It’s time that I start taking my own advice

Aug 16, 2023
how to delight clients in commercial real estate

This week’s episode of the podcast is about surprising your clients, and this is a moment where I decided to take my own advice.

This week I opened up some free coaching spots for CRE Success members who aren’t usually entitled to this level of access.

I also created an annual review template for my private coaching clients to help them drive even higher performance in their business.

But then I decided: why just stop at surprising and delighting existing customers?

To find out about our best-ever offer for commercial real estate agents who are looking to grow their income, visit  

And then, for some practical ways that you can start to surprise and delight your clients, take a listen to episode 153 of CRE Success: The Podcast.


Episode transcript:

How do you like surprises?

If you're anything like me, you probably don't mind a pleasant surprise a bit of good news that you weren't expecting, but you probably don't appreciate nasty surprises, that news that not only did you not want to hear but hits you like boom in the face, like something that you didn't see coming.

I think in commercial real estate, we want our teams to be surprising and delighting our clients as opposed to serving up information that they're not only not expecting, but also don't appreciate hearing.

That's the topic of discussion for today's episode. 

Hello, and welcome to episode 153 of CRE Success: The Podcast. This is Darren Krakowiak. I'm your host, and I'm here to help commercial real estate agency leaders to accelerate growth in their business.

Thanks for joining us for today's episode. And if you're not already subscribed to our YouTube channel, you can find us on YouTube. CRE Success is our channel handle. 

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And that will help us on our mission to help even more commercial real estate agency leaders to accelerate growth in their business.

Today's episode is all about delighting clients, including delighting them in ways that they weren't expecting.

And my inspiration for this week's episode came from my mortgage broker.

He called me up while I was on holidays, I missed the call. But I got the voicemail, listen to the voicemail.

He tells me, "I want you to open up your bank account and I want you to check the interest rate on the loan. It should be 80 basis points lower than it was last week based on some deal that he's done for all of his clients in the bank. Let me know that it's gone through at your end."

I think, "Okay, I will open up my net bank and I will have a look. And low and behold, 80 basis points has been shaved off the top of my interest rate."

That was good news. Do you know what I was thinking after I saw that bit of news, and I confirmed it in my net bank app?

I thought how can I give this guy more of my business? Why is there another loan, which is with the same bank where I've got a higher interest rate that wasn't through him.

I should get him to figure that one out for me. So, I was thinking about giving him more business. 

I think when you surprise and delight people, they're more likely to take your call, they're more likely to take your advice.

If there is an opportunity for you to deliver news like that, to delight your clients with good news that they are obviously going to be pleased to hear.

And you can actually arrange that without having to tell them, but just report the good news to them, then that is the type of touchpoint that you want to be giving to your clients as much as possible.

If I was going to go a step further, I would also calculate and communicate the benefit to the client.

So, the mortgage broker could have said this is a saving of $325 a week based on your current balance in the account or per month, probably.

He could have told me maybe this is what that does for your borrowing capacity.

So, the next loan that you want to get, we've added on x $1,000, because that's how much your repayments have come down, and therefore the bank looks at your overall liabilities and expenses and assets and all of that. That's what it means to be.

If we can also not only communicate good news, but communicated in terms which matters to our clients, then we really give context to what it is that we've done.

We've really demonstrated the benefit in terms that are relevant to them.

So, what I want to do in today's episode is just share with you some other ways that you can unexpectedly delight your clients.

And things that you can achieve for your clients that, like I said, don't require their input, but it's welcome news to them.

Some ideas might be some upside on a negotiation. Maybe you've negotiated a discount on some marketing.

I remember in tenant representation, one of the bits of good news that we'd be able to deliver, if a landlord had committed to pay for more of the fee than we actually expected at the time of the negotiation.

Because in the market that I was in, we would ask the tenant to underwrite a certain percentage of the fee. And we would try and recover it from the landlord, or the landlord's agent.

If the landlord was doing some sort of an incentive where they were paying more out to the tenant side agent, then we'd deliver that news at the end of the negotiation.

And before we send the invoice, we'd say, "by the way, the invoice is actually x amount less, because we've got the landlord to cover this amount."

This is all positive, unexpected delights that we could deliver to clients.

This is important, I think, in terms of the opposite of that, which is not delivering nasty surprises.

Because commercial real estate transactions are high stakes, and relatively stressful experiences for many of our clients.

It might be the thing that we're doing day to day, but it's not a day-to-day occurrence for most of if not all of our clients.

I think they don't appreciate unexpected events along the way, because there's already perhaps some nerves that are in play. 

And I think they're especially adverse to things like additional costs, feeling like they're being fleeced on fees, and the like. 

So, I think there's an opportunity for us to be upfront, and if something is potentially coming around the corner, like additional marketing costs, or perhaps it's a bigger incentive that the landlord needs to underwrite than you allowed for in the marketing plan.

Or maybe we need to actually adjust the rentals that we can achieve or the price that we're willing to accept, if we're representing the landlord or the vendor, then I think the sooner that we can declare it, the better.

And if it was in your plan all along, that is, if it was something that was raised as something that we may need to do in the future, then you've warned them about it before, you've actually had to pull the trigger on that.

And that only reinforces I think, your status as a trusted adviser, as opposed to somebody who is just giving advice on the fly.

And the other thing that I want to say in relation to this is, if you foreshadow issues, or you offer solutions to deal with issues that may come up in the future.

So, for example, you might say, "Look, at this point in the negotiation, we may hit this roadblock. It happens a lot. And this is how I'd recommend that we deal with that if that eventualise.

Now if that does happen, you won't have to be producing a nasty surprise.

You'll actually get credit for the fact or at least you're going to put some appreciation for the fact that the client was warned about it. And it's not a nasty surprise.

But if you can actually avoid it, and if it isn't something that your client has to deal with, but you've foreshadowed that it's something that commonly occurs, you'll actually get credit for having avoided the problem.

So, I think the more information that we can give, based on our experience about what it is that the client can potentially expect, if it's going to be something which is not a positive for them, I think that's a good thing.

And then, when there are things that are positives that perhaps haven't quite come to fruition yet, but we believe something that is maybe going to happen in the future, maybe you hold that back, maybe you sign if you kind of keep that in your pocket.

And then once it is achieved, you're able to put in a good news phone call, like the call that I received from my mortgage broker, which is, "Hey, I'm just letting you know that if you open up your net bank online right now, you will see that there is 80 basis points less on your interest rate, that is I don't need to know all the ins and outs about how we arrived at that decision."

What I want to know is that I've got 80 basis points list to pay on my interest rate every single month. 

And then as I said, "I'm thinking about what are some other ways that I could get this mortgage broker to handle more of my business."

So, fix problems before they arise. And use some initiative if you're able to, and when you're empowered to, to actually create positive solutions for your clients when you are able to do that.

That is really what I wanted to talk about on today's episode.

If you need more clients to surprise and delight, I think one thing that you should be doing is more prospecting.

And we produce a document which is called the A to Z of commercial real estate prospecting.

It contains 26 ideas for you and your team to rejuvenate your prospecting efforts. 

If you're sick and tired of prospecting the same old way or maybe if you're not motivated to get started with your prospecting each and every day because you're just a little bit tired of whatever it is that you're doing to generate leads to get into conversations with potential customers then maybe you could use a bit of injection of something new. 

That's what the A to Z of commercial real estate prospecting is there to do.

And it's available now for free if you go to

That is our episode for you today, as always, really appreciate you being there. Thank you so much for listening and I will speak to you soon.

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