Years ago, way before blogs, I wrote a column entitled, “Real Estate Brokers—the Ultimate Capitalists.” I shared my admiration for this independent, self-reliant, gritty group of professionals whose mantra was, “Eat what you kill,” and who always referred to themselves as hunters—certainly not skinners.
Wow, how that has changed! In today’s brokerage model, it is all about teaming. Whether it is to locate the business, secure the business, or execute the business, brokers today are playing to their strengths. Few are great at all aspects, so they are teaming with others to increase their probability of winning new business and executing assignments at an extremely high level.
The services provided by real estate brokers have expanded significantly over the years as well. In addition to normal transaction management, clients require complementary services such as lease administration, comprehensive project management and construction management services, in-depth market and economic research, and inventory management.
This was underscored the other day when I attended a pitch for a relatively small office user. As we arrived, “the largest real estate firm on the face of the planet” (guess who??) was just leaving with their team of six!
Perhaps the biggest change is how often senior brokers are opting to team with other senior brokers. Whether it is tenant rep, agency leasing or investment sales, many clients are expecting this level of senior commitment. Customers continue to tell us that is often a differentiator when we win business.
My admiration for brokers remains at an all-time high. But now it is as much for their flexibility and ingenuity in dealing with change in our industry as it is their aggressive, tenacious, “commission-only” mindset.
And, yes … I do believe the “lone wolf” is becoming an endangered species.
Jack Eimer is Central region president of Transwestern. Contact him at email@example.com.