Commercial Real Estate Elite: Broker to Brokers is your leading resource for cutting edge commercial real estate strategies and resources from real brokers. Each week Justin Lamontagne will go state-to-state to uncover tools, tips and techniques straight from top performing commercial agents to help you stand out in this highly-competitive field. We’ll also dive into the stories behind the deals, both successful and failed, and discuss what it means to do commercial real estate the right way. This show is by a broker, with brokers, for brokers. To ensure you don't miss an interview, join our mailing list or subscribe today at BrokerToBrokers.com.
Ep 37 - Featured Episode 4: Top 10 lessons learned from CRE Elite
Through my podcast Commercial Real Estate Elite: Broker to Brokers, I’ve spent a year talking to some of the best and brightest commercial real estate brokers in the country. To date, I’ve interviewed over 35 top men and women in the industry sharing best practices, techniques, resources, stories and more. And as an active commercial real estate broker, I realized that I just took a year of graduate studies with the best professors in the country.
One of my last guests, Bo Baron, challenged me to come up with a top-10 list of lessons. I thought that was a great idea and spent some time revisiting each episode. So here are my personal top-10 lessons from a year studying the craft through the country’s Elite (and one Canadian Paul Eric Poitras).
Ep 36 - North Dakota: Cutting out the "noise" with Jill Duemeland
In this week's episode of Commercial Real Estate Elite: Broker to Brokers I visit North Dakota and talk to Jill Duemeland, a fourth generation of Duemelands Commercial. At Duemelands, Jill specializes in tenant and landlord representation and sale and leasing of industrial, medical, and retail properties in Bismarck-Mandan, North Dakota; South Dakota; and Minnesota.
Jill earned her CCIM designation at the age of 26 and is also an active member of NAR and ICSC. In 2009, Jill was invited to become a member of Vistage International, a chief executive organization. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in real estate from University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota and is licensed in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. In 2010, Jill received the honor of being listed as a Rising Star by CCIM Institute and in 2009 Jill received the distinction of being listed in North Dakota Business Watch's List 40 under 40. And i first learned about her through Rod Santomassimo's great book Broker's Who Dominate.
I am extremely impressed by Jill. She obviously has the business in her blood. But she also took great strides to create her path. In fact, she promotes moving away and working outside of the family at the onset of her career as one of the best things she did starting out. She also stresses delegation when trying to balance between brokerage, firm presidency and mostly maternity leave!
What struck me most in this interview is Jill's efforts to "cut out the noise". Our business is all about focus and she shares several techniques and anecdotes on the importance of this concept. We also touched upon pushing your clients respectfully but confidently as we are the market expert, not the client. Among a lot of other great tips, she also suggested tracking lessons learned from each deal and discussing them as a team or firm.
Jill is a talented and hard working broker. I enjoyed this talk and hope you do as well.
Ep 35 - New Mexico: Valuing the small deals with Dave Hill
In this week's episode of Commercial Real Estate Elite: Broker to Brokers I visit New Mexico and talk to Dave Hill the Director of NAI Maestas & Ward in Albuquerque. Dave is a rare story in that he transitioned into CRE relatively late after 13 years as a sales engineer for a large corporation. Interestingly, from there, he got his start at a small boutique CRE shop. And in the course of our talk he is able to, in hindsight, explain the positives and negatives of that opportunity. But one absolutely vital thing he did when he switched gears was 100% commit. He quit his job and worked like an animal to make his brokerage career work. And it paid off. He was able to leverage a great mentor relationship and over the years has become one of the most respected brokers in his market. In fact, he was named the 2013 New Mexico Commercial Realtor of the Year.
Dave and I really connected when we discussed the benefits of cooperative brokerage and networking within the brokerage community as hard as you do outside of it. And we moved on to discuss the importance of community involvement, and finding a niche that you genuinely will enjoy. It resonated with me as I'm struggling with taking on too much of late. I need to cut what I'm not truly passionate about.
One of the most important takeaways from this interview, for me, was Dave's emphasis on valuing the small deals. You can grow with the smallest of clients and you never know what a business can become. There are some really great nuggets of advice in this interview, I hope you enjoy it.
