E 89: Dominators Of Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

The Massimo Show

Jul 25 2023 • 55 mins

On this Special Episode of the Massimo Show

Host Rod Santomassimo is joined by 3 guests who are all highly successful and influential figures in the commercial real estate industry: Ken Ashley, Executive Director and Chairman for Cushman & Wakefield's Tenant Advisory Group; Brad Ahrens, President of Concord Development Partners; and Bob Knakal, Head of New York Private Capital Group- JLL. They delve into various aspects of commercial real estate, centering the conversation around their experiences, insights, and strategies that have contributed to their success as top producers. They each offer valuable insights and expert advice taken from and highlighting the information found in Rod's new book, Dominators of Commercial Real Estate Brokerage.

Our podcast begins with an introduction to today's objective: sharing clarity in the chaos that's forming in this market downturn, sharing approaches every broker should be thinking about and considering, and tactics that have worked in the past and continue to generate results, to help us all get through this part of the market cycle.

Ken Ashley shares his journey in commercial real estate and his passion for solving complex real estate problems, emphasizing that the market is always evolving. The discussion moves on to the current state of the office market and how office tenant reps can thrive. Ken highlights the need for adaptation and the changing dynamics of office spaces post-pandemic. He urges tenant reps to focus on building relationships, marketing their brand effectively, and adopting a strategic approach to business development using the A, B, C system.

Brad Ahrens then shares his experiences in managing active projects during the pandemic and how his team adapted to mitigate risks. He discusses the importance of automation, outsourcing, and integrating technology to streamline processes and manage deal flow, leading to increased efficiency and faster decision-making. Overall, allowing him to optimize operations.

The podcast conversation then shifts to social media and its impact on the commercial real estate industry. Ken Ashley emphasizes that social media is a powerful platform to spread one's brand and message, but it requires focus and intentionality. He encourages professionals to adopt a thoughtful approach and provide valuable content to stand out in a crowded digital landscape.

Our guest speakers also explore their tech stacks, communication preferences, and the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and its role in the industry. They agree and emphasize the importance of using technology effectively to streamline processes and improve productivity, but caution that while technology and AI offers many benefits, the human element will always be crucial in commercial real estate. It's the ability to connect, build relationships, and provide personalized expertise that sets professionals apart in this industry.

Next, Bob Knakal, a veteran with 39 years of experience in the New York real estate market, gives a quick introduction to himself and his remarkable achievements in the industry. He then talks about his recent project during the pandemic, where he personally inspected and documented every building under construction in Manhattan, creating a comprehensive and accurate database that sets him apart in the market.

Brad Ahrens, who transitioned from brokerage to real estate investment, discusses the differences between representing investors as a broker and understanding investment deals as an investor. He emphasizes the significance of quantifying information to provide clients with data-backed insights, leading to faster decision-making and building trust.

Ken Ashley highlights the importance of emotional and tactical listening in building trust and strong relationships with clients. He stresses the value of being genuinely interested in others, actively listening, and being confident in oneself while showing vulnerability.

Finally, our podcast concludes with our guests sharing their reasons for remaining passionate and dedicated to the industry, ranging from enjoying the business challenges to wanting to change the world. Leaving us with the idea of embracing an abundance mentality and giving back to the community. They also emphasize the significance of mentorship, surrounding oneself with like-minded individuals, and always striving for growth and improvement in the commercial real estate industry.

Overall, this episode provides valuable insights and lessons from highly successful professionals, giving listeners actionable strategies and a glimpse into the mindset needed to navigate challenges, make informed decisions, continuously evolve and stay relevant, and excel in the world of commercial real estate brokerage and investment. All of this making this episode a must-listen for industry professionals.

Note: These highlights of the key points discussed in the podcast are designed to provide an overview of the episode's content. Listeners are encouraged to tune in to the full episode for a comprehensive understanding of the topics covered.