Rocco Curci is a Commercial Real Estate Broker based in Sacramento, California. He talks about the complexities in commercial real estate and the importance of having a can do attitude while helping small business tenants reaching their goals. His specialty is Office Leasing & Sales.
SBT: Hi, welcome to the show. This is Lidia Didriksen, your radio host. Today my guest is Rocco Curci. We are going to talk about commercial real estate and desire to persist. Please, tell me what it is that you do exactly?
Rocco: I primarily focus on leasing and selling office buildings in Northern California.
SBT: What types of customers do you have?
Rocco: I work with businesses either looking to lease or purchase their own spaces. I also work with current property owners. I represent landlords trying to fill up their buildings with tenants, or they may be looking to sell their current ownings or assets. I also represent investors considering acquiring additional assets. That could be a current landlord looking to expand their portfolio, or new investors looking to break into commercial real estate industry. Sometimes, some of our residential investors are looking to move up into the commercial ranks.
SBT: Is commercial real estate different from buying or selling a house?
Rocco: I’d say the big overarching difference in the United States in particular is the complexity level required and risk exposure in commercial real estate.
In commercial real estate, there aren’t any consumer protection laws, so it’s “Buyer Beware”. Everyone is expected to have so much sophistication in their dealings. Therefore, there is significant risk, and there’s nobody there to save you if you make a bad decision. In residential real estate in the United States, there are a lot of consumer protection laws, and buyers or tenants are quite protected by those laws.
SBT: What’s the biggest misconception people have about commercial real estate?
Rocco: Following on what I just said, I think the biggest misconception is that it’s very similar to residential real estate. It’s really not. It’s higher level and complexity, and more at-risk. There are more things to understand. I get a lot of tenants who are small business owners. They’ve leased apartments and houses before and go into a leasing situation for a business or an office space, approaching it in the same way. However, there’s more time and commitment required. And there’s more scrutiny in commercial leases because of the ambiguity in regards to the terms that could be included on the lease. So there are a lot of potential risks. And there are no standard leases. You really need a professional on your side when you’re dealing in commercial real estate.
SBT: How do you deal with those misconceptions?
Rocco: I take the time to educate newer clients. The tenants are a great example. They want to move things along, and I have to pump the brakes on them. Sometimes they get frustrated, but I’m doing it in their best interest to protect them. I have to back things up and say, “Let’s take a step back. What are your goals and time? What are you looking to get out of this? What kind of business do you operate?” A lot of them appreciate the education that I try to provide.
SBT: What led you to this field?
Rocco: My story is a crazy one. I grew up working in construction. My father owned a concrete company. He worked on large luxury homes in Northern California. It was very inspiring growing up being around all these very successful people. So I always had the desire to attain that same success for myself. I tried a ton of different avenues. I wanted to be a contractor like my father because there was a lot of money in it back then.
The economic downturn hit in 2008. That changed things. I thought I was going to be the next big finance CEO of an investment bank. I ended up getting a job at Oracle, in finance. Ironically enough, I supported the sales staff. I saw differences in the two dynamics. I realized that my personality was more in line with the sales guys. So I started to explore that.
I got into residential real estate on a whim. I found residential real estate too personal. It was dealing with people’s personal lives and matters. At this time more and more friends advised me to go into commercial real estate. It was exciting to me because I found something that I was really passionate about. I never had that before, never in construction or finance. Now, I get up in the morning, I’m so excited to see what I can accomplish in this business. I’m excited to see what the future holds.
SBT: I understand that you definitely love what you do. What keeps you positive?
Rocco: I constantly surround myself with positive and motivational references. When I was younger, I was always very driven by those successful people who inspired me. As I had gotten older, it got harder because challenges got bigger and harder to overcome. As things get more complex and it’s harder to push through, I keep that positivity and drive. I rely a lot on reading books about successful people. I try to just laugh off and not pay attention to the negativity. I don’t want to watch the news. I don’t engage in negative conversations.
I keep the garbage out of my mind as much as possible, and not focus on it, because it tends to pollute my attitude. If I watch the news for an hour, it seems like the world is coming to an end. I notice that my attitude suffers, so I focus on positive things. I focus on my goals: what I can do and what I’m looking to accomplish rather than the problem at hand. If you focus on problems and negativity, it brings you down. You don’t see the big picture that these little challenges don’t matter as long as you keep chipping away at it.
SBT: I believe your clients and the people you work with notice your positive attitude, success and drive.
