I am grateful for the role that I have to serve commercial real estate leaders

Jan 17, 2024
Discover key strategies to make progress, lay foundations, and navigate market uncertainty effectively

As I was reflecting over the break, my thoughts often came back to there being some difficult moments for our industry generally, and my business specifically, in 2023.

As much as I tried to make things easier, some of my decisions (which were risks, but mostly the right moves) also compounded that uncertainty.

I am proud that, despite the challenges of last year, I didn’t slow down or let up on activity.

And I am grateful that my business grew again, and I still get to continue serving our industry by helping even more people to be the best that they can be.

Why am I sharing this? Because resilience and adaptability are needed in commercial real estate.

If you’ve kept doing the work, then you’re probably better placed than you think – even if 2023 wasn’t all you hoped it to be.

In our first podcast for 2024, we’re getting into strategies for progress, setting goals that drive action, and the three types of leaders you’ll see during tough times.

Curious? Take a listen to episode 171 of Commercial Real Estate Leadership and let's kick off 2024 on a high note!


Episode transcript:

Hey, it's 2024!

I can't help but notice a bit of excitement and maybe also trepidation about what the new year has in stock for us after 2023, which for many people in commercial real estate was one of the more difficult years of their career.

So, as we look forward to 2024, I want to spend some time talking about just progress that you've made.

And I'll share some things that I experienced in this business in 2023.

And also, just some ways to look at how it is that we can continue to make progress, to continue to focus on the right things, but also to make sure that we are doing more of the things that are required in markets like we are currently in and perhaps that we'll continue to be in for a period of time, so that when we get to the other side, we're way ahead of our competitors.

Hello, and welcome to episode 171 of Commercial Real Estate Leadership. My name is Darren Krakowiak.

And if you are a Commercial Real Estate Principal, if you are an Owner of a Brokerage, or an Agency Business, or maybe you're a director in a firm, whatever your leadership role is, I want to help you make your business bigger.

That's what we're here to do each and every week. And we are back from a little break that we took over the December January holiday period.

So welcome back to another year of the show.

I tell you; I was listening to a program recently by a guy called Graham Cochrane.

You've probably never heard of him, because you are in commercial real estate.

And what this guy does is that he's got two businesses, one which is about recording music online. So how to record music at sort of studio quality, but from your own home.

And his second business is more directed at someone like me, which is how to grow an expert's business. So how to transfer your knowledge and then build a business to help others to achieve progress in their business.

And in his show, he referred to the fact that he has a top 0.5% podcast. And I thought, "Wow, that's impressive."

Mine must be nowhere near that because, well, we took a little bit of a change last year.

And around September, I think it was, we changed the name from CRE Success: The Podcast to Commercial Real Estate Leadership.

And truth be told, the downloads dropped a little. And not only downloads of the new show, but also less people were going back and checking out all of the past episodes of the show, which you can do at any time for free.

They're all sitting there in your favorite podcast player and also on YouTube.

So, I was kind of feeling like, "Oh, maybe I made a mistake here. Maybe this wasn't a good idea."

And I'll tell you about some other things that were going on in my business last year as well, which also gave me pause to reflect on if I was on the right track.

But back to this podcast ranking thing, which is from listen notes, I looked at my own podcast, and I realized that this little podcast is a top 5% podcast.

And I was like, "Well, okay, it's not 0.5%.” I didn't expect it to be anything like that.

It was sure Graham Cochran has 10s of 1000s of downloads every month, but a top 5% podcast, I was pretty happy with that.

And the thing is, and how I'm going to relate it back to what we're talking about today is that I continue to do the things that I believe would lead to results.

And I think one important thing that you can help your people with in 2024 is to make goal setting about the inputs before you start setting goals about outputs.

Or make them complimentary goals that you want to see achieved consecutively.

So, what I mean by that is, is that we make the activities that will lead to results, not the outcome that we're trying to achieve the goal for our people.

So, what we want to do, particularly in markets like we've experienced in 2023, is we want to lay the foundation.

And we want to also make sure that we're building up momentum that will see your production explode when the market does pick up.

Because sometimes you can be doing all of the things but if the markets not moving, and things have just stalled, then all the activities in the world aren't going to lead to immediate results like they usually do.

However, it's not like all the things that you're doing are not going to achieve outcomes. It's just that those outcomes can take a little bit longer to realize.

And I think if you're a leader, this is something that you can also apply in your performance reviews.

So rather than just saying, "I want someone to achieve X result".

And by the way, I'm not saying that we shouldn't be focused on results.

But what I am saying is that we also need to be mindful of the fact that in some markets, it can be more challenging to achieve results.

And what we want to see is that people continue to exhibit the right behaviors.

And when we're putting people under performance reviews, performance improvement plans also, we can make actions are the measurements by which we are measuring if they exhibit the right behaviors that we're looking for, for them to be getting the right results in the future.

So, make actions the things that you're measuring. Because when actions are completed, the right actions, I think it makes it extremely likely that the results will come.

If you say you do these things, if you make these many calls, if you have these many meetings, if you spend this much time on prospecting, then the results will come.

If those actions are followed, it's about doing the reps that of course, there can be some course corrections, or maybe some improvements in the way that people go about things that you need to help them with.

For example, if they're making all their calls every day, but they're not being very effective in the way they're talking to prospects. And that's something that you can help them refine, right?

