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How Things Have Changed in the Tenant Rep Business: A 30-Year Look Back
March 10, 2016

Top Ten Reasons Tenant Rep Brokers Fail


With thirty years under my belt as a Tenant Rep Broker and the last fifteen running a brokerage firm, I have seen brokers come and go. I have seen some succeed beyond their expectations and I have seen many fail. So what has my experience and all that I have seen taught me? There are ten big reasons tenant rep brokers fail. Avoid these pitfalls and you will succeed!

Number 10: Failure to Persevere - I often say that just about anyone who sticks with it long enough can succeed as a Tenant Rep Broker. Far too many brokers quit too soon. Stick with it long enough and you will succeed.

Number 9: Lack of Capital - Most businesses fail because they run out of money. New brokers are subject to the same pitfall. Becoming a successful broker takes time and to succeed, a new broker must either have capital or the sponsoring firm must provide adequate funding to allow time to succeed.

Number 8: Short-Term Mentality - Tenant rep brokerage is a long-term business. It takes years to build a brokerage business and too many brokers are focused on short-term success versus investing in their long-term success.

Number 7: Lack of Systematic Approach - Failure to build and follow prospecting and follow-up using CRM technology.

Number 6: Not Putting in the Hours - I always say around our office “If you want to know who is producing the most revenue, come to the office early and/or stay late and you will find out...there is now way around hard work.”

Number 5: Lack of Resource Leverage - Many brokers do too much on their own. To succeed you need to build a support team and delegate all of the pieces of business development and transaction processing to others so you can focus on the critical items and leverage your time and efforts.

Number 4: Not Being Client Focused – Long-term success as Tenant Rep Broker requires a dedicated client focus. It's not about you, your commission, or needs, it's about the client. Service and take care of the client no matter what and you will succeed.

Number 3: Lack of Daily Dedication – Long-term success starts with a daily dedication to doing the things that are necessary every day.  Failure to do the necessary things EVERY DAY will lead to failure. A good analogy is working out – it has to be done every day to see real results.

Number 2: Lack of Discipline - Spending too much time on things that don't create value for you and drive your business shows a lack of discipline. Finding ways to spend time on unnecessary paperwork, working on low priority items, avoiding making sales calls, etc. all cripples a broker’s ability to succeed.

…And the Number 1 Reason Tenant Rep Brokers Fail: Failure to approach their tenant rep business as a serious business that requires strategy, planning, support, learning, funding, and discipline in order to achieve long-term success.

Jon_Silberman_2012 -Jon Silberman, ProposalNet Founder & CEO


  1. Lynn Drake says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I remember when I started in brokerage I had been in corporate real estate for 15 years. Yet selling and promoting myself wasn’t something I was good at. Due to my age and my family responsibilities I had to learn systems quickly. I have always been very upfront with agents on what to expect in their first year. Later when they are getting down because a deal didn’t close I remind them that they were warned. Their response is usually that they are better than that and can ramp up quicker. People have to realize you are self employed and you should act and plan accordingly.

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