In the early 1990’s, John Allen (Industrial Equities) asked me a question that changed the trajectory of my life. While grilling fish and drinking G&Ts, he said, “What are you going to college for?” I was thinking about a career path that I was familiar with and would help people. It was not in CRE. However, because of the conversation that followed, I chose to be a broker. It was, and still is, the perfect fit. I didn’t know, what I didn’t know.
We all need help at some point in our lives. It’s almost impossible to move forward in life without it. I’m where I am in my career, because of the help I’ve received from John and many others. I’m also where I am because of the help I have given others.
Help is reciprocity. Sharing what one needs with someone who knows––or has a connection––should be common and cyclical. It’s a way to improve our broader society, as well as individual growth.
Here are the five things I’ve learned about helping over the years.
1. Get rid of your reluctance to ask for assistance. We underestimate the willingness of people to lend a hand. You won’t know how someone can help you unless you ask.
2. Be concise and clear about what you need. It might help to think about your goal and list the action steps and resources required. Then, you’ll have a list of needs and be better able to articulate what kind of help is necessary.
3. Be considerate. Phrase your request in a way that allows the other person to make the choice to help, not that they must. Provide context and know you may end up speaking to several people. Don’t get discouraged.
4. Reciprocate. Look for times when you can add value for someone else. By being generous with help yourself, others will want to help you when you need it. John was generous with me, and it paid off. I strive to be the same with others.
5. Follow up. People want to know that the help they gave made a positive impact. After all, feeling effective is what truly engages people and gives their lives meaning.
I have found that helping others in this business is not only rewarding but encourages people to be a better version of themselves. Isn’t that something we’ve all strive for? I think it’s a winning strategy for life.
I’m here to help if you have any questions (612-788-1552 or jeff@CEGspaces.com).
Jeff Salzbrun is the owner and broker of Commercial Equities Group (CEG). As a veteran-owned real estate brokerage, CEG has been involved in many sale and lease transactions, ranging from single offices to 250,000+ square foot buildings. At CEG, we get your deal done. We know space, and we know the CRE business.
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