Three ways to create leverage and scale your GCI in commercial real estate

There are three strategies that commercial real estate agents should implement if they want to take their production to even greater heights. 

The concepts covered here aren’t about hustling or working more hours; instead, they’re based upon supercharging your productivity and creating leverage, which is built around three pivotal Ps: Platform, Process, and People.

Platform – Streamline your work with technology

Technology serves as an efficiency enabler of any contemporary business, and commercial real estate agencies are no exception. 

At the core of an effective platform is a fit-for-purpose customer relationship management (CRM) system so that agents can track their pipeline and leverage their network.

This is distinct from the Frankenstein approach that I see many agents using: some combination of spreadsheets, notepads, calendar reminders, post-it notes and relying on memory.

While this approach may work for you, it can’t scale beyond you.

But a strong platform goes beyond the CRM. It incorporates a host of tools for content distribution, social media content, managing workflow and scheduling your time. 

In addition, using hardware–such as your phone and PC or laptop–to its full potential (and making sure it’s not a thief of your time) is another part of maximising efficiency and achieving scale as a commercial real estate agent.

Process – Optimise your workflow

Removing mundane tasks from our day-to-day responsibilities, frees up time for us to focus more on dollar-productive activities, which are those that add significant value to our personal productivity, job satisfaction and income potential. 

The best way to achieve this, while ensuring that the mundane but important tasks are completed to a high standard, is to create processes around how they are to be performed. 

Processes form the operational guidelines for a business. Creating processes simply involves documenting how we perform tasks so they can be delegated or outsourced. 

You may be familiar with the concept of a “zone of genius,” a realm of tasks that a person is better at than most people, enjoys doing, and which also contributes more than most other activities towards their financial performance. 

By maximising productivity through our platform and processes, we create the capacity to be able to spend more of our time operating within our zone of genius and less time on lower-order tasks that take us out of the zone. 

People – Build your dream team for growth

The tasks that are not within your zone of genius may well fall within that zone for people that can become happy and productive members of your team.

But before bringing new people on board, you probably need to reach a certain level of production.

The good news is that using your platform and creating processes will help you scale-up your production on your own, and because you have a platform to use with processes to follow, when you’re ready to invest in people to complete work on your behalf, onboarding itself will be so much smoother. 

I recommend hiring just before it’s urgently needed, to create productive capacity to expand, as opposed to waiting until you’re swamped with opportunities; by this time, service standards are at risk and you’re often too busy to handle a proper recruitment process.

The first role to consider is an administrative assistant.

Remember: until you have an assistant, you effectively are one. For many agents, bringing on a virtual assistant for just a few hours a week is a great way to start to create this leverage for a relatively small investment. 

An assistant can handle tasks such as market research, lead generation, social media management, campaign material creation, database administration and perhaps liaising with third parties via phone or email.

Just imagine the time you could free-up for business development, getting deals done and managing client relationships by delegating these tasks. 

The increased productivity (and income) from the first hire will often soon necessitate (and support) the hiring of more people, increasing the amount of leverage you create. 

The next role I’d suggest is a full-time assistant, and then an associate. This is someone who can help manage listings, perform inspections, handle buyers and lessees, and generate and qualify more leads.

Commercial real estate agents can increase their productivity beyond themselves and scale their operations to grow much faster by following the three Ps. 

Hopefully the idea of delegating tasks that exist outside of your zone of genius and spending more of your time on high-return tasks that you excel at and enjoy doing is motivation enough to get started with this approach. 

It will optimise your time, increase your longevity in the industry and ensure maximum utilisation of technology, operational processes, and human resources. 

Because with the proper platform, efficient processes, and the right people, you’ll be poised to reach new heights of commercial real estate success.

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Darren Krakowiak

Darren Krakowiak is the Founder of CRE Success. He helps commercial real estate leaders to get their businesses growing faster and is the host of Commercial Real Estate Leadership, available as a podcast and on YouTube.