A Young Broker Needs Your Advice. Can You help?

A Young Broker Needs Your Advice. Can You help?

Emails Phone Calls Dm’s and Conversations.

I mention it often.

The email the phone calls the messages.

It happens almost everyday.

Someone somewhere asking for just a little bit of #CRE help.

So today I turn it around just slightly and ask YOU for some help.

I posted up Old School vs. New School. A 2013 Commercial Real Estate Real World Conversation. and received an email from a young smart aggressive productive broker. With his permission it follows.


 I have been reading your posts for nearly a year now, but your most recent post on Old School vs. New School really hit home and moved me to contact you.

I am an agent in my early twenties, finishing up my first year working my market, and working within a highly successful, yet highly old school organization.  The company’s core culture and teachings are centered around being out of the office making face to face cold calls for 6-7 hours each day.

I am in no way trying to discredit their methods as they clearly have served the organization well since its founding (and have helped me find success in my first year), but I am in a constant battle between trying to be innovative/adaptive and answering to the requirements laid down by my superiors.

 If you have a couple of minutes when you might be able to hop on a call with me, I would greatly appreciate getting to discuss one on one your thoughts on how I could make best of my situation.  I know you aren’t a counselor, but a very busy broker yourself, so definitely no rush to fit me into your schedule.



I responded to the email with a day time and phone number so that we could connect and converse.

Here is where I (and he) need your help.

You have been in the trenches.

You have hit the street. Hell you invented shoe leather and door knocking but……

It’s 2013 and here in front of you stands one of those can’t miss young guns.

You can see the effort.  You can see the skill set. You can see the results already.

You can see just maybe that little bit of the young you staring right back.

A Young Broker Needs Your Advice. Can You Help?

Duke Long


  • I am a relatively young broker myself, only being in the industry of a handful of years but here is my opinion on the topic:

    The team I work on is a national platform where we do business in every State. For that reason, it’s hard for me to knock on someone’s door and have a conversation with them. I have done a mix of both old and new school to build up my brand but also my own reputation.

    Old school: I would get in around 7:30 in the morning, make a prospecting list for the day and start cold calling around 8 to about 10-15 people a day, nationally. I know it’s real early if I call someone in California so I would wait until later in the day, etc. But cold calling definitely helps to get your name out there. I’m in my mid-twenties and I prefer talking to someone on the phone rather than texting/emailing. This is because I want to hear someone’s voice and hear their inflection when they talk to know if they’re full of it or sincere, plus it gets the point across faster.

    This method has been proven for decades and I don’t think it’ll go away anytime soon. Although times are changing, the people I deal with are mostly old school individuals that went through the same stages in their careers; and quite frankly, still appreciate a good conversation. In contrast, some prefer to be reached out by email –new school.

    New school: I still have an online identity when I try to generate business. Today, everyone uses the internet for everything. I haven’t seen a complete encyclopedia set in a very long time. People would search for it online. That’s why I make sure I have a Linked In profile that is up to date, a twitter account that is constantly updated and I’m currently working on my own CRE blog. Having those accounts help build my credibility but also my online presence for online searches (SEO). It’s also great for marketing because it’ll reach a broader target market than cold calling a person one at a time. I feel like before a prospect would do business with me, they would research to see who I am and what I do as I would also before I make a cold call.

    In retrospect, you can email someone twenty times and hope to get a response; but unless they recognize your name or have the time, they will most likely delete or ignore it. Personally, this is why I would try to have a conversation with an individual, in person or on the phone, before sending them an email. When I do speak to someone and get the sense they are not interested, I will still try to get their email and send them more information about myself and my platform as a reminder in case my services are needed in the future. I try to use both new and old school to my advantage but it’s a balancing act.

    I’ve seen the most results from old school methods because it’s very direct and I can talk to someone immediately. I will always try to meet someone in person if I get the opportunity. Though, I believe you should still practice new school techniques. I have gotten many calls from someone finding me through an online search or Linked In. I feel like as a broker, you have to be good with your words and have a personality, not someone hidden behind a desk.

  • Duke: As you know, I am a huge proponent of digital and social media. My advice to a young gun is to do both old school and new school.

    I get up at about 4:00 am and start reviewing my inbox until about 6:00 – 7:00 am. It is this time that I come up with my best thoughts and ideas and where I review all things cre and social media. My conference calls and legal and writing begins at about 7:00 am and usually goes to about 5:00 p.m., at which time I usually run out of gas and spend time with my family. Throughout the day, my time is spent writing, researching, telephone calls and personal meetings. I also make it a point to attend local and national events and “press the flesh”.

    Knowing what I know now, if I were in my twenties, I would spend 6-7 hours a day making face-to-face cold calls and surveying property. I know of no better way to learn your market. It is fundamental to the success of a broker. You can’t sell if you don’t know your market. I would then spend another 6 hours or so working social media and expanding my universe.

  • Three things that I would suggest:

    Learn to network strategically, “work out loud”, and prospect creatively (using the first two points).

    I WISH someone would have explained that to me twenty nine years ago.

    This will work regardless of age, specialty, geography or tenure.


  • Find the best mentor from the old school and do whatever it takes to work with them! At the same time, start following and reading how the new school works and follow and absorb. In a few years, when the old school mentor retires, or when you are ready to move on, you have learned from the best and have focused on the basic fundamentals and you will be well on your way to success. The senior brokers today are treasures of knowledge and the new generation has a window of opportunity to learn from them. Grab one if you can!