Lessons Learned Part V – The Final Installment of Broker Advice

Posted: March 30, 2017 by Paul Cohen, Regional Director


Here’s the final installment in our 5 part series on advice from commercial brokers around the US.  In all, we heard from 25 Top Brokers who shared experience from over 500 years in the commercial real estate business.  I hope you enjoyed it.  While we won’t be posting any more, feel free to comment on LinkedIn and share your wisdom.

Lessons Learned Part I – Ten Takeaways from 25 years in CRE 

Lessons Learned Part II – Broker Advice From Around the Country

Lessons Learned Part III – More Broker Advice From Around the Country

Lessons Learned IV – Networking, Honesty and Teaming


Moss WithersMoss Withers, MBA

NAI Carolantic Realty, Inc., Raleigh, NC

There seems to be a trend of those wanting to discuss getting into the business now a days and sitting down with me to discuss.  It’s funny how that lines up with market confidence.  My advice stems around marketing yourself.  The job in itself is easy.  What’s key is convincing the market that you know what you are doing.  It doesn’t work if it’s coming out of your mouth, it needs to come out of others.  That’s clients, media, newspapers, business journals.  Get out there and meet these people, they are a great asset.

Gregg FousGregg Fous – Founder

Market America and Investments Inc., Sarasota, FL

From his blog:  Ten Things I Like to Remind Myself Every Day

  1. Focus. On the task at hand, the ball, the next step. Narrow your territory, your efforts, if you have a “to do” list focus on the first two things on it.
  2. It’s only called work if you would rather be doing something else. If you spend too much time working, change what you do.
  3. Answer the question you want to answer, not the one that is asked. Don’t let others drive your discussion, stay on track and make your presentation.
  4. It’s about the relationship. It’s not about price or product it’s about the relationship.
  5. If you see it, get it now, from where you are. Don’t wait for a better position, time or place.
  6. You can’t skip the basics. There are short cuts to the goal but to fail is just as short. Refine your basics and they will become a second nature to you. Habitualize them.
  7. Write a list. Let your ideas gel on paper. Work your list every day.
  8. Most people die in bed. Get out of bed. It’s a very unsafe place. No great philosophy here, you gotta get outta bed to make things happen. You have to move to steer.
  9. Don’t hate. Just refuse to like. Hate takes energy away from good things. Indifference takes no effort.
  10. What a great country! Bailouts, taxes, etc., BUT. . . It is still the best place in the world!


Herb LubanskyHerb Lubansky – Founder

Herb Lubansky Realty, Daytona, FL

One word that I give you not to use in any email or presentation is the word “IF”. This word in my opinion seems to leave a question of doubt to any reader or person you are talking with. Try to use a more positive phrase of words to get your thoughts and conversation across. The word “if” can be an E Z button in a fast paced society, by taking the challenge upon yourself to say or write something more positive in what you are presenting to a Buyer or Seller can set yourself apart from others.

Luli CannonLuli Cannon – Leasing Executive

RMC Property Group, Tampa, FL

Listen more and talk less. The act of active listening is an art that takes time to master. It is human nature to want to interject a conversation with questions and antidotes. These are normal parts of a conversation, but an experienced broker knows that timing is key. Know when to ask questions and know when to share stories. When the conversation allows for the perfect timing, it is your cue to delve deep into your client’s true needs. This will save you from running in circles trying to achieve a goal that is not necessarily a mutual goal.  You have to know your client’s needs inside and out. Learn what motivates the client and you will not only succeed but also develop long lasting relationships.

