Why Working Smarter Beats Hustle and Talent

Apr 19, 2023
What matters more in commercial real estate: hustle or talent?

In the competitive world of commercial real estate, leaders looking to build out a team and agents wanting to improve their own performance often wonder: does hustle beat talent?

In Episode 136 of CRE Success: The Podcast, we delve into this debate to help you unlock the secret(s) to success in the industry.

I’m breaking down the benefits of both hustle and talent, ultimately emphasising the importance of working smarter to add value for clients. Here's what you can expect:

1️   Benefits of Hustle (or attitude): willing to create a strong network, showcasing persistence and resilience, and being proactive and adaptable to industry changes.

2️   Benefits of Talent (or experience): In-depth knowledge of the marketplace, strong negotiation and sales skills, and natural problem-solving abilities.

3️   Working Smarter: Leveraging technology and digital tools, managing time and prioritising tasks, and consistently adding value for clients.

The key takeaway? Success in commercial real estate isn't solely determined by the number of hours worked or the level of talent. Instead, it's about working smarter and consistently adding value to your clients.

By focusing on developing a blend of hustle and talent (or the right mix of attitude and experience, if you’re a leader building a team), you can excel in this dynamic industry.

And, if you’re a leader, by spending time to create the environment where your people are motivated to perform, are in the right roles and can leverage their natural strengths, you’ll be giving everyone a shot at being the very best that they can be.

Ready to dive deeper into the hustle vs talent debate? Check out Episode 136 of CRE Success: The Podcast now and unlock the key to success in commercial real estate.

Episode Transcript:

On last week's episode of the show, my special guest, Peter Vine said that ‘hustle beats talent when talent won't hustle’.

Now, if you've been listening to this show for any period of time, you will know that I am not the hustle guy.

I'm not lazy. I just would prefer to work smarter than work harder.

The question I think for you is: Are you someone who has a little bit more hustle than other people? Or are you someone who has a little bit more talented than other people? And how can you harness your natural advantage in order to win at this competitive game of commercial real estate? 

And if you are a commercial real estate leader, well, there is the benefit of pursuing people who have experience and expertise. But there's also an argument for going after people who have the right attitude, and also the right attributes.

So, today's episode is going to explore the hustle versus talent argument.

Hello and welcome to episode 136 of CRE Success: The Podcast. My name is Darren Krakowiak. And I help commercial real estate leaders to develop their people and to grow their business.

And our episode today is all about hustle versus talent. And does hustle really be talent when talent works hustle? 

I guess if you're talented, and you're not willing to do anything, then probably someone who is willing to do something is likely to do better than you. 

And I think that hustle and talent are both important in commercial real estate. 

But what I'd like to explore today is how we can all work towards more success through working smarter.

Now, with that being said, I do want to just go through some of the benefits of both hustle and the benefits of having great talent.

So, when it comes to hustle, (I sort of put hustle in the same category, your attitude or the attributes that you have) having a great network and taking the time to build a great network is a great way to hustle.

And in our episode last week, we heard from Peter Vines talking about the steps that he's taken to grow his personal brand.

I think that if you're willing to add people on LinkedIn, and then get them into your network, and then spend a little bit of time to create content, which then keeps you top of mind, that is a hustle; a hustle activity, which is going to go a long way.

Because a professional network in commercial real estate really matters. It is one of these industries where the old adage, it's not what you know, it's who you know, is probably more true than untrue.

The next thing that I think is important is just persistence and having resilience. So, what's sometimes talked about as grit.

And really the importance of a positive attitude, which is more of the hustle side of things and the talent side of things.

So, when you're willing to go a little bit further, when you're willing to overcome obstacles, when you're willing to prospect more than other people because you're not deterred by one email that isn't responded to or the fact that somebody doesn't return your phone calls, then you're going to be able to go much further than if you weren't willing to do that. 

And that's certainly a way that hustle is more important than talent.

The third way, I think that hustle is more important than talent is in terms of being proactive, and also having a little bit of adaptability.

And commercial real estate is in some ways a traditional industry, but it's starting to change.

And the ways that we can be successful is becoming more based on technological advancements and the way we go about things. 

So, hustle can be about innovation. It can be about staying ahead of the curve. And I think that's a little bit of were working smarter comes into it.

Because some people who rely on their talents, who believe that, ”I've always been the best, I'm naturally good at this, I don't need to try new and better ways of doing things”, they can get out done by the hustle.

Because if you're willing to continually look for and find better ways to do things, then that will put you on a pathway towards be able to beat the talent.

Of course, talent is important, right?

So, I do want to just explore a few of the ways that particularly, if you're a commercial real estate owner or a leader, and you're looking for people to hire that we shouldn't look the natural abilities that people have.

And I think as a leader, it is somewhat incumbent on you to harness the talents of your people to get the best out of them or at least to encourage them to be the best that they can be.

One thing that is important in our industry is just knowledge of the marketplace, knowledge of the sectors in which we work. 

And experience and in-depth knowledge of whether it's the industry or the sector, or the location, or the client type is something that is really valued, versus somebody who's never worked in the industry before.

So, this can take some time to build up. And I guess if you're willing to hustle at it, you can build up some knowledge, but it's going to take time.

