By Tejonne Vinson
Participation in a yearlong real estate clinic during law school piqued my interest in real estate law, which showed me the various roles attorneys play in these types of transactions. Following my completion of the clinic, I received the opportunity to be a legal intern at CBRE. Although my role was primarily working on the legal end of the transactions, CBRE allowed me to explore other areas of the business as well such as brokerage.
After working as a contract attorney for two years, I was looking for a change. I realized I wanted to be more involved in commercial development and have more exposure to the various stages of a commercial transaction. There were not many opportunities within the legal field that provided this holistic view so I met with Lee Kiser, who suggested commercial brokerage as a way to obtain the skills I was looking for. Initially I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure how being a broker would assist me in learning about development but fortunately, I have been proven wrong.
Brokerage is a very different animal than the law, but I have definitely learned a lot about commercial real estate and brokerage during my time at Kiser Group. The skills that I developed in law school allowed me to look at real estate under one lens, and in brokerage I have a more holistic view of the industry.
Attorney Skills: Valuable as a Broker
My legal knowledge of real estate transactions and my ability to explain what would be complex terms in “plain language” definitely comes in handy. Brokerage is a fast paced, somewhat chaotic environment where things can change from one minute to the next. My need to have a strategy, be organized and pay attention to nuanced details makes navigating in such a busy field less stressful.
Mindset Shift: Client Relationships
Both brokerage and being an attorney require client relationships however they are approached very differently. An attorney is often sought after or comes into contact with a client because of an issue that the client has that they need an attorney to resolve. However, in brokerage a lot of the clients we work with may not be sure that they are in need of our services. Brokerage takes a lot more massaging and finesse to disarm clients from thinking you have ulterior motives and to understand your role in helping them dispose of/ acquire a new investment property. This has been the biggest learning curve for me….taking on the role of salesperson and putting myself out there with people who may or may not need my services.
Big Picture vs. Single Piece
Being an attorney only allowed me to see a tiny part of a real estate transaction, which was usually looking over boiler plate terms in the contract at the end of the deal. Brokerage allows me a lot more than that, I get to see and play an active role in the entire transaction from start to finish. From reaching out to the client, going out to see the property, doing a thorough analysis of the property to determine market value, putting it on the market, bringing buyers through, negotiating offers and finally getting to the closing table. In going through all of these stages I am gaining more information than I would have otherwise and picking up on vital skills to have a rounded view of real estate.
Today I’m focusing on suburban multifamily properties, to view my current listings, http://22.214.171.124/properties/available/?brokerId=20299.