03 Jan Will your 2021 be a smart year for real estate deals? – Orange County Register
Happy New Year, dear readers! With 2020 firmly in the rearview mirror and my “prediction column” completed a few weeks ago, today my thoughts are random. Why limit the topics? So here are a few of the tidbits echoing in my dome.
The pandemic brought into focus a reality for me. As commercial real estate practitioners, we have two things to share – our time and our information! Make them count. Working remotely – and without a commute – allowed me to find a couple of hours each day for productive activities.
Each of us has the same amount of time – 24 hours a day, 365 days per year for a total of 8,544 hours – to ply our trade. Don’t forget, we must eat, sleep, hang out with our families and enjoy some leisure activities. If you’re like most of us, your labor is compressed into 8-12 hours every day. Tenure in the business is not a predictor. Many veteran CRE pros spend over half their days brokering commercial real estate. But, certainly, if you’re new to the business – plan on starting early and staying late.
I personally start my day with a 4:30 a.m. wake up! The key is HOW your time is spent because once it’s gone – you don’t get more. So, I would suggest computing your hourly worth. Simply set a revenue goal for next year, compute how many hours you plan to work and do some math. You’ll arrive at a figure. Surprising, huh?
Only spend time on tasks that will return that hourly wage. If your hourly is $200 and filing brochures consumes your day, hmmm. Conversely, calling owners of 100,000-square-foot buildings and getting to know them pays the wage. Learn to be quite stingy with your hours and invest them wisely.
CoStar, LoopNet, Reonomy, ProspectNow, Catylist and other data aggregators have commoditized CRE data. Doubt what I say? I can open my CoStarGo app and pull a list of availabilities anywhere in the U.S.
A quick review of comps, and I am familiar with values. Is ownership mostly institutional? Reonomy and ProspectNow detail the answer.
You may be wondering, where does the broker fit in? Exactly! What differentiates is the analysis of the data and the “story” of local deals. Only an agent entrenched in the market can recite this detail and add real value to owners and occupants.
So, master your command of the data! Learn the trends, become conversant with prices, know every building, understand the drivers, meet the influencers. Dominate your geography and become the resident expert.
Through specialization – product type, geographical area, square footage or business genre – you can achieve this level of competence. If you learn to master your data and manage your time, you can enjoy a long successful career!
I invested in professional coaching in 2018 and have continued. The results have been transformational! As I write this column, I’m also completing a comprehensive look at 2020. What worked, what didn’t and why. This reflection will morph into three to five SMART goals for 2021. If you’re unfamiliar with these goals – as you know, I love acronyms – the letters stand for: specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timetable. Thank you Michael Hyatt! I generally mix in a benchmark as well. After all, you must understand where you are today.
Let’s make 2021 our best year yet! Shall we?
Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a principal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at [email protected] or 714.564.7104.