Critical dates

One of the biggest challenges of brokerage is managing all of the shifting dynamics and priorities of the various stakeholders. Everybody is busy and the long project timelines make it easy for clients to back-burner a real estate project in favor of more pressing issues.

I’ve written before about the importance of leaving enough time to negotiate a good deal, but circumstances don’t always permit a leisurely pace. When that happens, it’s important for brokers to establish milestone dates and keep everyone on track.

The second part is keeping everyone accountable to these dates. It’s tempting to publish the schedule and then assume everyone is paying attention. This job is as much about managing your client as it is negotiating deals. Everyone can look like a hero with leverage and time. But getting a complex project across the finish line when you’re up against the clock is a real skill.

I’ve found it easier to create a plan when I know where we want to end up, so I start at the move date and work backwards. Once the move date is set, start looking at construction timelines, permitting, lease review and negotiations. Then assign tasks and responsibilities to the team members. And remember to follow up to keep everyone on target!

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