I remember when I worked in Korea, one of the ways that I got to know the market better was literally just by walking up and down the main business districts in Seoul, and going into every building, and having a look at the tenant boards, and having a look around the building and just making sure that I had actually not just desktop knowledge of the market, but that I had real knowledge of the market. 

Because for me, seeing helped me remember the buildings, and it gave me real knowledge.

So, I think that is an area where actually talent, the experience, the knowledge that you already have is something that can out beat hustle, because it's even the best hustle is going to take three to six months to get to know a market. 

Another way where talent beats hustle, in my opinion is in terms of people who are naturally good at negotiations, and also at sales.

And you cannot buy the experience of somebody who's got 100 deals under their belt, who has prospected 1000 potential vendors.

And that accumulated knowledge, which I guess somehow, they have accumulated because they've been willing to work is something which is in my opinion, probably superior than somebody who's just willing to work really, really hard.

Now, again, that person who has that accumulated knowledge conscious do nothing with it, they need to deploy it.

But in our industry where, first of all, you have to convince the prospect to give you the listing. So, there's some negotiation and sales skills involved in that.

But then also, once you've got the listing, you then need to deploy once again your sales and negotiation skills to get the listing sold or leased.

These skills and experience are really, really important in our industry.

So, talent, I think, is really, really important when it comes to sales and also negotiation.

And the third way that I think talent, perhaps is more important than hustle is just the ability to whether it's analyzed numbers or just to solve problems.

Reflecting on my own experience, one area where I had a natural ability was, I'm pretty good with numbers, I can calculate numbers in my head pretty quickly. 

And that would mean that when someone would tell me, you know, the amount of space and the building, I'd be able to sort of calculate whether it was the monthly rent or what the fee to the business would be.

And that was something that was, I guess, a skill that I had that showed industry knowledge experience, know how capability. 

But the thing I want to say here is that your natural skill doesn't need to be something which is industry specific, or necessarily intellectually smart. 

There are many ways that you can demonstrate, know how there are many talents that you may have, that you can deploy in commercial real estate. 

So, the talent that you're willing to deploy, is going to reflect your value that you convey in the marketplace, with your colleagues, when you're going for a job, when you are demonstrating your capability to your team if you're a leader, and of course, when you're dealing with your clients and also with your prospects.

So that's a little bit about talent and also hustle.

I think the key to success is working smarter. 

I just wanted to give you a couple of ways that you can do that whether you are more of a hustler, or whether you are more talented.

And the first way is of course leveraging technology and tools. And we talk a little bit about that on this podcast.

And I think if we're willing to work smarter by looking at technology and digital tools to streamline tasks and improve our productivity that's always going to set us apart from people who are naturally talented or from those who just work more hours because we're finding ways to get more done in less time.

And I recently did an episode on ChatGPT. I'm getting deeper and deeper into this tool. And I plan on sharing more of that knowledge that I've accumulated soon. 

I think when I did that episode, I was probably pretty great at it. And I just wanted to get something out there about it.

So, I guess that's the hustling in me that is willing to just put something out because I knew it was a topic that was important. 

But as I become more talented at it, I think I'm going to have more of meaning to share with you. But it is of course the willingness to go out there and learn and to adopt it, which is the important part. 

Being willing to also manage your time and prioritize tasks is really, really important. We've talked a lot about that on this show.

And it's very much a learned skill. And it does require you to, I guess, let go a little bit of arrogance and understand that you're not always the best person to get everything done. 

There are times when things should be automated, there are times when you should look to outsource things. 

We should always be looking for opportunities if we're working with an attempt to delegate tasks to the person who is best placed to perform that task, where it's dollar productive for to do that task.

And I guess the third thing that I would say, in terms of working smarter is again, in our episode last week, Peter Vines really talks about this, was adding value for clients. 

And I think the way that we can really set ourselves apart is not through the amount of hours that we're willing to work, or by how smart or talented that we think we are or how others see us to be.

It's really about the amount of value that we can add to our clients.

And if we come at things from that perspective, then I think that we're ultimately going to be growing at commercial real estate professionals because as I said, it's not about how many hours you work, were compensated based on the amount of value we produce. 

It's not about how smart you are or how well you know a certain marketplace, it's how that knowledge you have can help your clients make better decisions, which either protects their value, or adds value to the assets that they own.

I've covered a lot of different areas today, which we cover within our program for commercial real estate agents, which is called 'Top Performer.' It's a fantastic program. 

If you're a commercial real estate leader, and you're looking for some skills to upskill your team or if you're an individual who wants to improve their own capability as a commercial real estate agent, we run through 'Personal Excellence', which is a little bit about mindset and the way to approach things. We go 'Purposeful prospecting', we look at 'Ways to build your brand', 'Ways to win', 'Your efficiency and effectiveness', and also 'Client accumulation'. 

If you'd like to improve in these areas to not just be about hustle, to not just be about your natural capability, but to really be a person who's willing to learn and grow so that you can work smarter and add more value to your clients.

We've still got a special offer on where if you put $100 into the subject line of an email, and you email us [email protected]

We’ll give you all the information that you need to sign up to that program.

It includes monthly training and coaching. It includes access to a back catalogue of sources that we've created over the past three years of CRE Success being a business.

And it also includes the six modules that I've just mentioned, which make up that program Top Performers.

So put $100 in the subject line and email [email protected] if you would like more information.

That is our episode for today. Thank you so much for listening, and I will speak to you soon.

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