The recent economic downturn and the impacts on businesses across the United States mean that commercial brokerage services will be in greater demand than at any time in recent memory. Here are a few examples:

  • Property owners will be looking for the expertise of brokers to retain survivor tenants, backfill vacancies from business failures, and establish market specific property values.
  • Business tenants will need brokers to dispose of unneeded space on the sublease market, and to renegotiate leases to ensure viability.
  • Owner occupied business locations may see a need to recapitalize through sale-leaseback transaction.
  • Lender REO departments will need brokers to dispose of foreclosed assets.

Most of the problem-solving techniques learned in the last five downturns will need to be rebooted. The challenge is three-fold. For the past ten years it’s been mainly routine transactions for both sales and leasing—and that’s about to change. At the same time, the previous low unemployment levels made it difficult to hire fresh talent. And, the existing cadre of commercial brokers has been aging out. It’s too early to tell how many of the existing brokerage workforce will remain in the industry. Certainly, some will leave, either by economic necessity or retirement.

Brokerage owners and managers have long acknowledged the need to recruit, hire and on-board fresh talent. Most industries have relevant college majors and degrees to provide training—but this is not so for creating successful commercial real estate brokers. True, most have higher-level educations, but not for sales and leasing of commercial properties.

No doubt many talented B2B sales people have imagined the idea of entering the field. What typically holds them back is the lack of a clear path to learning the fundamentals of commercial real estate so that they could apply their sales talents and skills, and start earning quickly.

“Commercial brokerage owners’ and manager’s biggest fear is that train agents and then they leave. Their biggest mistake is that they don’t train them, and they stay,” observes 35-year CRE veteran Bob McComb, owner of Top Dogs Commercial Real Estate Training.

Things have changed dramatically, and brokerage firms will need to reboot recruiting and hiring of new agents to meet future demand. The good news is that the high unemployment levels will make that easier, but the new hires will still have to learn before they can earn, so they don’t get burned. Now is the time to act.

Check out the courses offered by Top Dogs Commercial Real Estate Training, for both companies and individuals, providing structured education and best-practices programs specifically designed to help agents and brokers learn and thrive. Program creator Bob McComb has extensive experience as a downtown San Francisco commercial broker, a brokerage owner, plus 20 years as an educator and trainer nationwide. His Top Dogs Commercial Real Estate Training Programs are highly regarded nationally. Get started today!

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