What makes a top broker?

Would be nice if we could get a book written by a Spies/Harmon/Jordy/Dustin type character but we'll have to wait.However, what are some bits of advice from successful brokers on what things have attributed to their success and also mistakes made along the way?Further, what do you think separates an all star broker in any given market and the likes of the top dogs (Spies, Harmon)?

 

Supposedly brokerage is just sophisticated sales and what makes specifically a good salesman compared to other jobs is decently well established. Being shmoozy, submissive/"client first" mentality and competitive I guess.

The general success predictors such as diligence and intelligence are probably more important still but that goes for most jobs on our planet so its not even worth mentioning.

 

You can be both and still be submissive when the client tells you they want the IM done in a time frame that would force your juniors to develop an aderall addiction and depression.

 

Luck.  Brokers provide no value and certainly no value relative to other brokers.  A select few have the ability to see what developers and owners are doing and pitch accordingly, but otherwise it's pure luck.

Or, I guess, being part of the right community.  Jewish brokers in NYC do well if they come from communities that have lots of landlords - think Syrian or Iranian Jewish communities, for example.

 

Not entirely.  The value that brokers provide is a replacement for the low value high rep work that acquisitions professionals would rather pay for than do themselves.  The real value that brokers bring is on the sales side.  As the business continues to become more and more professionalized in all asset classes and deal sizes the value of a broker will continue to decline as capital continues to concentrate with a smaller number of operators. 

 

I think you're missing the point of brokerage, yeah they do a lot of that work, but that's the analysts/associates doing it. The MDs (good MDs at least) at brokerages are shopping your deal, spinning the story of the asset, showcasing the upside, etc. 

Point being, they're taking on a lot of the low rep, critical processes as well, it's not just to put together the pitch book.

 

"Brokers provide no value" is the take insecure REPE guys have when they learn that somehow a sales pro makes more than them. 

None of which actually points to any value a broker provides.  Every function an investment sales broker provides could be obviated with a MLS.  I'm sure some 19 year old made a ton of money because they invested in a meme coin; earnings =/= value.

And yes, I am sure that Aaron Jungreis makes more than me, for example - but he's also sitting at the top of a literal pyramid, so that isn't surprising; he's a business owner and not a broker at this point.  As for the rest... I'm not in REPE and I make more than enough to feel secure in my earning power.  And I'll say again, brokers provide no value.

Brokers are not fiduciaries.  If you meet a counterparty who isn't repping to what they're telling you/selling you, you can conclude fairly easily that they aren't actually doing anything. That is in life as well as real estate - if you've got no skin in the game and refuse to put any in, then you occupy a role that can be done away with without losing, well... anything.  If every IS broker on the planet quit tomorrow and an MLS took their place, nothing would change.

 
Ozymandia

And yes, I am sure that Aaron Jungreis makes more than me,

hahaha good one OZY. I think he makes more than everyone on this website. Anecdotally, from a very good source, he makes approx. 20MM a year. He's the top broker in NYC. He definitely provides value. If you consistently make over 5-10MM a year, you clearly deserve it and have a lot of value to bring to the table. Numbers speak for themselves. But obviously, he is an extreme example.

 

IMO, top brokers or advisors put their clients interests ahead of their own. It’s very difficult to do, but clients notice it and appreciate it. If it’s not the best time to sell, then say so. The great brokers are also great at managing expectations, and having difficult conversations in a way that keeps relationships intact.

it is an art for sure. Lots of experience usually helps. Usually I would respond to Ozy but he is so out of touch it’s not even worth it.

 

IMO, top brokers or advisors put their clients interests ahead of their own. It's very difficult to do, but clients notice it and appreciate it. If it's not the best time to sell, then say so. The great brokers are also great at managing expectations, and having difficult conversations in a way that keeps relationships intact.

"Difficult conversations"?  When has a broker ever had a difficult conversation?  When times are good, they take credit, and when they're not, they blame the market.  Pretty much every broker conversation starts with a pitch that they'll get you a huge number, and once an exclusivity agreement is concluded, they walk those numbers back.  In other words, they're bullshit artsts.

it is an art for sure. Lots of experience usually helps. Usually I would respond to Ozy but he is so out of touch it's not even worth it.

Of course it is an art!  So is three card monte!  Bullshitting clients while maintaining their trust is a very narrow path to walk, and I give credit to good brokers for pulling it off - but I can admire the skill of a confidence man while simultaneously deploring what it is they do.

And seeing as I almost certainly have more experience than you do in the field, you can call me as out of touch as you want, but the beginning and end of your argument for why a broker does anything is "they put their clients interests ahead of their own."  That isn't difficult!  It is called being a fiduciary!  You are literally making the argument for me, that brokers don't actually do anything, and the skill involved is to make it seem like they're representing a client while not actually doing so.

You act as if "putting the client first" is some rare and magical thing.  It is not.  Being a fiduciary is normal in many industries.  Standing behind what you sell to the public is normal.  The fact that brokers charge huge fees to send an email and maybe coordinate a site visit is absolutely crazy, and the fact that you're sitting here arguing that it's difficult to "put the client's interest ahead of your own" is a huge indictment of the way you think

 

Most “top brokers” in my market are slimeballs. They’re slick and well put together, but I have absolutely 0 trust in them and I’m always trying to work out what their angle is / what they’re really looking to do. There is 1 guy I will use time and time again. He is a straight talker rather than a bullshitter, knows his property type inside out, is all over the detail rather than farming it out to juniors, and knows how to manage people to get the deal done.

 

€50 - 250M. The service is professional, no issues there. There’s always an angle though, and I just don’t trust most of them. Have to careful of what you say to them, give too much detail away and they’ll try work out how they can insert themselves into the process. The brokers in the <€10M are a whole other level of incompetence / shithousery. 

 
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