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Here’s How to Build Better Relationships With Your Commercial Real Estate Clients and Prospects

By Jim Gillespie | August 1, 2012

One of the biggest mistakes that commercial real estate brokers often make is keeping their relationships with their clients and prospects at "arm’s length". By saying this I mean keeping their relationships on an "all business" basis, without ever becoming personal friends with the people they’re doing business with.

Personal relationships are the glue that holds your business relationships together. If the people you’re doing business with don’t feel any personal connection to you, you’re much less likely to have them remain loyal. So whenever you’re beginning to do business with someone, anything you can do to take your relationship to a more personal level with them is definitely a step in the right direction.

One of the ways to do this is to notice what’s on the walls within their office, or to notice what they have sitting on their desk. In doing so you may learn that they enjoy playing golf, that they’re active in a particular community organization, or that they donate to a certain charity. In addition, you may see photos of them with people, including their own family, and this can be a great opportunity for you to ask them about one of these photos, and get them to start talking to you about it.

If, for example, you see a photo of them that was taken at a golf tournament, you could ask them about the photo, and there’s a good chance they’ll want to open up and start talking to you about it. This can easily lead you into a conversation about one of their passions, which is exactly where you want them to be. You’ve now crossed over into their own personal life, and you’ve begun the process of solidifying your relationship with them at an even deeper level.

Doing something like this can then lead you towards activities such as playing golf with them, going to sporting events, enjoying fine wine tasting with them, and/or contributing to their favorite charity…all of which can help you to solidify your relationship with them at an even deeper level.

This certainly beats the heck out of keeping things strictly on an "all business" basis, in terms of both landing your first transaction with them, and in landing subsequent transactions with them, too.

So whenever you’re doing business with your clients and prospects, do everything you can to build more personal relationships with them. When you build more personal relationships with your people, they’ll feel more bonded to you, they’ll be more loyal, and you’ll end up closing more transactions with them.

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