News & Research Archive

Great Salespeople are Needed During Uncertain Times

Jun 13, 2011

This week, unemployment figures set off a down turn in the stock market while President Obama spoke about the bumpy road to recovery that we are still on. Without job growth we will not see sustainable economic growth and risk returning to recession or worse. 

A recent news story asked the question 'Why aren't businesses hiring?' Several small business owners were interviewed and they indicated that their businesses were in fact growing, and while additional help was needed, they were hesitant to add new costs to their businesses because of the uncertainty that recovery would be short-lived. With gas prices increasing and signs of inflation everywhere, the general consensus of these owners was that good days would be numbered.

For salespeople, uncertain times provide a great opportunity to shine. People are looking for ways to not only survive but to grow as well; they are looking for direction and ideas. Great salespeople adjust to market conditions and provide direction and ideas where they are needed.

For instance, San Francisco is currently seeing a tech boom. New start-up firms are quickly forming with new entrepreneurs that have no experience in securing office space or addressing possible expansion needs for additional space. As a commercial real estate broker with over 25 years of experience, I have assisted similar tenants in the last dot-com boom and recognize what these firms need to do to address their unique office needs. This experience allows me to provide the direction, ideas and guidance these potential clients need to succeed.

Today, new independent retailers are forming with the intent to take advantage of weak rental prices in order to secure better locations for their new stores. They have little experience in negotiating retail leases or choosing the right demographic locations for their new stores to succeed. Retail commercial real estate salespeople that have this knowledge are needed now to help make these retailers' ventures successful.

In markets throughout the Midwest, people are trying to figure out how to survive while real estate prices remain depressed. This offers a tremendous opportunity for investors to buy properties at cheap prices and reposition them with tenants who would be enticed to open new stores on account of low rent. A recent increase in new ethnic centers is an example of these investment opportunities. These centers occur when an investor purchases an abandoned shopping center at a low price, and then converts it into an Asian or Indian shopping center, meeting the demands of communities that want to find products that support their culture. 

All of the above reflect opportunities and are direct results of the uncertainties of today's economy. In good times, even weak salespeople can survive, but in uncertain times great salespeople have their best years.


Written by: Hans Hansson


Hans Hansson is President of Starboard TCN Worldwide Real Estate Services as well as a member of the Board of Directors for TCN Worldwide Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 26 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email or call him at (415) 765-6897. You may also check out his website,

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