Stop plodding and start progressing be being more aggressive.

Jul 20, 2023
how to shed a cautious mindset and embrace a proactive and decisive approach with three key strategies

I want to open-up a discussion about an attribute that I believe can skyrocket your results in the industry: being more aggressive.

Now, before you dismiss the idea, let me clarify. I’m not talking about bulldozing your way through life, having low emotional intelligence, or becoming a cutthroat competitor with no moral compass.

Instead, I want to help you employ an approach that has helped me throughout my commercial real estate career so that you can propel your income to new heights.

It’s all about taking calculated risks, pushing boundaries occasionally, and embracing a proactive mindset; this will enable you to seize opportunities, win more deals, and make your mark.

If you’re open to being more assertive, compelling, decisive, persistent, and proactive, you should check out episode 149 of CRE Success: The Podcast (or watch it on YouTube).


Episode transcript:

There's a fun movie from the 90s called 'Bring it on'.

It's all about cheerleading. And one of the best cheers from that movie is 'Be aggressive, be, be aggressive.'

I can't do it like fully in tune, because that wouldn't be the manliest thing to do while I'm being recorded. 

But I can tell you that being more aggressive is something that I see that more commercial real estate agents and leaders should be doing.

Now there is this negative connotation that is attached to being aggressive.

And certainly, I think, in my past, people have called be aggressive in a work setting and not meant it as a compliment.

But I think it's a real opportunity, particularly in today's marketplace to be a little bit more aggressive in order to get the results that we are looking for. 

Hello, and welcome to episode 149 of CRE Success: The Podcast. My name is Darren Krakowiak. I can help commercial real estate agency leaders to accelerate growth in their business.

Thanks so much for joining us for another episode of the show. And if you haven't yet checked out the back catalogue, I invite you to do that now.

We've got 148 more episodes for you to check out, absolutely free, so much content.

If you are a commercial real estate agent or leader who's looking for ways to ramp up your lead generation, to make sure that you're actually winning more of the opportunities that are in front of you, and then how to accelerate your production, we've got episodes covering all that and more in the back catalogue of CRE Success: The Podcast.

Now today we're talking about being more aggressive, as I mentioned at the top of the show.

And I remember that more recently, someone said to me, "You've got a real shake the tree approach."

And I remember thinking shake the tree, I want to climb the tree, not just shake it.

So, I think that there's nothing wrong with being a little bit more aggressive, a little bit more proactive, a little bit more decisive, a little bit more assertive when it comes to pursuing business.

And my observation is that many people who are looking to get bigger and better results in their business are not actually doing things to the level of assertiveness, productivity, decisiveness or for lack of a better term aggression that they need to in order to get those results. 

So, they're being kind of proactive in their prospecting. They're doing a lot of the right activities, but it's not just at the right level, which is going to ensure that they get the results.

And I can remember that one term that we used to use to describe somebody who perhaps lacked that aggression, who lacked that motivation was there a bit of a plotter, right?

We'd say, "Oh, so and so is a bit of a plotter." 

They're okay, but they're not really going to get the job done, or they're never going to be a superstar.

I think the choice here is, do you want to be a plotter? Or do you want to be someone who's actually getting the results?

And if you want to get the results, then it might need a little bit more aggression. You can put that in terms of energy and focus.

Whatever you want to describe it as, I want to give you right now three ways that you can and should be a little bit more aggressive in order to get the results that you are looking for, if that's important to you.

The first way that I want to encourage you to be more aggressive is when it comes to pursuing business.

So, I was having a conversation recently, with a commercial real estate agent who was looking for some coaching and wanted to grow their production from where it was now, by about 60%, or 70%.

He told me was what he wanted to do in the next year. But he told me that he had some reluctance to pursue business that was outside of his patch, for example.

And I really recommend having a specialty and focusing on that. But you may actually reach the limit in your specialty.

And if you want to grow more, you might have to move into another area, which is perhaps outside of your so called 'patch' in order to get to the next level.

And if you've got to believe that is well somebody else is already covering that patch, therefore I can't go and touch it, then that's going to be a limit to your ability to continue to grow more.

I think another way that sometimes we can be a little bit cautious when it comes to pursuing business is seeing that there is a prospective client that typically does business with another agent and deciding, "Well, I'm not going to pursue that because that is so and so's client."

Now of course we've got to respect exclusive listings. But I don't think that we need to necessarily just assume that because somebody has been doing business with one particular agent for a particular period of time that we should never ever pursue that business.

