What If You Lost The Only Two Advantages You Have As A Broker?

What If You Lost The Only Two Advantages You Have As A Broker?

You know what those two things are don’t you?

1. Personalized intelligence: 

Unique local knowledge.


Transactional experience.

2. Personal relationships:

Emotional IQ.

Sphere building.

That’s it!

Is this not the basis of your entire career?

Without those basics how is it possible to do your job?

Look at each individual piece. If you have each one down you are what? Fucking Killing It!

Am I Right?

You are the KING of all brokers.

How is it possible that anyone or anything could take those things away from you?

Let me ask you a simple question.

What makes these tasks so special?

Is it because you (you special person you) do them?

Look again. How many of those tasks are repetitive tasks?

How hard is it to find data about your market? Come on it’s not that hard.

How about the transaction? Plug in some numbers and the process is just about the same. You actually try and make it easier or a “better experience”  each time do you not?

Then there is the emotional IQ or as I call it the “we do business with people we like to do business with” handshake and trustworthy professional piece.

I thought this was commercial real estate. Location + Data = $$$ in the bank. Numbers not emotion.

Small side rant: Whoever figures out how to fundamentally change how we interact when we discover and transact commercial real estate deals……….I will come and sleep in your yard until you let me fund your brilliant ass!

How far have we come in each of these areas?

Yes, I’m going to say it. What part of each of these processes have we not started to automate?

I’m not talking about robots here. I’m talking about automation and yes that involves software algorithms and those damn computers.

But wait a minute.

What if this is a good thing?

What if this makes what you do better?

Have not figured that part out yet? Oooh, not a good sign on your part.

Think about it in this way.

Do you want to be the person that uses that technology to “enhance your skills?”

Or do you want to be the one that gets replaced like the person behind the counter at your local fast food restaurant?

Do you find it offensive that what you do could be compared to what most teens see as a starter job?

Is your ego so big that you can’t possibly fathom the inevitable change staring you in the face?

Are your skill sets that far removed?

I’m not so sure.

They may be closer than you think.

What If You Lost The Only Two Advantages You Have As A Broker?


+1 Keep laughing. 





Duke Long

1 comment

  • 1. As long as our (brokers’) information sources are closed systems –by subscription only — the general public — owner/users, tenants, individual, family and small syndication investors — will rely on brokers. Our institutional clients are also subscribers and they still are using brokers’ services. Could that be because all real estate is local and, because of the atomization of the markets and submarkets, it is more cost effective, efficient, and results in better local intel to outsource brokerage functions on an as-needed basis?
    2. If clients didn’t use brokers for the negotiating function, they would be paying in-house people (sunk cost for tenants and buyers — who now get it free — or built into the price which is amortized over time) or they (both sides) would be paying attorneys whose training and experience really do not prepare them to do what brokers do. I have worked with attorneys whose advice/negotiating position runs the risk of killing a deal and, more often, have worked with attorneys that are frightened to even ask for certain protections for our client or offsets that would balance the deal, worrying about even an “ask” being a deal killer (my response is that the other side is totally capable of saying “No” and that both sides are capable of coming up with solutions if encouraged to do so.
    2.1 Brokers are more motivated than attorneys to make deals happen. That is because attorneys get paid whether or not a deal tanks; brokers do not get paid unless a deal closes (don’t get me started on how outmoded and exploitative that system is. In that sense, the brokerage industry are wusses).
    3. I’m not sure what you refer to as the “transactional” function. In sales in the Arizona market, there is a transactional team — broker, attorney/paralegal and title/escrow company. I don’t see a big cost reduction or efficiency by not having a broker in the picture. One way we earn our commission is as problem solvers and work-around experts — saving our clients attorney billing time. In leases, I wouldn’t leave an attorney out of the mix but brokers are still value-add in lease negotiations and, particularly for tenants, protecting them from unnecessary or potentially business-killing provisions of the landlord’s lease. I provide a comprehensive lease mark-up to my tenant-client and its attorney, along with questions that only an attorney can answer. Non-institutional tenants generally generally don’t know what they don’t know, are taking on a 3-10 year commitment to what might be their largest creditor, so they need a broker to assist them through the lease process and to protect them. In sales, I have provided solutions to what seemed to be the other side’s attorney’s deal-killer position on some title issues. Neither client knew the alternatives and the other side’s attorney was stuck in “No” rather than finding ways to protect her client AND save the deal.
    4. If our information sources decide to become Open (free looks at everything to everyone) in order to further monetize by accepting advertising geared to any and all buyers and tenants, then our recourse might be to withhold information — or insist on being paid for it. So far, on a county-by-county basis, public property information is highly variable in both availability, quality, accessibility AND cost — and, to date, my experience is that quality, accessibility, availability AND cost is not a reflection of the size of the locality, it is a reflection, again, county-by-county of how enlightened the elected and appointed officials are.
    5. As it is, with certain information sources, subscriber pricing is azz backwards. Free or low cost to post listings but a cost (or higher cost) to access listings (I’m not talking about property/market data here — just listings)? And please explain to me why anyone would want their listings to be unavailable to some non-brokerage tenants and buyers but not to others? Why are certain CRE listing sites restricting eyeballs when the name of the game in online advertising is exposure to as many eyeballs as possible?