mine decides to close up, does it mean there is no remaining gold in the mine? Or, is there simply not enough remaining amount of gold left to remove for a large operation? Does that mean that the goal mine could not produce excellent results for a smaller operation? There is still money to be made from that mine.

The same thing happens in sales. Look to where market makers are pulling out and go seek what is left to service.

An example would be subleases. The biggest commercial real estate houses are not going to be interested in loading their sales portfolio representing remaining subleases in a pandemic-driven down market.  This leaves a tremendous opportunity for independent brokers to secure more listings and in turn, represent new tenants in the future that have to move.

Don’t Wait. The Time Is Now.

A contrarian market approach can make you a lot of money. But you need to move fast while the market remains uncertain. Because once a clearly defined marketplace takes hold, you will have missed a very serious opportunity.

Written by: Hans Hansson

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Hans Hansson is President of Starboard Commercial Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 35 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email [email protected] or call him at (415) 765-6897. You may also check out his website, https://www.hanshansson.com