Being more aggressive would be actually saying, "Well, I want to be the person who they're going to contact when that other agent drops the ball or when that other agent has too much on, or when that prospective client is looking to try another provider in the marketplace."

Another way to increase your production is to start doing bigger deals than you're currently doing.

And again, if you decide that I'm the person who's doing deals up to $4 million, and something that $6 million is outside of my reach, then that is going to be true, unless you change your beliefs and decide, "You know, what I've really mastered this level, when it comes to sub $4 million deals. I've got my win rate up to a certain amount. And now I want to start pushing into the next range of deals that might be four to $10 million, for example." 

The other way that I find people not being aggressive enough. And again, I can remember when I first moved into a new company a few years ago, and we were looking for some contact details.

And one of my team members said to me, "We've looked up this way of finding them."

And I said, "Well, have we tried this, this, this, this and this?"

And he said, while looked at me, "Whoa, like really got to try all those different ways to get in contact with this company?"

I'm like, "Well, yeah, if we want to actually have a conversation with them, we've got to try a little bit harder than just asking one person for the contact information, we've got to try and find different ways to have that conversation, ask for the introductions." 

If we do get in contact with someone, and then they don't respond, what is our sequence or cadence of follow up, if we then get engaged in a conversation, and then we don't receive any response at a certain stage?

Well, if they've gone dark, or ghosted us at a point where we believe that we deserve to have received a response from them, then I think we've got the right to follow up and chase that response to make sure that we continue the conversation that we take the responsibility for the conversation moving forward.

So, there's a few ways that I think when it comes to pursuing business, that you can be more aggressive.

A couple of other ways that I reckon we should be a little bit more aggressive in the current marketplace is in terms of the recommendations that we are making to our clients.

And I want to just put the distinction here that I'm not recommending that you're an ambulance chaser, or that you're somebody who's trying to peddle fear.

But I think we do want to be painting an accurate picture of what is actually going on in the market today.

And if you have conviction and belief around, what is it that you're telling your clients about the future in the marketplace, then I think that's a perfectly reasonable thing to be telling clients to make sure that they've got the contextual awareness of what is going on.

And that may at times, motivate them to make a decision to move forward.

That is part of your role as a trusted adviser to provide relevant information, which helps people make an informed decision.

And related to that, I think, is just around negotiating in general.

I think that most of the people who I deal with in commercial real estate are very good at advocating for their clients’ interests.

So, in a negotiation setting, when they're representing the vendor, and they're dealing with a buyer, they're very good at pushing back on certain deal points on asking for more, if appropriate, of being willing to advise their client to actually go in another direction if that needs to happen.

That can be a little bit risky at times, but often it is the right move.

But I guess the point I want to make about being more aggressive with negotiating is sometimes we also have to stand up to our clients.

And we have to be willing to push back on some things that they're doing that can put the deal at risk, or let them know when it is time for them to actually move forward.

And this is the deal. This is what the negotiator. This is what you wanted to achieve. Here's the outcome that we can achieve right now if we move forward. And I recommend that you do that.

So just being a little bit more, again, aggressive or at least proactive, decisive, using your authority to advise clients is a way that you can use some more aggression in order to achieve outcomes, particularly in the current marketplace, when there is more uncertainty when there is more noise, and perhaps people are feeling a little bit more fearful about what to do next.

So, I hope that's been helpful for you when it comes to being more aggressive.

If you did a little bit of a pep talk just to give yourself a little bit of a push, a little bit of motivation to do that little bit more.

I know it can feel like sometimes you're doing everything that you can.

I don't believe in doing everything that you can I think I've said before in the podcast, don't do everything you can do everything that you should and do a little bit more.

So, find the things that are important to be done that are going to make a difference and do those things that are going to actually help you move the ball forward and get more deals done, particularly in today's marketplace. 

When it comes to pursuing business, when it comes to prospecting, if you're looking for some more ways to help you find more leads, whether that's inbound leads, outbound leads are also generating leads from existing clients through repeat business, or through referrals, I want you to go and check out the A to Z of commercial real estate prospecting, which is a free guide that we've had out for a while now.

But I think that right now is a good time to be freshening up your prospecting skills. 

You can download it at

It's completely free, and it contains 26 ideas that will help you freshen up your prospecting efforts.

That is our episode for today. I hope you're all fired up and ready to go after that. Thank you so much for listening, and I will speak to you soon.

Like this? You'll love what we share with our community every single week!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from CRE Success.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.