Paul Cohen

Paul Cohen, Regional DirectorPaul Cohen is a Regional Director with CREXi based in the firm’s Miami office and focused on business development in the southeast. Prior to joining CREXi, Cohen was a Managing Director specializing in investment sales and equity raises at Cohen Financial, a national debt and equity advisor. Prior to Cohen Financial, Paul owned and operated his own independent real estate firm following a 12-year tenure at CBRE where Cohen was a Senior Vice President and led the Private Client Group in Miami-Dade County with a specialty in office and industrial investment sales.  Email Paul

Profile of a Legend – The Queen of Mean – Leona Helmsley

Posted: March 24, 2017 by Eli Randel, Director of Business Development


Leona Helmsley was a fierce business woman who would earn the nickname “The Queen of Mean” for “tyrannizing her employees.” According to Alan Dershowitz, Helmsley’s famed defense attorney, when he was brought a cup of tea during breakfast at one of her hotels, Helmsley grabbed the cup and smashed it to the floor because a drop of water had spilled on the saucer. She then demanded that the waiter get on his hands and knees and beg for his job. Despite a less than pleasant reputation, and time in prison for income tax evasion (it’s been said she would say: “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.”) Helmsley was an excellent hotelier, assembled a real estate empire, and was as tough as they came in the largely male dominated industry at the time. Her toughness and prowess would earn her an estimated net worth of $4B by the time she died in 2007. Who inherited the majority of her estate? Specific instructions were made to benefit her dog with the majority being left in a trust to be used to benefit other dogs.  


Helmsley (Lena Mindy Rosenthal) was born in 1920 in Marbletown, NY to Polish immigrant parents and moved to Brooklyn soon after. Her family would move six more times before finally settling in Manhattan. Leona would change her name several times before landing on Leona Mindy Roberts and dropping out of high-school to seek her fortune.


While a relationship with her future (third) husband, Harry Helmsley, would provide her with capital, Leona had already proved herself as a talented real estate salesperson and is believed to have been a millionaire by the time they met in 1968. Together with Harry, Leona would begin a program of converting his apartment buildings to condominiums and the two would assemble a portfolio of assets including 230 Park Avenue and the Empire State Building. By 1989, she would directly control 23 hotels.  


The Helmsleys were well know for disputes with contractors and vendors despite their $Billion fortune. One of those disputes would lead to evidence of tax evasion for which Leona would serve 19 months in prison following the high-profile trial. Following prison, Leona would mostly lead a life of isolation and was stripped of her hotels since most of them had a bar in them requiring a liquor license and she was now a convict. When her husband died, he left the entire estate to her. Little was seen of her leading up to her death in 2007. 


Interesting facts: 

Despite the nickname the Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsley was very charitable. After 9/11 she donated $5MM to help the families of firefighters. She would also donate $25MM to the New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

The WWF wrestler HHH (“Triple H”) took part of his name from her. Hunter-Hearst-Helmsley was the basis of his stage name as he decided his name would incorporate three famous wealthy people.



I’m a very firm believer that a liar is a cheat and a thief and a crook. I don’t like liars. I never lie. I always told my own child, ‘If you murder somebody, tell me. I’ll help you hide the body. But don’t you lie to me.’


I’ve always wanted to be the biggest real estate man to come down the pike.

CREXi Product Q&A with Co-Founder Luke Morris

Q:  How are new features developed?

A:  We have a good pulse on what the industry is lacking and always stay on top of trending technology.  Once an idea forms we outline it in great detail, provide designs, bounce the idea off our customers (usually 5-10), and then place it into a development sprint.


Q:  What’s your favorite feature?

A:  The marketing portal for sure. In a past life I would’ve loved the ability to blast my properties to thousands of investors with just a couple clicks of the mouse. On top of that, I can analyze the effectiveness of each campaign. Previously, I had to send e-mail marketing campaigns via Outlook and would have to wait around and hope someone would call me for more information.


Q:  What product do you look to for inspiration?

A:  I love the simplicity of sites like AirBnB® and Amazon® but commercial real estate is so unique it can be difficult to apply features from those sites and have them be applicable to real estate. However, they exemplify how technology can revolutionize trillion dollar industries and that is inspiring.


Q:  What was your favorite project in 2016?

A:  I had fun building most of the features but my favorite project was working on the property dashboard.  It is such a game changer and really helps brokers track every action a buyer makes on their listing from web hits and visitors all the way to LOI’s.

