Hiring a broker? Experts Say This is Where the Smart Real Estate Decision Begins

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In the hit movie Moneyball, Brad Pitt’s character challenges the collected wisdom of traditional players, managers, coaches, and scouts in the front office by applying a rigorous analysis of data.

But the decisions around commercial real estate for businesses is often not about data – or is it? It is for a new breed of commercial real estate brokers who service America’s best companies.

Boston Consulting Group’s Mahlon Apgar, IV, wrote in his Harvard Business Review article What Every Leader Should Know About Real Estate that executives often feel overwhelmed by CRE decisions – I’ll paraphrase his ideas for easing CRE angst below.

  • Collect data on your real estate
  • Pay extra for flexibility
  • Embrace sustainability
  • Use a good broker

Concrete Proof: A poll by Cardinal Partners points to the reality of the situation – here are some of the responses that show how brokers are typically chosen:
· “The broker started calling on us ten years ago, and we kind-of like him.”
· “The broker was a friend of mine at my club and he had a relationship with my landlord.”
· “There was a beauty contest and we went with the biggest firm.”

Truly, does it really matter who you use? Is it worthwhile to take the time to find…
· A super broker who sets goals and pulls-out the stops to win on your behalf?
· A competitor who is comfortable being accountable for results?
· An assertive business-pro who faces troublesome issues willingly?

The right broker will save you 20 percent on your facility costs and give you confidence to make a complex decision with clarity of thought.

My favorite broker in the world is a tough talking, highly experienced broker from New Jersey named Andy Zezas, SIOR. Yes, he meets all of the NJ stereotypes of being hard-driving and confident, but also:
· Andy is effusively social and polished – he understands people and gets along with others.
· He does his homework and he is always prepared – he collects data for his clients and provides a highly quantitative analysis to support his recommendations
· He seeks innovative approaches and solutions that allow his clients to breathe easily because they know they have a true real estate advocate at the helm of the deal.

Andy has a great list of clients – all of them found him by being referred by clients, inquiries from his books, and interest from a TV show he hosts. He saves his clients up to 20 percent on their facility costs and he gives them the confidence they need to make complex real estate decisions. His client’s love him – and he is constantly going full-throttle on their behalf.

How do you find super brokers outside of New Jersey? Are you interested in a relationship with your broker where you feel he over delivered and was underpaid? Check this out:

Go For Broker: An Executive’s Guide to Hiring a Broker for Today’s Complex Deals is available on Amazon

There’s a big difference between wanting this kind of relationship and actually getting it. Without help, you might as well be poking around blindly in the dark – so to help out, we’ve come up with a book that –

Gives you 9 invaluable tips on how to build a successful relationship with a commercial real estate broker,

as well as inside information on how the commercial real estate game brokerage game is played.


About the Author:

John Culbertson, SIOR, CRE, CCIM, is  Managing Partner of Cardinal Partners, in North Carolina. He has developed proprietary processes for all aspects of real estate sales, leasing and development. He has development and transaction experience throughout the United States, and has worked with a wide variety of public and private institutional clients. John obtained his MBA from the McColl School of Business (the Executive MBA program at Queens College) and is a frequent participant in Harvard’s Program on Negotiation.

John Culbertson, SIOR, CRE, CCIM
Managing Partner, Cardinal Partners
Phone: (704) 953.5500


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