Ep 34 - Kentucky: "Moving the needle" with Bo Barron
In this week's episode of Commercial Real Estate Elite: Broker to Brokers I visit the great state of Kentucky and talk to a fascinating CRE expert in Bo Barron. Bo's got a pretty cool story. He served five years in the Marine Corps and then rolled into the business as a 3rd generation commercial broker in his market. He spent over 10 years in the field as a broker, owner, and corporate executive with Sperry Van Ness. He then transitioned into commercial brokerage coaching through The Massimo Group who's founder, Rod Santomassimo, I had the pleasure of interviewing in CRE Elite Episode 22.
The passion Bo has for coaching comes through loud and clear in this talk. And I appreciated his comment about how too many brokers approach this business like a hobby. This work deserves to be treated like what it is, a business. Your own business. We then spent a bit of time talking about Bo's experience working with his father and how, as a new broker, what it was like to be "afraid of the phone" and the lessons he learned in humility and truly earning the title of an expert.
Bo mentioned "moving the needle" a couple times in this talk. And that's what he's all about, focusing on best practices and figuring out ways to impact the market and do your job the right way. Maybe I've said this before because I just get so excited about each of this interviews, but this is such a valuable talk. And towards the end of the interview Bo dropped one of my absolutely favorite lines since starting this show. He said, "Emotions dropped out of school in 3rd grade and they're stupid". Listen to it in the context of our talk and you see how wise that comment is and how you can apply it to your own practice.
Anyways, I'm obviously a fan so I hope you enjoy this talk as much as I did.
Ep 33 - Michigan: "The big picture" with Kurt Kunst
In this week's episode of Commercial Real Estate Elite: Broker to Brokers I visit Grand Rapids, Michigan and talk to Kurt Kunst a broker and partner at NAI Wisinski. Kurt began his real estate career in 1997. He is a SIOR and a CCIM designee that, having explored those programs on this show and in real life, I can tell you makes him an expert in the field. Kurt’s got a pretty cool story in that he took a very roundabout way towards his commercial brokerage career. In fact, he made the “leap” with 2 young kids in tow and little to no experience or background in CRE at the age of 24. So it was certainly an interesting journey.
Kurt and I cover a lot of interesting ground in this talk including “roof-top marketing”, prospecting ideas, a best practice on your listings, the importance of having structure to your days and a tip on referral partners. Kurt also tells a great story about encouraging his client to focus on the big picture when closing a deal. It stuck with me because I’m going through something similar right now where we’re fighting over a measly $15,000. I need to push all parties to focus on the long-term benefits of the deal, not on the present value of $15,000 on a near-million dollar deal.
And, I just have to say, that I asked Kurt what is the most important personality trait a successful commercial real estate broker, and the answer he gave is genuinely my favorite one I’ve heard so far and something I will endeavor to implement myself.
Listen guys, this is a fun episode I hope you get a lot of out it, I sure did…
Ep 32 - Nebraska: "Try one more time" with Bryan Hartmann
In this week's episode of Commercial Real Estate Elite: Broker to Brokers I visit Omaha, Nebraska and speak with Bryan Hartmann the Senior Vice President of NAI NP Dodge. Bryan has over 15 years of experience in real estate. His experience includes residential and commercial land development, commercial development, investment sales, and office leasing. Bryan earned the distinguished title of Top Producing Broker at NAI NP Dodge in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
I was particularly interested in speaking to Bryan given his extensive experience in land sales and development. A recurring theme on my show this year has been a lack of inventory and Bryan and I discuss just that. The lack of building over the last 10 years has led to a dramatic strain on available space in certain markets and sectors. I've seen it locally here in Maine and Bryan's going through the same thing. People think low vacancy rates are a good sign for the economy and maybe that's so. All I know is that it's actually inhbiting deals as I struggle to find new and larger locations for my clients.
Bryan and I also discussed how he's leveraged his past experiences as a developer in understanding his clients needs as well as lenders, he explains the importance of not trying to "dabble" in residential or commercial real estate (do one or the other - tough to do both), and I was thrilled to hear Bryan's highlighted marketing tip - personalized newsletters. It's something I've implemented successfully in Maine and found very effective.
We also covered the importance of persistence. In his words, "Try one more time" on that tough deal. Lastly, I drop a nugget about why I love when my competition forwards my emails...
Customer ReviewsSee All
Justin is a great broker, host, and even better guy
My Best CRE Show!
This show is authentic and relatable to the successes and failures in the CRE journal. I have learned so much from the guests and hosts. Thank you!
Great show, different regions and different ideas for small - mid - and large market areas. Would like to hear someone interview Justin in the same way.