Friday, May 9, 2014

Does your #CRE team have too many "shortstops"?

Image attribution: www.thefantasygeek.com
Ahhh, springtime! The smell of freshly mown grass, the brilliant blue sky, warm temps, the crack of the bat...its baseball time! America's pass time. Whether you played at a professional level or are just a fantasy geek...we ALL have played baseball!

What the heck does baseball have to do with commercial real estate? Indulge me and I will try to explain.

As a disclaimer, I provide Location Advice to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in Southern California...AKA, I sell and lease commercial real estate for a living and have since 1984. That qualifies me as some sort of an expert...if I can only remember.

Back to baseball...Some would say that the shortstop is the most important man on the diamond. Certainly  in every level leading up to the bigs, the shortstop is the most talented. For all of you who have coached baseball at any youth level, you know that every kid wants to play shortstop. I still recall my first practice as coach of the All Star team for my sons Blake and Mike...I showed up to be introduced to twelve shortstops...how do you field a team with that? The answer is you can't and nor can every kid play shortstop. A successful baseball team requires nine players who can pitch, catch, field, hit, and run bases...a group effort.

Now to commercial real estate...As some of you are aware, I recently hired a marketing associate. I am building a team. Howard Kline discussed this move on his CREradio show recently . You can hear the show by clicking here. So far everything is proceeding nicely. We are two weeks in and Joshua is learning, helping, and assimilating the myriad things we do as commercial real estate practitioners. But why is he doing well? Is it my expert training, my good natured soul, my dashing good looks, dumb luck, the fact that he is my son-in-law and doesn't want to disappoint me?...Maybe all or none of these...but probably some of these reasons. I would offer that the main reason we are achieving some success is because we are not both shortstops. Both of us have our distinct roles and responsibilities which intersect but are autonomous at the same time.

Building a CRE team, hints:
  • Look for role players...not all "rain makers"
  • Place an emphasis on compatibility
  • Don't add a team member, just because your company will pay for it...
  • Think long and hard about what is "missing" from your practice and staff accordingly
  • Pretend you have a virtual assistant for a week or so and imagine what the team member would be doing for you that day
  • Consider carefully you strengths and weaknesses...I know, I hear a collective..."we're good at everything"...Uhhh, no you are not!
  • Family members are great but they are family members. One step removed is good...a son-in-law in my case. If you changed their diaper, they may not heed your mentor ship.
  • Carefully craft a compensation package that will allow learning but provide incentive (I talk a lot about this on the radio show).
Good luck to you with all of the shortstops on your team...you may need a right fielder!