Historic Bath Club in Miami Beach Brought to Market


The Historic Bath Club, located at 5937 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, Florida, has hit the market and is featured on CREXi (Click Here).


The Bath Club (“the Property”) which resides on over 5 acres of oceanfront land, has been brought to market by Gerard Yetming – Executive Vice President at the Urban Core Division of Colliers International, and Irving Padron – Managing Broker and President of Engel & Volkers Miami. 


The Bath Club, originally built in 1927 with a long heyday as a famous social club, underwent a partial development in 2006 with the construction of 118 luxury condominium residences. Currently the Property is mainly used as an event venue.  However, in April of 2017 legacy memberships will expire allowing new owner to reset pricing or expand on the use with potential sources of income including: club membership plans, restaurant or lounge operations, cabana sales, and private event usage. It boasts 538 feet of beach frontage and over 15,000 square feet of historic buildings.


With the activity of South Beach trending north to Mid-Beach in recent years – evidenced by the success of the Fontainebleau, Eden Roc, Faena, and the Edition – the Bath Club is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a unique and historic oceanfront property in one of the hottest markets in the world. The property is unpriced, but press reports have indicated that the asset may fetch $25MM or above. “This is a truly special asset. We already have tremendous international interest reflecting the global appeal of this trophy property.” notes listing broker Gerard Yetming. 

Profile of a Legend – The Hometown Hero – Dan Gilbert

Posted: March 17, 2017 by Eli Randel, Director of Business Development


Dan Gilbert is oft-known as the founder of Quicken Loans and sometimes associated with the city of Cleveland given his ownership of the Cleveland Cavaliers, however, Gilbert is a Detroit native and no one individual has done more to revitalize downtown Detroit and bring the city back to prominence. Gilbert, through his firm Rock Ventures and other partnerships, has invested millions into Detroit and turned the blighted downtown into a tech-hub with scores of young professionals, a vibrant social scene, and a high-quality of life. And he’s only getting started.


Gilbert was born in Detroit suburb, Southfield, and would eventually obtain his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. Following his undergraduate degree, Gilbert would obtain his JD from Wayne State in Detroit. While at Wayne State, he worked for his parents at their Century 21 franchise where he likely got his first deep look into the real estate business. It was there that Gilbert concluded the real money wasn’t in selling homes but was in financing them and would form Rock Financial which would eventually become one of the largest independent mortgage lenders in the nation before being purchased by Intuit in 2000 and renamed Quicken Loans. In 2002, he would form a syndicate and purchase back Quicken from Intuit.


In 2010, Gilbert moved Quicken headquarters and its 1,700 employees to downtown Detroit and would move 3,600 more employees before the end of that year. Today, the firm has 14,200 team members based in the city. In addition to creating a population surge and a new demographic base with disposable income, ancillary companies formed and Gilbert would seed many of them through his VC: Detroit Venture Partners. Detroit has also reemerged as a destination for graduates from UM, MSU, and beyond who would previously migrate to cities like Chicago or other markets because they lacked a hometown option.      


With a newfound pulse and a resurgence in demographics to the once vibrant but struggling city, Gilbert acquired several buildings, renovate the historical structures, and place tenants – often firms he was involved with – in the buildings. The newfound downtown day-population with disposable income a need for housing would eventually lead to more multi-family and retail demand and development. Given the city’s struggles and lack of institutional attention resulting in suppressed asset pricing and limited competition, Gilbert has been able to shape the city as he pleases like a child with a real-life model town.  It appears as if Gilbert is only getting started and it’s possible no one individual has shaped a major city more than him.


