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Reflections on Networking

In my 25+ years in the commercial real estate market, I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with phenomenal people. My network is the byproduct of not only experiences, but also, relevant connections and meaningful relationships. While driving to a client showing on this great fall day, I found myself in reflection mode.

1. "The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity." Keith Ferrazzi

As a father, husband, friend, mentor, and small business owner, I believe in being a positive influence and building people up. I come from very humble beginnings, so I understand the importance of helping others. I wouldn’t be where I am without the generosity of the people I worked with and met along the way. Therefore, I know how important it is to give someone a break, meet for a strategizing lunch, or connect them to others that can help. “I’m here to help” is a foundation for how I do business.

2. “The new form of networking is not about climbing a ladder to success; it’s about collaboration, cocreation, partnerships, and long-term values-based relationships.” Porter Gale

This has always been my approach to networking. In fact, it’s the premise behind Commercial Equities Group (CEG). Our group includes me, the team working behind the scenes, as well as industry greats who collaborate and partner to get the deal done. The CEG team includes Anne Marie Arndt of 24 25 creative, who handles marketing and communications; Michelle Kolling, an executive consultant to organize our systems; and Halie Bednar, who not only keeps me on top of my workload, but also is an up-and-coming broker. Industry greats add another layer of support to the group and include investors, lawyers, economists, owners, and developers. CEG works because of networking and our value-based relationships.

3. “The true value of networking doesn’t come from how many people we can meet but rather how many people we can introduce to others.” Simon Sinek

The most successful businesspeople I know, get this. It’s energizing to see people I introduce make beneficial and productive connections. New collaborations and partnerships fuel business and innovation, and that’s a plus. Giving back, helping someone out, and contributing to our community is rewarding and satisfying. It’s true that givers gain.

4. “Instead of better glasses, your network gives you better eyes.” Ronald Burt

I am lucky to have a lifetime of excellent connections, mentors, friends, and collaborators. I work every day on these relationships, which is not only a win for me, but also my clients. I’m also a member of the largest and best BNI networking group in the upper Midwest. Business Network International is a service company and the world’s leading business referral organization. Its goal is to help others, which is also the goal of Commercial Equities Group. After all, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the better eyes given to me along the way.

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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