Lessons Learned Part III: Broker Advice from Around the US

Reading Time: 4 minutes

And the advice keeps on coming – we received more expert advice from some of the nation’s top commercial real estate professionals. Read on to learn what these brokers had to share on honesty, hard work, and winning deals.


Carolyn Niemczyk, CFM – Keyes Commercial, Port St Lucie, FL

Be willing to go the extra mile: The majority of my clients stay with me thru purchase after purchase and lease after lease. I can get the a/c fixed on a Sunday or a locksmith there Friday night to avoid any overtime charges. Maintain good relationships with all service providers.


Alan Bolduc CCIM, SIOR – Senior Vice President – Avison Young, Charleston, SC
Networking 101. Find a group, association, or organization where you will find the people you want to meet and get to know as possible clients or can refer you to potential clients But you need to be the only one in the room that does what you do! And go often. No one knows when you aren’t there, only when you are!


G.G. Galloway – Associate/Partner – Coldwell Banker Commercial Benchmark, Ormond Beach, FL
Never be afraid to ask a dumb question, it may save you or your client a lot of money. Being in the business for 30 years, one would think you have heard everything there is to hear. Stay actively involved in your trade associations as well as continuing your continued education. Give back to your communities by being involved not just in your professional associations but equally so in community activities and nonprofits. Reach out and become mentors to others, and help share some of the success, failures, pitfalls, and side steps that we all have enjoyed throughout our career.


Teaming is the way to go. A team will accomplish so much more than an individual that thinks they have to have it all. There is no “I” in “team”; a team has multiple fronts, hands, ears, and eyes. Best of all, a team can be at multiple locations at once and complete multiple tasks outside and within an office.


Don’t bull shit your way out of a question for which you don’t have the answer. We are professional, and when a question arises that you can’t answer, let the person know you don’t know; however, find out the answer to the question and report back with your findings.


Live by the sunset rule:  if it was important enough for someone to call you today, call that person back by sunset the day of or at least before you leave your office if it is after sunset, even if you leave a message to an answering machine. Let all know your call is essential to the success of your business.


An old fashioned hand written thank you note or card goes a long way.


Business cards are not dinosaurs: pass out two when you give one out, one to the customer and ask them to give one to a friend or customer of theirs who may need your services.


Aaron Ligon – Managing Principal – LCRE Partners, Charlotte, NC


Be clear and tell the truth. Brokers often try to solve problems before presenting a difficult situation to a client. Or to be helpful, they’ll obsess about how to present a situation or set of circumstances in the most positive way possible. Simply be straightforward. Do it quickly. State the problem, outline the circumstances, and suggest solutions or at least some potential action steps to navigate toward a solution. Most problems get worse when you delay discussion.


Simple is best. In a world of in-depth analytics and tons of data, sometimes simple is best. Delving into cap rates, levered yields, after-tax IRR’s, and complex waterfall structures can leave your head spinning. When analyzing a potential acquisition for yourself or a client, don’t forget to make the simplest possible analysis. How does the purchase price of the asset compare to other trades on a cost per square foot basis? Is this purchase below or above the cost of reproduction? Irrespective of a tenant/lease, what is the real rental rate for the property? Is the underlying land likely to appreciate? Answering those and other fundamental questions will often provide clarity around an otherwise complex transaction.


Be a value-add for your clients: Adding value in the real estate service business requires one or more of three basic contributions: information, resources, and hard work. The most successful real estate brokers and investors leverage all three. If you don’t have financial resources to invest, you should be well-informed and working hard for your clients. If you’re not offering intelligence, financial resources, or diligent work, you’re not adding value, and you won’t fool them for long.

Similar Articles

Paul Cohen
Paul Cohen

National Sales Director

Paul is the US Director for CREXi where he utilizes his experience in assisting brokers in getting deals done. Paul is widely recognized as a market expert in Commercial Real Estate and has represented numerous private owners with underwriting and developing marketing strategies and has over $1 Billion in total transaction valuation.

Share This Article