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Managing commercial real estate (CRE) transactions in a competitive and ever-evolving landscape requires a unique set of skills and qualities that go beyond those required in traditional sales roles. Given the substantial investments of time, complex negotiations involved, and competitive nature, it is imperative for professionals in this field to possess certain traits that set them apart and contribute to their success. Managing Director at SVN Commercial Advisory Group, Matt Christian, sat down to give some insight on what kind of traits he has seen propel commercial real estate advisors to the top.

Deep Knowledge and Expertise

Expertise is one of the most crucial traits for CRE advisors to prove their value. Clients rely on real estate professionals to provide accurate information and insights about market trends, property valuations, investment opportunities, and legal issues. Effective CRE professionals must have thorough understanding of various aspects, including zoning laws, building codes, financing options, and the local market. A well-informed advisor can instill confidence in clients and build long-term relationships based on trust.

Ethical Conduct & Integrity

While integrity is important in any position, when dealing with large sums of money, substantial assets, and confidential information, integrity and ethical conduct become indispensable foundational traits. A successful CRE advisor operates with honesty and professionalism, always acting in the best interest of the client. Upholding ethical standards helps build a reputation for integrity, which is essential in this industry.

Networking and People Skills

The ability to build and maintain a strong network of contacts is vital for success. Successful advisors must be adept at cultivating relationships with property owners, developers, investors, lenders, and other professionals. A solid contact list can lead to referrals and provide access to off-market properties. However, it is important to note that simply having names on a spreadsheet is not enough. Effective communication is fundamental in CRE, as transactions often involve multiple stakeholders with varying interests and levels of expertise. The ability to convey ideas, address concerns, and negotiate is paramount in closing deals. Active listening is also key to understanding client needs and tailoring solutions.

Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills

CRE sales involve intricate financial analysis, research, and problem solving. Advisors should be proficient at assessing property values and identifying risks or opportunities for their clients. Combining analytical skills with creative problem-solving allows CRE advisors to craft innovative solutions that meet their clients’ needs.


The commercial real estate market can be challenging, often with long sales cycles. Transactions can take months or even several years to close due to various market factors and lengthy due-diligence periods. For example, Tony Veldkamp, CCIM, Senior Advisor for SVN Commercial Advisory Group, recently closed on a significant land deal after 16 years of marketing and negotiations. His commitment and tenacity demonstrate the importance of persistence in this industry. Successful advisors possess the resilience to keep moving forward amid setbacks, maintaining their focus and dedication to their clients.

Being a successful CRE advisor requires a unique blend of skills and qualities. Those who thrive in this challenging field are individuals who embody these traits most conducive to success. At SVN Commercial Advisory Group, you can find these professionals shaping the future of our local communities.