This post is dedicated to the commercial real estate unsung heroes – the Marketing Specialists. Although “perceived favoritism” is the overall most common issue of a commercial real estate marketing specialist, there are other common issues for a marketing specialist.
1) Conspiracy Theories – If agents believe the Marketing Specialist favors certain agents or teams, they will concoct bizarre conspiracy theories about your time expenditure. “The specialist purposely puts MY listings at the bottom of ‘the list’ because he/she HATES ME!” If you have one agent that’s particularly bizarre about this, explain exactly how you make the decision to do what projects and when. Sometimes they need to understand that new listings take priority, and although his brochure revisions were next, that project had to be temporarily delayed because at 4:00pm you need to ensure all new listings are in LoopNet, Property Line and CoStar before the work day ends. Also, sometimes his projects are delayed simply because all the InDesign projects need to be done before you open DreamWeaver since it takes 15 minutes for a program to load on your ancient computer.
2) “Bad Guy” Coercion – Your management or broker may lack the ability to deal with conflict. This type of personality may require you to listen to the agent’s sales pitch for additional funds, reiterate the pitch to them, AND be “the bad guy”, telling agents their additional marketing funds were rejected. To remain neutral, dishing out additional funds cannot be your job. In fact, you shouldn’t be present for the management vs. sales agent negotiation. Attempt to discuss the idea of perceived favoritism and how it directly affects your job. It’s not right to ask the marketing specialist take the brunt of anger for decisions made by the management / brokerage. Frankly, you’re not paid enough for this treatment. Don’t be afraid to discuss this with your management. They may not be aware that their policies are harming your ability to do your job.
3) Thieves and Liars – “Post my listing on LoopNet, please.” One day later, “WHY THE <BLEEP> DID YOU POST MY LISTING ON LOOPNET?! IT’S CONFIDENTIAL!” These folks don’t last long in the CRE business, but they’re annoying now. Do not apply the “remain neutral” rule to this personality, it won’t help. To stop this person from taking your career down with his, you’ll have to enable special provisions. This person is very good at never leaving a paper trail so you’ll have to create one. Every time he comes to your desk, (1) write notes on the project, before he leaves (2) hand him the notes and ask if he agrees to those notes, and (3) have him sign and date the notes. Thieves and liars are cunning, he will likely refuse to sign this paper! That’s OK, sign it yourself with the date and time of conversation. The fact that you’re taking precautions will prove to management that this is person’s actions are a legitimate concern. These new provisions will also show the agent you’re sick of his BS and he may actually stop. If he questions why you’re only treating him this way, be honest. “You tend to forget our conversations. This protects my job. It’s nothing personal, I have bills to pay.” He can take it up with management if he’s upset.
4) Drugs and Alcohol – Sadly, cocaine and liquor seem to be common place for many offices with a high number of independent sales people. The pressure for high performance drives some agents to stimulants for success which is often followed by liquor to produce a calming effect. Try not to be judgmental, but be honest with management if there is a particular agent that concerns you. It’s not your job to suggest rehab, but brokers can step-in if there’s an issue.