3 ‘transcendent’ figures in commercial real estate – Daily News
Last Wednesday I personally agreed to an early meeting, no less. On the way back I switched on my favorite radio station KABC 790. Unfortunately there I learned of Rush Limbaugh’s death.
I have to admit, I’ve rarely listened. In fact, I can’t remember the last time. But his brand saved AM radio and created a whole genre of content – conservative conversation.
Many of the stalwarts in the industry today have Limbaugh to thank – including Messrs. Armstrong and Getty – whom I listened to. Limbaugh excelled in his craft. Meaning? Everyone knew him, even if you weren’t a fan. Michael Jordan, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali, Vince Lombardi, Oprah Winfrey, Billy Graham, and Stephen Spielberg all have had a similar impact on their professions.
Even if you’ve never seen golf or had a soda iced tea, you’ll recognize Arnold Palmer. Transcendent figures do it – become well-known names.
You may be wondering what this has to do with commercial real estate? Just that: Our retail trade has similar numbers that have broken the shackles of the normal and changed our industry. Allow me to introduce you to a few. Wait, you probably already know her.
Roger Staubach, founder of The Staubach Co., a graduate of the US Naval Academy, winner of the Heisman Trophy, several Super Bowl titles with the Dallas Cowboys. Thanks for that, Roger! You made this young man – a lifelong cowboy fan – very happy in the 1970s.
When Staubach retired from the NFL, he focused on commercial real estate. During the off-season at Henry S. Miller Co., he was in the moonlight brokerage business. While he was there, he noticed a need. Company tenants were not represented.
During this time, commercial property owners hired brokers to market their assets and locate residents to fill their spaces. But who was the tenant’s lawyer? In general, it was a hybrid agent doing landlord and tenant work.
Staubach’s company forged the tenant-representative concept, in which the only customers of his company were the residents of office and industrial buildings. Contractors, room planners, architects, lawyers, project managers and moving companies were part of the Staubach offer. When you hired Staubach to secure a location, all of these service providers were part of the deal – free of charge. It revolutionized the way corporate users were represented. Staubach was sold to Jones Lang LaSalle in 2008 for $ 613 million. How’s that for the timing?
Andrew C. Florance, Founder, Director, President and CEO of CoStar Group Inc. With CoStar, Florance pioneered the concept that commercial real estate companies outsource research functions to an outside information provider and combine the operational efficiency of computerized information with the more thorough, standardized, and higher quality system Property information created by the industry’s first independent research organization. “
From experience, CoStar is the best in its class and we rely on its data every day. CoStar is the gold standard when it comes to tasks like obtaining available inventory, researching ownership, and reviewing market trends.
Bill Lee, Founder of Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services. Lee was a top producer at Grubb & Ellis in the 1970s. His observation was that there was no collaboration within the office. An agent in the office had no incentive to work with his colleague. On the contrary, in many cases the agent would “pocket” the information so that he could “double” the deal with his own buyer. Lee wondered if there was a way to create collaboration within the office by sharing commissions and profits.
Lee and four of his friends from Grubb & Ellis founded Lee & Associates in 1979. The theory was simple but revolutionary: create a system that rewards profitability and encourages collaboration. Each of the original “partners” was free to broker deals in any area, to call a customer of their choice (as long as no other Lee agent had an existing relationship), and the agents were encouraged to talk to one another.
The profit was split at the end of the year and allocated to each partner according to their contribution. The resulting “divisions” exceeded everything in the industry then and now. Lee & Associates’ principals (as we are now called) enjoy the best divisions in the business. The company is now the largest brokerage company in the United States and has more than 60 offices worldwide.
Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a Principal at Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services, Orange. He can be reached at [email protected] or 714.564.7104.