Comedian Jim Gaffigan has a hilarious bit about what it’s like to have four children. “You know what it’s like having a fourth kid?” Gaffigan says. “Imagine you’re drowning… then someone hands you a baby.” While it’s funny when it comes to kids (because it’s true), it’s pretty similar to what life is like sometimes as a commercial real estate professional.
You think you have a handle on your day, and then you’re suddenly bombarded with cold call responses, lease emergencies and unexpected situations — all at the same time, of course. You could drink 12 cups of coffee to keep up, but some days, it will just always feel like you’re falling behind.
Ultimately, lots of coffee and stress management are just two components of a CRE professional’s day. If you’re interested in starting a career in the real estate business, considering switching industries. Or, kidding aside, if you simply want to learn what a day in the life of a commercial real estate professional looks like, we have you covered.
What a CRE Pro Day Looks Like
Every commercial real estate professional has a different way of doing things — and, really, no two days are exactly the same — but here is a good timeline of what you can typically expect:
- Wake up from 5-6 a.m. and down your first cup of coffee while you check dozens of unread emails and take notes on scrap paper about your appointment changes for the day. Grab a breakfast bar and head out the door.
- Once you get to the office (around 8:30 a.m. or so, after dealing with horrible traffic), you begin pulling up prospects on an unorganized Excel spreadsheet you put together. You start researching them by simply Googling their businesses or the property locations and grab your second cup of coffee.
- Somewhere around 9:30 or 10 a.m., you begin cold calling your prospects, hoping to land at least one or two meetings, if that. Time for a third cup of coffee.
- After your cold calls, you try to start identifying opportunities for improvement with your existing properties, also checking for lease payments, break-even ratios and any upcoming vacancies. Of course, your co-worker starts giving you advice around this time, so you grab another coffee.
- During lunch, you share a few posts on social media to “check your box” of being active online.
- Now it’s time for cold calls again, coffee in hand. You aren’t successful in scheduling any meetings, but you do have a tour on the schedule, which you forgot about until now.
- You take a couple minutes to peek at news sites for any market insights before you head out for the tour.
- The prospect is waiting for you at the first property location for the tour and drills you with questions throughout it. You didn’t have time to research the property as much as you’d like, but you do your best to answer them. You view another property or two and he says he’ll follow up.
- On the way back to the office, your spouse calls you to tell you that the car ran out of gas, so you take a detour and help them out.
- By the time you’re back at the office at 4:30 p.m. or so, it’s time for another cup of coffee as you start compiling reports for your higher ups and/or investors.
- After sending the reports and spending a few Google sessions identifying any upcoming hot properties, you finally are able to leave around 8 p.m. and relax before the next day starts.
Doesn’t seem like you got a lot done, does it? But you sure were busy. Fortunately, there are a few ways to increase your efficiency in a day like this.
How to Get More Done as a CRE Pro
A quick-win solution for getting the most out of your day as a commercial real estate agent (aside from more coffee), is to invest in real estate automation software. If we go back to the day we outlined above, here are just a few ways CRE software can free up your time:
- All your appointments and communications are centralized in one location, meaning you don’t have to take notes on a Word doc or scrap paper — or go through pages of emails.
- Your prospects (along with insights about them) are all visible and easily filtered on a dashboard.
- Market research, insights and benchmarks are already ready and available for you on another dashboard, meaning you can decline extra “advice” from co-workers.
- You’ll get notifications automatically for upcoming tours or appointments, so you’re always ready for them.
- Effortlessly build dashboards that enable accurate reporting and forecasting in less than half the time it would take to build manually.
- With all the above tasks taken care of, you can spend more time online marketing your practice, building up your knowledge base or growing your business.
Want a little less stress (and coffee) in your life as a CRE professional? Learn how real estate automation software can make it happen.