Chris Carmen  /   January 29, 2015

I began my career in Indianapolis commercial real estate nearly 30 years ago and launched my own business, CARMEN Commercial Real Estate Services in 1993.   In the 22 years since starting CARMEN, I can honestly say it has been and continues to be a learning experience…about business, about people, and about life in general.

A close friend recently asked me over a cup of coffee what has been the most valuable thing I’ve learned while operating my commercial tenant representation firm. It didn’t take me long to respond, but there have been not one, but three valuable lessons learned and reinforced over and over during my 22 years in business. I’d like to share these lessons with you:

  1. Treat all that you come into contact with through business with respect and fairness.  This comes in many forms:  How you treat customers, how you treat employees, vendors, and anyone else who touches your business. People that have engaged with you or your business become a living, walking and talking advertisement of your business.  The advertisement can be positive and have great benefits going forward, or it can be negative, and quickly damage the reputation of the business or your reputation as an ambassador of the business.
  2. This brings us the second valuable lesson: Businesses balance on their reputation of service and the ethics and integrity of how they provide that service.  I have always operated my business with an important rule in mind:  We are the reputation we create…..PROTECT IT!
  3. Finally, do what you say you are going to do.  Few things can destroy the integrity of the relationship that exists between service provider and customer as quickly as non-performance.  Fail to deliver and the customer will lose trust and become justifiably skeptical of future commitments.

As I mentioned, I’m always learning.  Every day brings new experiences that broaden my understanding of this wonderful industry that is my livelihood.  Yet, for me, so much of who I am and what my business is to the community, boil down to those three valuable lessons.

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