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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition   |   October 2009

5 Trends to Make a Part of Your Business

Generosity, honesty and other business-building techniques should comprise your strategy

When people think of trends, they typically picture things such as platform shoes and hula hoops. Sometimes, though, a trend is not a product but the direction people seem to be moving.

Many new business ideas, career opportunities and success stories result from people identifying and jumping on a trend. The key is to open your mind, to trust your intuition and to know when to pounce on a new idea.

In looking at their business strategies, there are five trends that commercial brokers should consider adopting.

1. Being generous. Generosity is increasingly important in business. With growing concern about greed and its dire consequences for the economy, people want to be part of a more generous world. Consider how your company canÿengage, create and collaborate in your community or in virtual communities. Remember to be authentic. 

2. Being honest. We have been taught that honesty is the best policy. Technology brings us a whole new level of honesty whether we like it or not, but underneath the technology is a human desire for transparency like never before.

Think about how you can be more transparent in your business. If there are challenges with a property you are trying to finance, be prepared to put them out there and to provide solutions that would benefit your client.

3. Redefining community. Communities transcend geography in the social-media world. Meanwhile, in the real world, people are intentionally buying local and using technology to choose where they live and work. What is community to you or to your clients? How can communities be part of a solution? Tapping into social-media platforms to drive a theme or idea around a specific location can help if it's authentic. Involving the community in your planning can pay off if people feel they've contributed to the success of something big.

4. Going on an economic diet. Focus on recycling, saving and going on a spending diet. Be frugal with all your resources. Think about space from your potential mortgage borrower's point-of-view. How can they repurpose existing structures, materials and so on to benefit their business? 

5. Providing novel perks. Frequent-flier miles are so last century. People want more-creative and novel perks, such as securing a prime parking spot when they drive a hybrid vehicle.

When thinking about how you can reward your team or your clients in unexpected and novel ways, put yourself in their shoes. What would make them smile or lessen the burden of purchasing a specific space? What perks can you offer employees who continue to be motivated and who show a positive attitude or offer superb customer service? Even if money is limited, there are intangible wants that can serve as rewards, such as an extra day off.


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