But they will also if they have some capability, and hopefully, we're talking about people in your business that have some level of capability and potential, they will start to improve, the more that they do those actions that lead to results.

And as I think about what's occurred in my business over the past six months, I had a really tough second half of the year for about a three-month period, where new clients signing up to our main program that we work with commercial real estate leaders on really slowed down.

And I started to question, you know, "Is something wrong here? People not believing that I'm able to help them."

And you know, I think sometimes you do go through slumps, but also, sometimes the market has an impact on the way that you achieve or the level to which you achieve results.

And it's during those tough times that can determine where it is that you end up.

Because I think there's three types of people. There the first type of people that just retreat in tough times.

And when you retreat in tough times, it means that you'll continue to fall behind when markets do get better, because you haven't continued to do the work that's required to succeed when markets have been a little bit more difficult, when the going has gotten a little bit tough.

The second type of people are those who just do what they've always been doing.

So, they just sort of go, "Okay, conditions have changed. I'm just going to continue doing what I've always done, and perhaps things will just get better."

And I think these are the sort of people who end up sort of coasting through, right?

And they may end up after a tough period, perhaps a little bit behind where they were or just where it was before that period started.

And you might see that as a win to have maintained your position or have not fallen too far behind during a typical market period.

But I would say that it's not really a win because you haven't shown any improvement over time.

And the third type of person I think, is those that continue to do all of the things that need to be done to lay the foundations for continuing success when the going gets tough, as I said.

And so that this accumulation of activity, the more things that are being done during these difficult periods means that even bigger success comes when markets come back.

And I think that's the opportunity that if you haven't been doing more than has been required in a typical market over the past, let's say, six months, or however long it is in your market that you've noticed transaction volumes have been down.

However long it's been that you've noticed that we need to work longer and harder with vendors in order to encourage them to bring things to market.

We need to have more conversations with them about pricing, we need to do more on the marketing side, we need to work more with buyers in order to generate the same level of interest in a campaign compared with what we needed to do perhaps 12 or 18 months ago.

So, there's more activity that's required to get the same result.

And I talked about in an interview I did recently, in fact, about the book by Grant Cardone – 10X.

And I didn't mention this book in the last episode we had where I recommended some more books for you to read over the Christmas New Year period. But I'll share this with you now.

He says that one of the biggest barriers to success is under estimating the amount of effort that's required in order to get stuff done.

And I think that's a really timely thing to be thinking about when markets are a little bit more tough than they usually are.

Because if you underestimate what's required to get the things done in a market, where it is actually harder to get things done, then you will fall behind very quickly.

So, make the decision to not just be someone who retreats in tough time not just does things exactly the same as they've always been done in tough times, but perhaps someone who commits to do something more.

And as I think about my personal situation, I continue to push through during those periods where we had a bit of a dry spell when not so many clients were signing up.

And then we had a good period in November- December when more new clients did join the program. Which was a relief, but also it was reward for effort, right?

I continued to do those things, continued to show up, continue to do the podcast, even when I noticed that downloads were down.

And ultimately, it's led us to this place now where I feel pretty comfortable about where the business is heading in 2024.

And I hope that you can also start to feel pretty comfortable about where your business is heading in 2024.

Now, if you do want some more ideas about how your business can grow, I want to encourage you, if you haven't already, please go and grab our free commercial real estate business growth guide, which is called 'Multiplied Growth'.

It's a free guide for commercial real estate leaders. We talk about the four paths to business growth, which we have talked about on the show; organic growth, recruitment, entering new markets, and also mergers and acquisitions. We focus in this guide about how you can activate the level of organic growth in your business.

And why that is a really good one to focus on, because it's just a few small improvements that you can make, but small minor consistent changes in your business operations can lead to substantial year on year growth.

We talked about the power of 5%, why just marginal 5% improvements in a few different areas can lead to huge growth in the performance of the agents in your team.

And we also include some bonus resources with this guide, including a customizable spreadsheet and an instructional video on how you can apply the insights from the guide to your own business situation.

So, if you want to grab that it's available now at cresuccess.co/growth

That is our first episode for 2024. I really do appreciate you coming back and joining us for another year of content.

Let me know if you've got any feedback about what you'd like to hear on the show. You can send us an email at [email protected]

Drop us a line or DM me on LinkedIn and just say, "Hey, why don't you do a show about this and I will take it on board"

For now, thank you so much for listening and I will speak to you soon.

About the author


Darren Krakowiak, Founder, CRE Success

Darren Krakowiak, the driving force behind CRE Success, brings over 20 years of hands-on experience and a legacy of success in Commercial Real Estate. His passion for the industry is matched only by his commitment to nurturing the growth of others. Darren’s vision extends beyond coaching; it’s about building a community of thriving professionals in Commercial Real Estate.

About the author


Darren Krakowiak, Founder, CRE Success

Darren Krakowiak, the driving force behind CRE Success, brings over 20 years of hands-on experience and a legacy of success in Commercial Real Estate. His passion for the industry is matched only by his commitment to nurturing the growth of others. Darren’s vision extends beyond coaching; it’s about building a community of thriving professionals in Commercial Real Estate.

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CRE Success

Level 1, 10 Oxley Road
Hawthorn VIC 3122

+61 3 9005 8473
[email protected]

© CRE Success


Sign up for the latest news and free training from CRE Success


CRE Success

Level 1, 10 Oxley Road
Hawthorn VIC 3122

+61 3 9005 8473
[email protected]

© CRE Success