The three secrets to your success in commercial real estate

Jun 16, 2022
The importance of saving time, earning more and being surrounded by people who value what you do

I believe there are three secrets to your success in commercial real estate.

One of the secrets is especially so – because people don’t talk about it that much.

This secret is to be appreciated for what you do.

In commercial real estate, we sometimes don't get the same level of respect from our clients as doctors or accountants or even lawyers are accustomed to.

To add insult to injury, you may have also experienced the frustration of working with colleagues who don’t lift you up or encourage you to be the best you can be.

One of the ways to get more intrinsic satisfaction from what you do is to feel truly valued by the people around you.

Listen to episode 92 of CRE Success: The Podcast to get all three of the secrets to your success.


Episode transcript:

Last week we spoke about the secret of my (Un)success.

So, I thought this week, the appropriate thing to do, would be to talk about the secret to your success.

Hello, and welcome to episode 92 of CRE Success: The Podcast. This is Darren Krakowiak. I'm the founder of CRE Success: Membership, where we support commercial real estate professionals.

Going from being overworked, underpaid, and feeling unappreciated to saving time earning more, and working with people who value what they do.

If you would like to experience that transformation in your professional life, go to and register your interest because we'll be opening up the doors to CRE Success: Membership very, very soon.

And you might notice that previously, I was saying 'save time earn more and be a top performer', that's sort of the theme of the podcast, but for the membership, I want to talk about this idea of appreciation.

Firstly, if you save time and earn more, the performance will come.

But I think if you want to stay in the industry for the long run, and really make it enjoyable and satisfying, well, a secret to your success is going to be having some intrinsic value in what it is that you do.

Because I think that if we're working in this industry, we're not here to save the world, we can have our own interests about saving the world or whatever makes you happy outside of work.

But really, I think if we want to get some intrinsic satisfaction from what we do, that can simply come from the recognition of others, and also making sure that our ambitions can be met through what we do inside the industry.

So, let's break down a little bit about this idea of you know, how much work we're doing, how much we're earning, and also the type of people that we're surrounding ourselves with.

And when it comes to being overworked, I think some people in our industry are still being fed the story that in order to get ahead in commercial real estate, you need to be willing to work harder and longer hours than your competitors, for as long as you are in the industry.

Otherwise, you'll fall behind and you'll inevitability overtaken by others.

Now, I think that at the start of your career, yes, you should be willing to work hard.

And you should be willing to put in the hours to achieve a certain level of competency to get some grounding in the skills that are relevant to understand the marketplace that you're in to build those relationships.

And that's something that you can keep on working at.

However, if your ability to double your income is based on your capacity to work twice as much, then there's going to be a cap on how much you can make, because you will run out of hours in the day.

Some of the more experienced people that our industry is all about working harder and longer, because that is what was required in the past before we have had the benefit of some technological change, and also, the ways that people do things.

If you went back in time, 100 years, and you asked the best runner in the world, how long it takes them to run 100 meters, how long it took them to run 400 meters a marathon, if they were a marathon runner, they would give you a time that is far longer than what the best can do today.

And I think that is the same when it comes to any industry, we've got to be looking for ways to improve.

And if you're going to be able to allow yourself to be told that there is only one way of doing things that looking for improvements, then that is going to lead to you being overworked.

So, I want you to get your head around the fact that there can be more efficient and effective ways of doing things, that you can have time for other things in your life that matter to you, without actually sacrificing your ambitions or your performance, when you give what it is that matters to you more time as you spend more time in the industry.

And this is all about becoming more efficient with certain things, adopting the right tools and techniques, but also letting go of activities and tasks that don't move the needle.

And really creating the time and space for doing what it is that matters and doing more of those things, so you can do what I want to talk to you about next, which is to earn more and not be unhappy with your compensation and benefits.

And you know some of the people who I speak to before they become members who are unhappy with what they're earning.

It could be because they feel that they're not being paid what they're worth, they're not reaching their potential under a variable compensation scheme.

They can see that they've got the ability to earn more, and the structure that they're under under the commission structure under the bonus scheme, but they're not getting there.

Maybe they don't understand how it is that they're being compensated in terms of what is going to be required for them to meet the potential of what the scheme offers.

Perhaps they're not as prepared as they should be in remuneration discussions, which means that they're getting a little bit of the shorter end of the stick.

And sometimes I think it's about inconsistency. So, we have good months, and we have bad months, we might see our income plateau at a certain level.

So, we see some progress, and then it just flattens off. And we don't see any way that we can continue to get further growth in what it is that we earn to push her into that next bracket.

I think this is all about spending a bit of time on the skills that matter when you're a client facing and revenue generating professional in commercial real estate.

And I'll talk to you about some of those skills, another time.

But it's not just about those skills. The other thing I want to mention to you is that this is about what's going on in your head, and what you're allowing other people to tell you.

So, if you're going to let yourself be limited by other people's expectations of what's possible for you, or if you want to let their definitions of success, determine how far it is that you're going to reach, then that is going to place a limit on what it is that you can earn.

And there are no limits in commercial real estate. Well, nearly no limits, I would say.

And certainly, when we look at the global financial crisis, and what that did to the ability of people in the financial sector to earn massive bonuses, there are limits now in that industry.

There are regulatory limits for certain roles.

