February 26, 2018
The role of today’s brokerage professional is evolving into a complex blend of skills, knowledge and resources for clients. Connect Media asked NKF’s Craig Robinson, who is speaking at Connect Los Angeles on March 27th, to share insights about what it takes to make it in the modern commercial real estate industry. Here’s what he had to say in our latest 3 CRE Q&A.
Q: What is the value of fully-integrated services across a global platform?
A: Today, the list of challenges keeping corporate and institutional leaders up at night – and by extension the real estate service organizations that serve them – is longer than ever: globalization, the rise of digital commerce, the talent war, lease accounting, the shift towards flexible working environments, robotic process automation and cognitive intelligence, the economic implications of tax cuts, and more all make for a turbulent and often unpredictable industry. This unpredictability is made even more uncertain by the competitiveness of some new market entrants and technologies that promote themselves as the future of brokerage service delivery. Still, those serving these customers are resilient. They know meeting the strategic enterprise goals of these customers requires a global platform with fully integrated services in order to improve service, create savings, reduce risk and foster greater innovation in a thoughtful, nimble way. Service providers that maintain a full service, fully integrated platform create an integral framework designed to elevate and enrich the client experience; provide continuity and standardization of services across all regions; and foster the adoption and incorporation of innovative tools and tactics like IoT technology, advanced analytics, and employee experience strategies.
Q: What is the recent climate regarding recruitment and retention of top performers?
A: Today’s top performing talent is looking for far more than a market, industry sector or functional area to own; a competitive salary, and a generous benefits package. Sure, those items will always be important, but today’s talent wants to work for an organization that thinks beyond tomorrow, is capable of investing in services and training
that strengthen and increase the relevancy of their own service delivery, no matter what stage of career they’re in, and makes the employee experience a fundamental part of their larger business strategy. These enterprises recognize diversity and inclusion as being table stakes and not just a path to increased competitiveness, are socially and environmentally conscientious, believe wellness is a critical piece of employee development, and embrace the digital age in all of its permutations on behalf of its workforce. These enterprises have adopted a mentality which naturally equates to a nimbler organization. They have taken the necessary steps to build the inclusive company culture young up-and-coming talent is clamoring to be a part of.
Q: How have brokers evolved into advisors for clients across a wide range of needs ranging from filling space requirements and understanding fundamental lease documents to a host of more complex, but related, issues? What are they, how do you gain those skills and how do brokerages hire with that in mind?
A: The traditional broker of the past was all about 1:1 transactions with direct relationships and a limited long-term view. Today a new service provider is emerging, doing business differently beyond the deal in front of them. Today’s successful provider offers a more consultative approach, interviewing clients and carefully examining the larger enterprise and industry in which they operate. They provide more than commercial real estate services. They lead the way for the public and private sector, serving as a trusted business advisor, technology advocate, and curious and collaborative innovator. Moreover, they have insights and resources to elevate the entire company.
The new provider has a greater working knowledge of the commercial real estate trends impacting the value of services delivered, including sustainability strategies; creative financial modeling; co-working and contractual employee strategies; technology integration (IoT, VR, AI, etc.); and more. These advisors expand their knowledge and skills by surrounding themselves with a coalition of experts capable of advancing an enterprise’s strategic thinking in ways never thought possible. They develop industry or emerging product specializations of their own, speak at industry conferences, communicate trends and perspective via social media (and invite others to provide comment). They’re digital natives or adaptive, creative and willing to challenge conventional wisdom with evidence and compelling, client-centric solutions. Above all, they recognize the need to create the kind of value that can be consistently and increasingly delivered to their own strategic stakeholders. The most successful service providers hire, train and cultivate this new breed of talent via flexible, often e-learning based programs and apprentice-style education offerings.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser