Brenner: Blog

My First Year in Commercial Real Estate

Added 5/3/17 by -The Brenner Blog Team

We at Brenner have two Commercial Associates that have been with us for a year. Leandro Pereira began January 2016 with Brenner, and John Sokolowsky started in August 2015. We thought it would be interesting to find out how their first year has gone. Maybe you can relate to some of Leandro’s and John’s answers…and maybe you have some tips or encouragement for them too! Read on!


Q:  Why did you get into commercial real estate?

L: The thought of working for myself is what really drove me to real estate. While I work for a broker or company, I work on commission. This means that to make it in the Commercial Real Estate business I must have the entrepreneurial drive to go out there and get business. While this is scary to some people it actually drives me to do better. I am open to some risk in exchange for possible huge earnings.

J:  I got into Commercial Real Estate because I like working with people. There are many different paths you can take with Commercial Real Estate. Being able to sell and lease property are a few examples.


Q:  Did your first year go the way you expected?

L:  Yes and No.  Yes, I understood that I would need to learn something new and invest the time. No, because i didn’t learn as much as i was hoping/expecting to learn on my first year.

J:  Yes. I still have a long way to go but I am determined to make this business work.


Q:  What was the most important thing you learned?

L:  Have an exclusive agreement signed before investing hours of work on a project.

J:  The most important thing I have learned has been how to deal with certain clients. Sometimes you waste time with them but it seems to be the process. Asking the right questions has helped in each situation. 


Q:  What was it like getting started – did you find you had a preference for a certain property type, and why?

L:  Not easy.  I am still in the process of finding out what “moves me”

J:  I like Industrial and Office because that is what I learned first. There is a large demand for these types of buildings.


Q:  Were you surprised at the length of the sales and leasing cycle?

L:  No

J:  Yes. I was surprised at the length of time but some deals can happen quick but that is not the norm.


Q:  What were some unexpected things you encountered as you learned the business:

L:  The lack respect and loyalty that clients have towards their broker/realtor associate

J:  Commercial Real Estate is always changing so I have to keep up with the market that changes all the time. Also, networking is key to success.


Q:  What do you enjoy about the brokerage process:

L:  Negotiation Process

J:  I enjoy meeting new people, earning their trust and finding the right space for my client.


Q: Have you learned by example?

L:  Yes

J:  I have learned a lot from Peter Messina and Reese Stigliano.


Q:  Tell us about your favorite transaction this year.

L:  LOL-  I would need a tequila shot to write this paragraph.

J:  My favorite transaction was selling AA Varco building with Reese and then Leasing them a 30,000 sq/ft warehouse because it was all about the timing. The was no downtime for AA Varco.


Q:  Are you where you expected and hoped to be after one year in the industry? (is this too personal?)


J:  I would say I am where I would like to be. It takes time to learn this business but I seem to learn something every day.


Do you remember your first year at commercial brokerage… or any job? Share your thoughts and tips with Leandro and John!


--The Brenner Blog Team

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