The annual Urban Land Institute fall meeting was recently held in Denver. I attended sessions to gain insight into what direction the commercial real estate market is heading and to continue to educate myself to be a better resource to Stewart and my clients. I also took the opportunity to connect and reconnect with clients and friends.
Having dinner with an old friend reminded me just how important relationships are in our business. My friend, who is the chairman of a large national real estate development company, had interesting insight about people attending this conference. He said that he told his employees that, if they came to the conference to learn about the business or find a magic pill for success, they would be wasting their time. He also told them that if they were here to collect a pocketful of business cards, they were missing the point. They should be here to maintain existing relationships and to build meaningful new ones.
Our business is about meaningful partnerships that create trust and loyalty. These kinds of relationships require time and effort to build, and for duration need trust and integrity. We should not view our clients as transactions, but rather as relationships that result in business. This idea is communicated clearly in a recent book entitled “It’s Not Just Who You Know.” The text details the value of deep meaningful relationships and how they affect your life and business.
With that in mind, I finished out the conference by attending sessions to learn about the markets and what they might do. But I also focused on advancing existing relationships and starting new ones.