Tim Rios  /   March 30, 2020

Put The Service Sign In Front of The Dollar Sign

My Dad was a great salesperson. I had the regular privilege of close proximity to him while he was conducting business. The lessons I learned from him go back 40 years.<!–more–> One that seems especially relevant now is, “put the service sign in front of the dollar sign, and the dollars will take care of themselves.” Personally, I think this should be the underlying philosophy for any Commercial Real Estate Broker, all the time. But particularly now, we reach out to clients and prospects with the attitude that we will do what we can to help.

Working real-time with my coaching clients, here are some of the top suggestions that we have implemented over the past two weeks:

  1. All your past and current clients need to hear your voice – this is a top priority. Clients need to know they can count on you in good and tough times. They are not expecting you to have all the answers, but please, call them. My own experience, and what I hear from others, is that people are picking up the phone at an unprecedented rate.


  1. Now IS the time for prospects to hear from you – some brokers and companies have decided that now is not the time to reach out to prospective clients. Respectfully, I disagree. Now is not the time to reach out with aggression or panic, but you can offer the exact same expertise to prospects as you can a current client. Furthermore, prospects are receptive right now to multiple opinions. People are trying to figure out how to navigate this environment, and you are less likely to get the “I already work with so-and-so broker.”


  1. Live conversations are more important than ever – Email and Social Media have their place in this environment. However, building and strengthening the best relationships right now requires the phone. I’ve spent a lot of hours on the phone this past week with industry colleagues but very little on email. We all know that there are countless conversations going on regarding collection loss, rent abatements, mortgage relief, and other forbearance requests. Having these conversations in real-time is a better bet than authoring a white paper on the ten best ways to cram down a lender that will come back to haunt you. You get me?


  1. Manage your own return expectations – What you do for people today may not yield an immediate payday. I also feel strongly that as you make that call, your expectation should be for no return other than helping someone. The lack of immediate self-interest in your efforts will set the stage for recognizing and developing a money-making opportunity if one exists.


  1. Team Management requires metrics more than ever – Managers and Senior Team Leaders need to remember that their agents and staff are perhaps their most important clients. For now, we lack the luxury of looking out our office windows to see that people are working. We also need to recognize that people are operating under less-than-ideal circumstances. Even as I type this, I’m overseeing home kindergarten for my twin daughters. One girl is complaining about her handwriting practice, so I’m setting a timer. The other really wants to switch from math to reading. Okay ladies, when the timer goes off you can both switch. Now back to my article. Metrics are critical. Manage your people to a result; give them flexibility on how they get there.


Be safe out there. Follow the guidelines. Each of us can do our part to flatten the curve. We can, and should, also be actively engaged in our business. Put the service sign in front of the dollar sign, and eventually, the dollars will take care of themselves. My best to all of you.


– Tim Rios, Chief Learning Officer, The Lipsey Company

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