That doesn't exist in commercial real estate. So, we have a real opportunity for us to pursue our dreams, our financial dreams inside this industry.

And instead of just looking at the small percentage of top performers and saying, "Well, that's them, I can't possibly get to that level."

I think it's really understanding that you're closer than you think.

The fact that you're listening to this podcast tells me that you're someone who's committed to being the best that you can be. You just need a little bit more help with some of the tools.

And that's what I think we help some of our members with. And that is the secret to your success.

It's about getting those tools; it's about unlocking the skills and moving up your level of competency in what matters to unlock your earning potential.

And now there's this third thing I want to talk to you about which is feeling unappreciated.

And I think there are three different groups of people that you may feel you're unappreciated by it. I think the obvious one is the people that you work with.

So it might be that in your company, you have been treated unfairly or you feel you've been treated unfairly.

Maybe there are people inside your company who are competent, but aren't willing to give you the time that you would like for that mentorship for that support.

Maybe they're not acting as role models, even though they are doing quite well. And their approach doesn't really jive with the way that you want things done.

Perhaps your boss is only interested in their own performance, perhaps they're not interested in your progression, or they've allowed a bit of a toxic workplace culture to flourish under their leadership.

And they're just not really pushing you towards being the best version of yourself, and to achieve what it is that you came into this industry to achieve.

That being said, it's not just about the people you work with though, when it comes to this sort of feeling of unsatisfaction, sometimes it can be about the clients.

And I was speaking to one of my members recently about the fact that they weren't feeling completely satisfied with the work they were doing.

It feels a little bit like, you know, we do one transaction and then we move on to the next one. And there's no sense of accomplishment.

And we were talking about some ways that we can change that through the way that we deal with our clients, right?

Now, in commercial real estate, I think we have to expect that we are not initially at least seen as valuable as a lawyer is, or were not treated with the same level of respect as a doctor, or even as an accountant, I think.

For some reason, in commercial real estate, we just don't start off with that same level of professional respect.

So, there is a responsibility on us to actually earn that respect, to help clients appreciate what it is that we do for them.

But also, there's an opportunity for us to do feel that we're more satisfied by winning more of the work that we think that we should be winning, and also working with clients who are able to pay us in terms of the fees, what it is that we should be getting in the marketplace.

So, there's clients, there's the people you work with, your boss or your coworkers, and then there's just the people around you.

And that could be your clients, it could be people who you're relating with on our transaction counterparts, etc.

And, you know, your own communication style is going to impact the way that other people perceive you.

So, if you're not positioning yourself in a certain way that demonstrates value and allows people to see the best of you, then you might not be getting the respect that you're looking for.

As we spoke about a couple of episodes ago, doing nothing, if you're unhappy, is a decision in itself. And it leads to the maintenance of the status quo.

So, there's a lot of clients out there that are available. There are so many different roles and positions that you can pursue.

And the people who you're spending time with is a choice. You are a product of the five people who you spend the most time with.

And, you know, I've spent time with negative people that have a fixed mindset.

And it took a lot to make sure that those people's attitudes didn't rub off on me.

And one of the benefits that I think some of our clients and members get from spending time inside the membership is that they'll be surrounded by people who also want to learn and grow.

But they're surrounded by people who are interested in being the best that they can be, just as the people who come into our world also want to do.

And I think that opens you up to a world of better possibilities and opportunities that reflect what it is that you deserve.

And seeing other people do that can also help you achieve that by seeing the possibility.

So, this is all possible for you. But it really comes back to you and what you're willing to do.

So, joining a membership, like ours is an investment in yourself. It's about deciding to invest the time to make your experience in commercial real estate be the best it possibly can be.

Now, most people who work in commercial real estate are interested in earning more. But also a lot of them think that the way to get there is just by doing what everyone else does.

And they ask themselves, "Well, why should I invest in myself? Why should I join a membership? Why should I do that? When I don't see other people doing that?"

I think the answer to that question is that, you know, if you want to emulate what the best people do, what the best people are achieving, then don't do what everyone else is doing. Do what that small percentage of people are doing.

And the small percentage of people I think you'll find are the ones who are actually willing to invest the time and resources, ensuring that they're able to flourish and get the best out of themselves.

When he said, after I introduced myself to him that, "If you don't have someone you can turn to that has had the success in the industry that has the knowledge that can help you, get a mentor. Subscribe to something, it will catapult you much faster than you ever thought."

And the podcast that I released last week, which was a repurposing of the interview I did on Cody Lewis's Podcast, Real Estate (Un)Success Stories.

So, these episodes of CRE Success: The Podcast are here for you. There is now 92 of them that you can go back and listen to.

That's a resource and doing that will be an investment of your time.

If you're looking for more support to be surrounded by a community of people who also want to learn and grow, then you can experience some of the transformations that I've spoken to you about this idea of going from being overworked, underpaid and feeling unappreciated, to saving time earning more and working with people who value what you do.

By going to, register your interest for the membership.

And if you're listening to this in real time in the middle of June 2022, then very, very soon, like, within a few days, we're going to be opening up the doors to the membership and you're going to be invited to join us for the next 12 months and to go on this transformation together.

So, I hope that this episode has helped you understand what is possible for you.

If you feel it like you're not getting what it is that you need in order to be the best that you can be right now, then there is more available if you want it.

That's our episode for this week. Thank you so much for listening and I will speak to you soon.

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