Commercial Real Estate Mentors

by Craig Higdon - Date: 2007-03-19 - Word Count: 748 Share This!

Coaching You to the Next Level

I want to take a bit of a side-trip from my usual hard-hitting commercial mortgage loan and investment property advice. I had the opportunity to spend a few days at the Pacific Life Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California last week while on vacation and noticed a minor, but significant change in the rules. The change was minor in that the players were allowed to ask for a time out to spend time with their coaches between sets. It was significant because the opportunity to speak with their coaches helped several players turn their games around.

For those of you not familiar with the rules of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) coaching during a match was, until recently, against the rules. In fact, a player could be penalized points during a match if the umpire felt that he or she was getting verbal or non-verbal coaching tips during a match.

I point out this concept of "coaching" because it has implications in commercial real estate investing.

Have you ever stopped to consider why the best sports figures and Fortune 500 CEOs hire coaches? On the surface it doesn't make sense. These people are the best in the world at what they do, so who is realistically going to be able to help them get even better? Well, as I'm sure you already know, the reason that they are the best is because they have coaches. Coaches provide several things for those at the top of their profession and those seeking to improve their performance:

1. An external, unemotional perspective to help the one coached see things that they can't perceive about their performance.

2. Information on new aspects of the profession or related professions to help increase performance.

3. Networks of other professionals who can help in areas where the performer is weak.

4. Experience from their past challenges, helping the one coached move ahead faster.

So what does this have to do with commercial real estate?

Whether you're just starting out or are a seasoned development professional, I can guarantee that you'll get better if you enlist a commercial coach or coaches to help you grow. So where can you find a commercial real estate investment coach?
Let me note that we will soon release coaching programs for investors and loan agents who want to break into and excel in the commercial side of the business (email us here for more information: However, until those coaching programs are up and running, here are some suggestions on finding and using a coach to help you get better at investing faster:

1. Consider a retired commercial developer, investor, or real estate agent. You could check with a local commercial real estate office to ask if anyone is retiring soon or has recently left the business. Approach them with the concept of becoming an apprentice and giving them a piece of your profits. They might just enjoy passing on their wealth of experience.

2. Check with a local S.C.O.R.E. office to see if there is anyone who has experience in the commercial real estate investing or development businesses. S.C.O.R.E. is a non-profit business resource group and can be found at

3. Do you know anyone in the business that is already successful? Approach them with the idea of becoming an apprentice, but be very mindful of their time when you do. Again, consider offering them some of your profits as compensation.

4. Consider a personal or business coach for hire. There are a lot of people in this business and some of them are very good. I'd caution you to be very careful whom you hire, however. You're looking for a specialized type of coaching here, more than the generalized life coaching that a lot of these people offer.

I would suggest a few other points in selecting a commercial real estate coach:

1. Make sure that they have actual experience in commercial real estate investment, sales, or lending.

2. Hopefully they will provide you with access to experts in related fields to help you understand all aspects of the business.

3. They should allow you to access other investors so that you can network, share resources, and benefit from each other's experience.

4. They should provide an archive of useful information, resources, and tools for your benefit, accessible at any time you need.

As I mentioned, having a coach handy helped several players turn their matches around to advance to the next level at the Pacific Life Open. You should strongly consider your own coach to help you get to the next level in your commercial real estate game, too.

Related Tags: real estate, commercial real estate, commercial, coaches, mentors

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: ‘"The Investment Property Insider" is published by Craig S. Higdon, a veteran commercial mortgage broker. He publishes the weekly e-zine and blog,, for commercial real estate investors, developers, and industry professionals. Visit the blog and get this free report: "The 7 Biggest Loan Mistakes Real Estate Investors make and How to avoid them."‘

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