Gilbert’s success can be attributed to hometown dedication and loyalty, a support network of childhood friends who he continues to work with, a nostalgia for loyalty and old-school values perhaps evidenced by his famous open letter to Lebron James, and lots of guts. When everyone was zigging away from Detroit, Gilbert zagged back recognizing the bones of the historic properties, proximity to universities and talent, and a buy opportunity with his power to shape the city through his business ventures. By moving his thousands of employees from Quicken Loans into vacant or mostly vacant buildings he could also buy, Gilbert provided a reminder of the relationship between jobs and real estate and created a new city on the infrastructure of a tired one. Now he is building Detroit into a major market like the iconic industrialists had done generations before him. 

To Price or Not To Price?

Posted: March 15, 2017 by Eli Randel, Director of Business Development


10+ years-ago, when I was a Sr Analyst at CBRE, there was an ongoing debate among several of our investment sales teams: is it best to price sale offerings or bring them to market unpriced? There were different opinions from a spectrum of very successful brokers. Now, 10+ years later, our listing marketplace, CREXi, has 15,000+ assets valued at over $100B so I’ve received the opportunity to see significant deal velocity and think about the discussion once again.


Buyers sometimes need guidance and benefit from knowing the motivation level of the seller. When brokers price an asset, even though the buyer will come to their own value conclusions, they get an idea regarding seller expectations and how close they are in pricing indicating where (or whether at all) they should submit their offer. Further, most negotiation experts will tell you the person who makes the first offer (ultimately pricing an asset is an offer) gets to anchor their position and will usually “win” the negotiation. And while there is risk in asking too little, a broker running a strong process can recover and push pricing in the infrequent event when that occurs.   


Make a market. Let that market determine value. When there are value dislocations, a wide range of assumptions, different costs of capital, and different uses for properties, one homogenous price doesn’t always make sense and may bias some buyers. Or sometimes a seller may not have a value expectation or has a lofty one and needs a “market appraisal” to make the most informed sell-decision. Failing to engage buyers by asking for a price that doesn’t excite them, may limit seller’s ability to make an informed decision. In most instances, even without an ask, good brokers should be able to tell the deal story and engage with and coach buyers to obtain participation.  



In a hot or frothy market, we tend to see more unpriced assets so as not to miss any outlier offers. Certain property types also warrant being unpriced. Infill land for instance might have a wide range of uses and values. Institutional deals, where seller is often committed to a sale, may not need an ask to show motivation. The buyer community tends to know that the seller makes more cerebral decisions and is motivated by other emotionless factors. Unpriced sellers can be extremely motivated, but often need to see offers to make an informed decision. Say a seller bought a small building for very-little 30 years-ago in what is now the center of town. Perhaps circumstances are forcing them to sell and they really want $20MM. Broker explains that it isn’t a realistic expectation. If left unpriced, they might get 10 offers all around $12MM (a good indication of value and still a huge profit) vs. asking $20MM and receiving no offers because buyers don’t want to insult the seller or become attached to a deal that doesn’t make sense (at the asking price).   

We tend to see more stated pricing in smaller assets where the buyer community might need some guidance and assurances that the entrepreneurial seller is a true seller and not just testing the market with lofty expectations. Sometimes in cooler or changing markets when the bid-ask gap expands, we see more stated pricing as buyers get fatigued from underwriting unpriced deals with unreal expectations. Pricing a deal well may let the buyer community know: “Spend time on this deal. We are real sellers.” Also, more commoditized asset types like net-lease or stabilized properties may trade within a narrow bandwidth. By asking a price within (or only slightly above) that bandwidth, seller indicates to the buyer community that they are real sellers and understand market value.

Regardless, the best brokers (who can be found listing their 15,000+ assets on CREXi) will coach buyers and guide them to tradeable pricing whether priced or unpriced. Buyers on CREXi are quickly able to access and sort through due diligence to underwrite properties. Engagement is immediate (How Long Should it Take to Access an OM?) and brokers can be contacted in real-time to provide more color.

