Even though Memorial Day is a time set aside to remember those who died while protecting our country, we should appreciate these men and women all year long. Serving in a branch of the US Armed Forces requires commitment and discipline. We thought it might be interesting to learn how time spent in the military might influence a person after they complete their service – in their daily life and career. For this insight we turned to Brenner’s own John Sokolowsky, Commercial Associate, who served for four years in the US Navy during Desert Storm as an Aviation Ordinanceman, Petty Officer, 2nd Class.
We asked John to tell us about habits or lessons he learned in military service and how they impact his role in commercial real estate service today. These are the kinds of characteristics and thought processes that our veterans bring to the workplace.
1. Complete the mission...Persistence.
Persistence is a trait that may not come naturally to some, but is certainly learned in the military. As you go through your day, you work until a solution is found. You learn to take care of yourself and do whatever it takes to accomplish the task at hand. John says it is very difficult for him to give up on things, thanks to his training. You stay persistent until you accomplish it, or until you know for sure that it is not going to happen.
Commercial real estate lesson: Be persistent to close the deal.
2. Follow the protocol...Procedures.
In the Navy, John worked on an Aircraft Carrier. To repair a piece of equipment, there are protocols to follow – step by step guidelines. You have a superior that makes sure you learn and execute your task by the rules – because the rules are put into place to arm you for successful completion.
Commercial real estate lesson: To be successful you have to work transactions based on the guidelines and standards set by your company and the industry.
3. Work with others...Teamwork.
If you are working together to load a missile or bomb on an aircraft, you have to have a team you can count on. If you don’t do it right, you can take lives. Everyone is important on a military team, from the cook to the pilot. Learning teamwork can insure success for everyone on the team.
Commercial real estate lesson: Cobroker with other agents by working together and sharing information to produce an advantageous result for the client.
4. Take care of yourself...Appearance.
High expectations for personal cleanliness and grooming help service personnel represent our country and their unit with pride. You are expected to be clean cut, clean shaven, and dress according to your unit’s standards.
Commercial real estate lesson: Dressing nicely makes a first impression that you are worthy of trust and credibility.
5. Protect Your Area...Awareness.
When you are on a military mission, you are constantly aware of your surroundings. You protect the area around you to be sure you and your team are safe and that others are not infiltrating your boundaries. You communicate with team members and superiors in order to build relationships and make the best decisions for protection and success.
Commercial real estate lesson: Canvas your area, talk to clients and business owners, know your market area, and protect your listings by providing excellent communication and responsive service. Be the one everyone first thinks of when they think of real estate.
6. Don’t miss roll call...Punctuality.
From early in the morning to lights out, when you are in the military you learn to be on time. Being prompt not only means you are there to fulfill your obligation when needed, it means that others can count on you.
Commercial real estate lesson: Show up on time. On time means you arrive 15-30 minutes early. If you arrive on time – you are late! And of course it is common courtesy to call when you say you will.
7. Watch your words...Respect.
Respect is critical. Not only for superior officers but for those who are in your charge when you are the officer, and everyone in between. Respect keeps order. You learn in the armed forces to treat others as you would wish to be treated. This doesn’t mean you can’t give orders. Just do it with respect. In Basic Training, they break you down mentally to think the military way. It is an experience that engenders respect.
Commercial real estate lesson: Give your tasks and your clients the respect they deserve. Treat your assistance or team members the same...you wouldn’t be here without them.
8. Do not compromise the truth...Honesty.
John says he knew college was not for him, so he went into the military. Due to the training, the structure, the required discipline...he says when he came out, he had formed a much stronger belief about how important honesty was. Honesty is demanded of you. Systems would disintegrate without honesty.
Commercial real estate lesson: Don’t take a listing if you aren’t going to actively market it. The market is what it is, and if you are putting your best effort forward, be honest about your progress and results.
Lastly, we want to thank John, first for his service, and next, for shedding some light on how serving our country gave him some life lessons that can be applied to his – and anyone’s - career.
Readers, what do You think? Are there any more you can add?
We hope your Memorial Day and Memorial Weekend were fun and that you took some time to honor our brave service men and women who gave their lives to defend the freedom of United States citizens.
--The Brenner Blog Team