Rocco: That is a good point. When I interact, people do notice that. Positivity and having a can-do attitude is valuable. I’m somewhat new in the commercial business, and I’ve been able to make a little bit of a splash in our area because I hit the ground running. One of the comments that people make is that I have an attitude that things can be done. I’m positive. I try to solve problems rather than focus on them or create problems. I’ve picked up clients just strictly based on attitude.
When they’ve been working with an older more seasoned broker, and the broker’s attitude overtime has taken a turn for the worse, the clients don’t appreciate that. They want to work with someone who’s hungry, positive, and looking to solve their problems. It’s been a huge asset to me and I plan to continue to develop my ability to stay positive, and overcome the challenges. It hugely helps my business.
SBT: Can you come up with a specific story when the right attitude helped you get a deal or helped your client succeed?
Rocco: One comes to mind in particular. I’ll be taking a pretty large listing here in the new year. I was lucky enough to have made a connection with the property manager, and that was actually based on my attitude as well. My property manager introduced me to this property’s owner who runs probably a million or two in square feet around the area of office buildings. And this person told me that with my can-do attitude, I reminded him of himself when he was younger, and that’s why he was certain I was going to do everything I could for him.
That’s one time in particular when it’s been a huge benefit to me, one of many times. There is some aspect of my attitude that helped me gain all my clients. Transactions and dealings get complicated and tough, and people get frustrated. My ability to stay positive and solution-oriented tends to really help.
SBT: Is this what you do differently from other realtors?
Rocco: I’d say that it’s something that all the successful individuals focus on. They focus on goals and what they can accomplish, rather than the problem for the day.
SBT: We all have good days and bad days. How do you keep it up? Do you have some advice for people who feel frustrated?
Rocco: To be honest, I have bad days and times when I want to give up, but I have always been focused on not wanting to be average. I want to be exceptional. Some days, I say, “This is too hard. I just can’t do it. I’ll just give up, and be average”. Then I realize it’s not morally and ethically okay with me to do that because inside I know that I can do it. I know that I am capable of overcoming the challenges. Sometimes I reflect and experience that frustration. I think about it and say, “This isn’t going to beat me. I know this is not the end.
I’ve overcome challenges before. What do I want to accomplish? Focus on the goal. Let’s pick up and go again”. My dad has ingrained that in me. It was always: when you fail, you get up and try again. That’s part of my nature. The overarching idea is that I focus on the goal. I refocus and say, “I’m not feeling happy about this. I’m not doing well. Let me take a step back. What’s my goal? Am I doing anything that’s helping me get there right now? No. Okay. What do I need to do to head to the right direction?” Sometimes I take a breath. Sometimes I have to take a few hours and just clear my head. Then I get refocused.
SBT: How can someone who needs help to sell commercial real estate or to lease one find out more about you?
Rocco: The best way currently is our website. I’m with a brokerage: TRI Commercial Real Estate. Our website is Tricommercial.com. My page is available there with all my listings. I can definitely do my best to answer questions or issues you’re having with commercial real estate. To anyone who would love to reach out, I invite them to reach out.
SBT: Is there anything that you feel is important for people to know that we may not have covered?
Rocco: As a younger guy, I spent a lot of time being confused as to where I wanted to go with my life. I noticed now that I’m at a place where I’m very happy and passionate about what I do. I was very good at listening to my instinct, trusting myself along the way. A lot of people, friends and family, at times told me not to head into the direction I headed.
I trusted myself and I really thought about what was right, aside from everyone else. I’m so happy I did because I accomplished a lot. I’m not exactly where I want to be, but the place where I’m at with the opportunity to head to where I want to go is so great. I think everyone should try to get to that place. I trusted my instincts, turned off the noise of other people, and thought within myself. That’s something a lot of people miss.
SBT: Excellent point to finish our interview with. Thank you so much Rocco for sharing your time and insights with us. It was definitely positive and interesting to talk to you. Thank you for contributing to our Business In The Radio Magazine. Just to remind you: we aim to improve the perception within the real estate industry. Stay positive and keep your goal in mind.
Rocco is with the brokerage TRI Commercial Real Estate. He says: “My page is available there with all my listings. I can definitely do my best to answer questions or issues you’re having with commercial real estate. To anyone who would love to reach out, I invite them to reach out.”
You can reach Rocco Curci at:
Office Leasing & Sales
BRE #: 01969013
532 Gibson Drive Suite 200
Roseville, CA 95678