Eli Randel

Eli Randel, CREXi Director of Business Development

Eli Randel is Director of Business Development based in CREXi’s Miami office. Eli spearheads CREXi’s growth and sales throughout the east coast as well as overseeing the national sales team. Prior to joining CREXi, Eli was director of dispositions for Blackstone’s Invitation Homes. Eli has also held management positions and production roles with Cohen Financial, Auction.com, LNR and CBRE where he began his career spending three years in Investment Sales before leaving to obtain his Master in Business Administration from the University of Florida.


Profile of a CRE Marketing Executive – DJ Sandler

Posted: March 14, 2017 by Doug Shankman – Regional Director, West Coast CREXi


DJ Sandler joined commercial real estate powerhouse JLL in 2015 after a very successful four-year tenure at Raytheon Company as the Deputy Director of Communications (#117 on the Fortune 500 in 2016). Now as Vice President of Marketing for the West Coast at JLL, the Seattle native has brought his data-driven, multi-channel marketing approach to another Fortune 500 company (#436 in 2016). Based in Downtown LA, I had the opportunity to catch-up with my old friend and colleague and learn more about him, JLL, and his views on the commercial real estate market and more.


DS: In the constantly changing brokerage landscape, JLL has stayed relatively consistent and focused on their core business. What do you see changing – if anything – during the next chapter of your storied company?

DJS: In my opinion, the next chapter at JLL will be defined by the digital and data revolution. Real estate has been slower than most sectors to feel the full transformational effects of digitalization – think of banking, retailing, and travel and how they’ve been dramatically altered by smartphones and online businesses. You really don’t have to look farther than CREXi to see all of the potential. The real digital opportunities for real estate are still to come. JLL is investing significant time and money with the goal of becoming the clear digital leader in real estate services.


DS: What role do you see tech playing in the commercial real estate landscape over the next ten years?

DJS: In ten years, I don’t think tech will be playing a role in the CRE landscape, it will be the landscape. Even in a built environment such as ours, we cannot ignore the trends and changing needs of B2B. After all, B2B is still driven by the people that make up those businesses. As a result, businesses will demand the same benefits from technology as the consumer: convenience, accountability, expertise, end-to-end solutions and transparency – any time of the day, all at their fingertips.


DS: You came to JLL following a very successful career at Raytheon. What similarities have you found within the commercial real estate and defense contractor industries? What glaring differences?

DJS: Both industries are driven by a core set of big players, which means sometimes you go up against them head-to-head on a pursuit and sometimes you might end up partnering on a deal. Reputation and integrity matter because you never know who you might be on the phone with a week from now.


DS: You have a data-driven approach to your craft. What piece of data or information about how marketing materials are disseminated and received do you think would surprise most people?

DJS: Data driven marketing is all about business development and revenue producing solutions. Many marketing organizations broadly circulate material, cross their fingers and wait to see who comes back – almost like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. That strategy is expensive, unpredictable and hard to prove value. Through data-driven marketing, I know who my prospects are. This allows my team to develop targeted, relevant and engaging materials for a core set of decision makers. When marketing plays a role in converting prospects into customers it’s incredibly rewarding and allows us to justify our extended value in an organization.


DS: Without the blinders of a deep background in Commercial Real Estate, what inefficiencies do you see in the industry that sometimes surprise you?

DJS: Perhaps there’s a trend in my responses here, however I was surprised at the dependence on traditional quarterly reporting, which is valuable but is also less forward looking. With the incredible amount of data currently available, I’d like to see a shift towards more real-time reporting. What’s the narrative today? How can we help our customers make good decisions based on the latest market information right now? The speed of economy is increasing and our customers will eventually demand us to keep pace.


DS: Most of our early interviews have been with east-coasters so your west coast markets have been underrepresented. What is your favorite food city?

DJS: If you’re a foodie, pick a weekend and book a flight to Portland, Oregon. Hit the food carts for lunch, Pearl District for dinner, and the microbreweries in between.


DS: What piece of advice do you carry with you (or first that comes to mind)?

DJS: I try to spend the majority of my day looking forward; it’s helped me and my team focus on the art of progress instead of trying to perfect the past.


