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Skills and experience are important but winning attributes are of first importance

The SVN Commercial Advisory Group and SVN Coastal Commercial Advisors are always on the lookout for quality people. Our recruitment process targets advisors who possess specific traits integral to success. Not that everyone is the same: We realize that commercial real estate (CRE) professionals have a range of personalities and temperaments — that’s a given. But there are distinct attributes common to most who excel in the industry. And that’s where we focus much of our recruiting effort.

The first trait we seek in a potential advisor is self-confidence. As in any sales career, CRE professionals face a great deal of rejection. They hear “no” far more often than “yes.” That can take a toll on people whose confidence is low- or even medium-level.

A confident advisor doesn’t take rejection personally. He or she won’t approach the process timidly, assuming a posture of dread and impending humiliation. A tepid approach leads to mediocrity at best.

We prefer that a CRE advisor be dynamic, engaging and charismatic. Granted, not everyone is a “people person,” but it certainly helps in our field. It’s so important to establish rapport. Shy, withdrawn people often have difficulty connecting with others in an engaging manner, which puts them at a disadvantage. It’s possible for such a personality type to succeed in the field, but it’s more challenging. When you’re in the business of competing with high-powered individuals, you’re going to need every edge you can get.

People who are confident and dynamic tend to be persuasive. The power of persuasion belongs in every CRE advisor’s toolbox. Often, you must nudge a client, a buyer or even a developer into a certain course of action. Persuasion is an art people can learn, but some are more naturally predisposed than others. It’s not easy steering someone without making them feel steered. Some people have a knack for it.

Another important attribute is independence. A person who requires constant oversight and a laundry list of directives will never experience high success. Good CRE advisors know what needs to get done … and then do it. Assuming responsibility is paramount, especially when no one is watching.

Being positive and enthusiastic is also vital. Not only does it help an advisor meet his or her goals, but it has a secondary benefit: It’s contagious. Conversely, a pessimistic outlook is also transmittable to others, so we look for optimistic people to help spread positivity. It’s a benefit to the entire team.

Everyone who works here pushes hard. You absolutely must be driven. A person with drive can succeed over a person with mere talent. 

And of course, a good CRE professional must be a team player. At our offices, we all work in concert and we’re proud of it. We’re not a cutthroat organization with colleagues battling for gain at the expense of others. We help one another out. It’s one of the things that differentiates us from so many other CRE firms.

This is just part of the overall blueprint of an outstanding CRE advisor. I’ve hit the high points, but there are many more. If you see yourself in the above description and would like to be part of a true team of professionals, I’d like to speak with you. You may be the kind of person we’re seeking. 

By Matt Christian
Managing Director | SVN Commercial Advisory Group and SVN Coastal Commercial Advisors