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When You’re Everyone’s Business and No One’s Responsibility - Boston Commercial Real Estate

You call investment property brokers in your market, tell them about what you’re looking for, and meet with a few. It feels like you’re making progress. The word is on the street, you’re looking to buy an investment property with great cash flows, upside potential, and at distressed prices. Everyone knows. You wait by the phone and check your email for the wealth building deals to roll in.

Here they come….the emails you’ve been waiting for. You open them. You see a pattern emerging. These listings are all the same. You chock it up to the fact that you contacted everyone at the same time and they’re sending you what’s available on the market. A few weeks go by, and the investment property sales lists dwindle and no one’s calling. What happened?

You’re everyone’s business and no one’s responsibility.

Rewind a few weeks. You’re a broker. You receive a phone call from an investor who’s looking for a good deal in your market. He wants you to send him something good, so keep your eyes open and start hunting. You want a commission right?

Well, sure. But here’s the catch. You get at least one phone call like that every day. You’re asked to find a good deal for this investor, maybe go hunting for him, and start sending him listings. He’s probably not a hot horse who’s going to buy a property off the first list you send him and he’s likely having the same conversation with other investment property brokers.

He’s everyone’s business and no one’s responsibility.

You add him to your database. Maybe you put him in your email distribution list and figure that something might happen, but if not, you may get a call one day when he has a property he needs to lease or sell.

After a few weeks, you stop sending him lists of properties for sale because you’ve also been asked by 15-20 other investors in the same period of time to do the same activity. Somehow, they think you’re out there working for them, too, because they’re getting the same listings as everyone else. What they don’t know is that no one’s out there hunting, they’re just entering a search and clicking the send button.

You’ve been selling investment properties long enough to know that most of these calls are a fool’s errand. The promise of a commission looms on the horizon, but you know you’re going to have to spend more in time and resources to maybe get that commission than you’ll likely earn, plus you have no commitment from anyone that they’ll honor your commission if you bring them a deal. Pretty risky if you’re a broker. You decide you’re better served investing in those who have hired you to help them acquire and dispose of property.

Ultimately, as an investor, ask yourself, when you repeat the same behaviors as everyone else by calling a bunch of brokers to tell them what you want, should you expect an outcome that’s different than everyone else who’s doing the same?

The next time you’re on the phone with a broker, try asking him how many calls he’s had from investors “looking for a good deal” in the last 30 days. Then ask him how many of those investors he’s spoken to after the initial conversation. Chances are you already know the answer.

To get different results than everyone else, change your approach. Ask your investment property brokers how many investors they’re representing. The ones who have clients are getting deals done, while the ones who aren’t….well, just check your email box.

By taking a different approach and employing an investment property broker to execute a search and acquisition on your behalf, you may be delighted that when you become someone’s responsibility, you’re everyone’s envy.

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About the Author

Jeremy Cyrier, CCIM, MANSARD Commercial Properties
922 Waltham Street Suite 204
Lexington, MA 02421

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