DS: If money was of no concern and you were proficient at any skill you chose, what career would you have chosen if you could start over and do anything?

DJS: I’ve never parted with my childhood rock and mineral collection and often think I could have been a famous Geologist, if there is such a thing.


DS: What trend or fundamental do you think the market-herd is overlooking when analyzing the commercial real estate market?

DJS: In my experience, the ‘herd’ has embraced and successfully leveraged financial and real estate indicators very well. However, we partner with JLL Research very closely to study broader economic and industry sectors to identify up and coming trends in the market, specifically on the west coast. By doing so, we can get out front and meet the needs of both occupiers and investors in a new or developing vertical.


Profile of a Legend – The Tech Geek, Paul Allen

Posted: March 10, 2017 by Eli Randel, Director of Business Development



Paul Allen, the famed co-founder of Microsoft has slowly built a real estate empire through Vulcan Real Estate, a name chosen as a homage to the extraterrestrial humanoid species from Star Trek.



Though lesser known nationally, Vulcan has been a major player in the Seattle real estate scene, one of the hottest markets in the nation. Vulcan is known for the development of South Lake Union, a neighborhood immediately north of downtown Seattle where they have developed 6.3MM SF of residential, retail, biotech, and mixed-use space at a site which can house up to 10MM SF. The Wall St. Journal called the development, “unexpectedly lucrative” which can in part be attributed to the sale of a 1.8MM SF office building to Amazon for $1.16B, marking one of the largest deals ever in the state of Washington. “It’s exceeded my expectations,” Allen said of South Lake Union.



Born in Seattle in 1953, Allen befriended Bill Gates, three years his junior, when he discovered the two had a shared passion for computers. Allen went to Washington State University, but soon dropped out to work as a programmer for Honeywell in Boston where his friend and business partner Bill Gates was attending Harvard University. It was Allen who convinced Gates to quit Harvard and start Microsoft.



The rest, as they say, is history and Paul Allen is now worth an approximate $19.9B. Vulcan Capital and Vulcan Inc. have become a family office of sorts where Allen manages his fortune and philanthropic activities. However, his involvement has not been passive. The computer whiz has shown a passion for property, both commercial and residential, with vast commercial holdings across Seattle and a sizeable residential portfolio of unique homes and land around the world.



Though speculation, as not much is known about the reclusive Allen’s investment style, it’s assumed the Allen has benefited from an engineer’s mind when orchestrating and building the amazing neighborhoods he has been a part of. Additionally, a life-long loyalty and knowledge of Seattle has likely helped the native understand his market more than any outsider could. Market loyalty can be powerful and Steve Allen has shown it in spades.



Lessons Learned Part IV – Networking, Honesty, and Teaming

Posted: March 8, 2017 by Paul Cohen, Regional Director


And the advice keeps on coming.  This post we cover topics from the importance of networking, honesty, and teaming.  I look forward to receiving more advice.  Checkout the past three posts: 

Lessons Learned Part I – Ten Takeaways from 25 years in CRE 

Lessons Learned Part II – Broker Advice From Around the Country

Lessons Learned Part III – More Broker Advice From Around the Country

More CRE Lessons Learned - Carolyn Niemczyk
Carolyn Niemczyk, CFM
Keyes Commercial, Port St Lucie, FL

Be willing to go the extra mile:  The majority of my clients stay with me thru purchase after purchase and lease after lease. I can get the a/c fixed on a Sunday or a locksmith there Friday night to avoid any overtime charges. Maintain good relationships with all service providers.

More CRE Lessons Learned - Alan Bolduc Avison YoungAlan Bolduc CCIM, SIORSenior Vice President
Avison Young, Charleston, SC

Networking 101.  Find a group, association or organization where you will find the people you want to meet and get to know as possible clients or can refer you to potential clients… BUT, you need to be the only one in the room that does what you do!  And go often.  No one knows when you aren’t there, only when you are!

