Salesperson's Corner

Get Ready For The 2021 Gold Rush

Dec 15, 2020


A friend of mine in residential real estate has been a top performer in her market for over 40 years. By the end of this year, she’s projected to earn 3x amount of commissions compared to her best year yet. For commercial brokers, the experience this year has been quite the opposite. Commercial real estate has been very challenging, particularly in leasing. However, that is about to change– and in a big way. If you survived long enough to stay in the business, you are about to experience the re-opening of our market that will match or even exceed the sales results of our residential counterparts. You may not have been making money in the current market, but if you prepare now for the onslaught of business coming in 2021, you too will have your best year yet. Why am I so optimistic? As leasing brokers in a stable market, we live off of leases that are coming up for renewal, expansions, reductions, startups, and closings. With the recent news of COVID-19 vaccines already being distributed in the U.S., businesses that have had their offices closed will begin the process of reopening their existing offices. Healthcare workers and those who are at the highest risk will receive the vaccine first. The majority of people will be able to receive the vaccine by spring. Many of the large corporations have announced targeted reopenings in June and July. By then, the distribution of the vaccine will be in full swing and people will start developing confidence in coming back. The final remaining challenge will be around children going back to school. If distant learning is still in effect by the time businesses are ready to open, office layouts will need to be reevaluated to determine if they are ready for a COVID-environment. Most will not. This is where the “2021 Gold Rush” begins. Starting in March, you will already have a backlog of deals to manage through plus new deals coming in from tenants who’ve been on month-to-month leases, those whose lease is nearing its renewal date, or those with leases that ended last year and need a new one. The real boom will be everyone else. Every office tenant in your market will be in play next. No matter what their lease obligation is, there will be a deal waiting for you next week. So, how do you get ready? If you just continue doing business the way you’ve been previously, you will likely still have a decent year, but if you want to have an outstanding year– you need to prepare now. Here are five ways to be absolutely on top of your game: 1) Concentrate on listings now. “He who lists lasts.” Listings will generate an activity period. 2) Concentrate on finding a CRM that will keep you organized. If you don’t have a good CRM system yet, I recommend HubSpot. It’s free and very easy to use. For a more robust CRM system, try Affinity. Although you have to pay, it’s well worth it. It captures and builds all of your existing relationships from LinkedIn and pulls prospects from public sights like TechCrunch. It’ll save you a lot of time, which is worth the cost. 3) Get a project management software like ClickUp or Trello. In addition to a CRM, these platforms keep you and your team’s to-do lists and tasks in order. It also shows you who you need to bring in from your team to accomplish those tasks. 4) Commit to your calendar. Every day, start introducing or re-introducing yourself to your existing clients and new clients. You need to stay top of mind and you need to get on their radar before your competition does. In other words, cold call. Today that may not be a phone call but an email, text, social media, reach out to them in whatever medium you deem appropriate and do it now. 5) Commit to a playbook. Create it, use it, and commit to consistent review to ensure your success.

Written by: Hans Hansson


Hans Hansson is President of Starboard Commercial Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 35 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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