Posted: February 8, 2017 by Paul Cohen, Regional Director


As a follow-up to last week’s post Ten Takeaways From 25 Years in Brokerage outlining my 25 years in commercial brokerage, we received several additional gems from top brokers around the Southeast. Here are some of our favorites.


Josh BeaverJosh Beaver, Vice President
The Nichols Company, Charlotte, NC

Be organized: Sometimes being organized and responsive is just as important as knowing all the answers. I can’t tell you how many times clients say how responsive and organized I am, as if that’s some incredible talent. Everyone in our business should be organized and responsive considering all the ways we’re connected today.

Richard ClarkRichard Clarke, Principal
Lee & Associates, Naples/Ft. Myers, FL

You make money buying. Trammell Crow would always say he made most of his money on the “buy” and not the sale.  Therefore, if you buy right you should be in good shape! If you don’t buy right, don’t expect the Sale to save you!


Bill ReichelBill Reichel, President
Reichel Realty Investments, Palm Beach, FL

Here are a few saying I think hit some high points:

  • God gave you two ears and one mouth, there is a reason for that;
  • Be more interested in the needs of the people you are working with and less focused on being interesting;
  • Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t be mean about it;
  • Time kills deals;
  • Confucius said, “he who said he could and he who said he couldn’t were usually right”;
  • I think jerry Seinfeld said, “the blessing in life is finding the torture you’re comfortable with”

Enn LuthringerEnn Luthringer, CCIM, Partner
CRE Consultants, Naples, FL

Be “the man”. When you are lucky enough to find a great prospective client in a tenant rep situation know his/her needs like they are your own. Open ended questions and in-depth conversation allow you to fully discover their needs, and then dig deeper. Show them all available possibilities and even ones not currently listed. Negotiate in good faith and close the deal. You will have a client for life, oh wait it doesn’t end there, stay in front of them or they will forget.

Jeremy WillitsJeremy Willits, Senior Vice President
Avison Young, Charleston, SC

Managing expectations is important in our work, both of Sellers and Buyers. Sellers will sometimes look to a high-water mark transaction as the number they must achieve, without considering the limitations or challenges of their property and/or circumstances.  Meanwhile, Buyers will sometimes seek that rarely achievable “deal.” But be careful, the unrealistic buyer’s most valuable currency is your time, and they squander it. A thoughtful discussion about expectations at the onset of an assignment can help you qualify whether it is an opportunity or a time drain.

Rene VivoRene Vivo, SIOR, Principal
Vivo Real Estate Group, Inc., Miami, FL

Longevity: “gift forward your experience”, teach someone you believe in everything you know about the business, trust that they will always use it to benefit the team, and ask them to gift the same – you will build partnerships that will last a lifetime.


Nick BanksNick Banks, Managing Director
Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group, Orlando, FL

It’s all on the record. There are no take backs in the real world.  Relationships are all that matter in life and in business. I strive to always choose my words and actions carefully and always do what is right. I know if I take this long-term view seriously with every interaction I have I will build lasting relationships and become a trusted advisor for my clients.

Sam HaleSam Hale, Founding Principal
Hale Retail Group, Atlanta, GA

….early in my career, I would work on anything that crossed my desk (land, shopping centers, apartments, etc). It took the 1991 recession for me to figure out, that it was best to be an expert in one field as opposed to knowing a little something about every property type. Both buyers and sellers respected your focus on one category.

Jay LeslieJay Leslie, Partner
Atlanta Land Group, Atlanta, GA

You don’t want to be a broker’s broker. If you don’t control the property through a listing or a client via an engagement agreement you really have nothing. Young brokers often hear about a need in the market and then act on that need on behalf of the broker who truly has the need. If they present a property that is listed by another agent then they are in no man’s land. The next mistake is that they ask for a referral fee.

Don McMinnDon McMinn, First VP/Sr Director Net Lease Properties Group
Marcus & Millichap, Atlanta, GA

Build Relationships. Don’t Chase Transactions. My CRE mentor taught me that transactions will make you money but relationships will make you a career. These quality client relationships require focused work and persistence to build and sustained discipline and integrity to keep. It requires an obsession with adding value and always putting the client’s needs first. It’s much easier to chase the deal and a quick check, especially when you’re a new agent. However, like the Robert Frost poem says: “I took the road less traveled and that has made all the difference.”

Paul Cohen

Paul Cohen, Regional DirectorPaul Cohen is a Regional Director with CREXi based in the firm’s Miami office and focused on business development in the southeast. Prior to joining CREXi, Cohen was a Managing Director specializing in investment sales and equity raises at Cohen Financial, a national debt and equity advisor. Prior to Cohen Financial, Paul owned and operated his own independent real estate firm following a 12-year tenure at CBRE where Cohen was a Senior Vice President and led the Private Client Group in Miami-Dade County with a specialty in office and industrial investment sales.  Email Paul