More CRE Lessons Learned - GG Galloway - CBCG.G. Galloway – Associate/Partner
Coldwell Banker Commercial Benchmark, Ormond Beach, FL

  1. Never be afraid to ask a dumb question…… it may save you or your client a lot of money.
  2. Being in the business for 30 years, one would think you have about heard everything there is too hear…. wrong…… stay actively involved in your trade associations as well as continuing your continued education.  Give back to your communities by being actively involved not just in your professional and trade associations but equally involved in community activities and nonprofits. Reach out and become mentors to others, and help and share some of the success, failures, pitfalls, and sidesteps that we ALL have enjoyed throughout ones career.
  3. Teaming is the way to go.  A team will accomplish so much more than an individual that thinks they have to have it all. There is no “I” in TEAM, a team has multiple fronts, hands, ears, and eyes. Best of all a Team can be at multiple locations at the same time as well as completing multiple tasks outside an office as well as multiple tasks within an office.
  4. Don’t bull shit your way out of a question that you don’t have the answer for…. We are professionals….. and when a question arises that you have no real answer for….. let the person know you don’t know; however, I will find out the answer to your question and report back to you with my findings.
  5. Live by the sunset rule….. if it was important enough for someone to call you today….. call that person back by sunset the day of  or at least before you leave your office if it is after sunset…even if you leave a message to an answering machine….. let ALL know your call is very important to and the success of my business……thank you for the consideration.
  6. Email, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, texting……………. how about just an old fashioned hand written thank you note or card……… Thanks for your business or thanks for your time today.
  7. Business cards are not dinosaurs…. pass out two when you give one out…… one to the customer and ask them to give one to a friend or customer of theirs who may need your services.

More CRE Lessons Learned - Aaron LigonAaron Ligon – Managing Principal
LCRE Partners, Charlotte, NC

  • Be clear, and tell the truth.  Brokers often try to solve problems before presenting a difficult situation to a client.  Or in an effort to be helpful, they’ll obsess about how to present a situation or set of circumstances in the most positive way possible. Simply be clear, and tell the truth.  Do it quickly.  State the problem, outline the circumstances, and suggest solutions, or at least some potential action steps to navigate toward a solution. Most problems get worse when you delay discussion.
  • Simple is best.  In a world of deep analytics and tons of data, sometimes simple is best.  Delving into cap rates, levered yields, after-tax IRR’s, and complex waterfall structures can leave your head spinning.  When analyzing a potential acquisition for yourself or a client, don’t forget to also make the simplest possible analysis.  How does the purchase price of the asset compare to other trades on a cost per square foot basis? Is this purchase below or above the cost of reproduction?  Irrespective of a tenant/lease, what is the real rental rate for the property?  Is the underlying land likely to appreciate?  Answering those and other basic questions will often provide clarity around an otherwise complex transaction.
  • Be a value-add for your clients:  Adding value in the real estate service business requires one or more of three basic contributions: 1) Information, 2) Resources, and/or 3) Hard work.  The most successful real estate brokers and investors leverage all three.  If you don’t have financial resources to invest, you should be well-informed and working hard for your clients.  If you’re not offering intelligence, financial resources, or diligent work, you’re not adding value, and you won’t fool them for long.


Paul Cohen

Paul Cohen, Regional DirectorPaul Cohen is a Regional Director with CREXi based in the firm’s Miami office and focused on business development in the southeast. Prior to joining CREXi, Cohen was a Managing Director specializing in investment sales and equity raises at Cohen Financial, a national debt and equity advisor. Prior to Cohen Financial, Paul owned and operated his own independent real estate firm following a 12-year tenure at CBRE where Cohen was a Senior Vice President and led the Private Client Group in Miami-Dade County with a specialty in office and industrial investment sales.  Email Paul

CREXi Teams up with Habitat LA

CREXi is committed to giving back to the community and our first philanthropic mission in 2017 was teaming up with @HabitatLA on March 3 to build a house in our local community.

We share the belief that the best way to make a positive impact on the world is to start with our local communities