Last week, we were on-site at the Keller Williams Family Reunion (#KWFR for those of you on Twitter that want to see more conversation). Aside from a tremendous crowd – there was plenty of commercial real estate learning going on. Becky Leebens, CCIM, Managing is Director of KW Commercial Midwest in Eagan, Minnesota – was gracious to provide us with recap of the session from a panel of tenant representation experts. Thanks Becky!
Rarely are we able to hear the personal business strategies of successful real estate professionals like those offered at KW Family Reunion (KWFR). Last week in Orlando, Florida over 9,000 residential and commercial real estate agents gathered in one spot, the largest real estate gathering in the country. In a down market, when commissions are scarce, why do agents spend thousands to attend this event? To network, collaborate, and more importantly, to find out how the industry pros drive their business to the top!
I have been part of the commercial real estate community for over 15 years, but never have I had the opportunity to meet with hundreds of successful commercial real estate brokers in one place to find out where and how they do their business like I have at KWFR. There were 8-10 breakouts over the 4 day period for commercial brokers including investment sales, utilizing technology and social media, converting tenants to buyers using SBA 504 just to name a few. But this event goes beyond that. This is an event where brokers not only share their insights, but they actually reveal the secrets to their success and will even invite you to be part of their team!
As an illustration of this experience, let me give you a peek in to the Tenant Representation breakout session. This session was presented by Michelle Rich Goode. Michelle has over 26 years in commercial real estate and was one of the first in her area to create a tenant representation firm in Raleigh, North Carolina. The panelists included Powell McGill, from Manassas Va, who, early in his career, worked directly with Julien J. Studley, the pioneer of tenant representation; Bill Langley, a Commercial Director with over 20 years of experience out of Atlanta, Georgia; and myself. This experienced and diverse panel shared their expertise ranging from how to handle client objections to the details of a lease transaction. For example, clients often think they don’t need a tenant rep broker because they either have a good relationship with their current landlord or because they think they can’t afford one. The panel countered these objections by stating they are exclusive tenant rep’s (do not represent Landlord’s at all), offered market knowledge, and by thoroughly explaining how their fee is typically paid by Landlord. They walked through a 25,000 sf tenant rep case study explaining each step, highlighting key points and discussing the various strategies they take with their client through the process. The highpoints of the presentation included: winning the assignment, the process timeline, space planning, construction costs, lease checklist and analyzing the deal. The room was filled with commercial brokers who were given direct access to experts who gave them a variety of knowledge and tools, which they could now incorporate into their own business models. The breakout ended with a question and answer session, and an invitation to be part of the International Tenant Representation Practice Group these professionals have created within KW Commercial. This was not only an hour jam packed with information, but it also included an invitation to be in business with this A-Team! Wow.
Needless to say, it’s very difficult to briefly describe in words all of the benefits of this high energy, five day experience called the KW Family Reunion. In short, I’m honored to be in business with these high level professionals and look forward to seeing them again in Dallas next year.