Commercial Real Estate Executives Share their Views on the Future of Brokerage

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Earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend the CCIM Thrive conference in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to the privilege of presenting to a group of fellow CCIM’s during a Monday afternoon session, I also was eager to listen to the portfolio of panelists on Tuesday.

Specifically, I walked away with several observations which I believe are reflective of the brokerage industry and worthy of your consideration as you prepare for the end of the year and beyond.

From the beginning of the conference, you can see there was a higher level of energy among the participants. Scores of your CRE peers participated in continuing education opportunities and others invested their time and dollars on personal productivity breakout sessions.

The highlight for me was the panel of several CRE executives discussing the future of commercial real estate brokerage. Representatives from SVN, NAI, Colliers, Cushman & Wakefield and Ten-X shared their thoughts on several topics. Here are some highlights.

Highlights from CCIM Thrive 2016


  • Consolidation of brokerage firms will continue. NAI, Colliers and Cushman & Wakefield execs all confirmed they are still looking for firms to purchase.
  • Technology is no longer an option. The acceptance and integration of various platforms is essential to compete for business, and for talent.
  • Commissions will compress. As competition continues to grow, as more brokers are attracted to our profession, fees will become less flexible.
  • Commercial real estate brokerage is a profession. It is not an industry, nor a sales job. It is up to each one of us to represent ourselves in a professional manner and continue to enhance our practice.
  • Brokerages must adapt for today’s talent. Offices must become more flexible and scalable to adapt to a growing, mobile agent pool.
  • The days of the individual solo practitioner are over. Top performers must align with scalable or integrated teams. I couldn’t agree more – see creteams.com


Unfortunately, the panel discussion did not allow for a Q&A session. I believe this was a big mistake – as it did not allow for attendee participation. If provided, here is the question I was prepared to ask: “With the consolidation of brokerages, technology becoming a commodity and agents being more mobile, what is the future of commission splits?” It would have been interesting to hear the panel respond. Is commercial real estate going to trend to a residential model of flexible workspace, a portfolio of resources and higher-splits to align with a specific firm? Time will tell.

If you are interested in learning 5 Essential Pillars all Top Producers Implement in their CRE Practice, please join us for a free, interactive webinar this afternoon, Thursday, October 27 @ 1:00 pm eastern, 10:00 am pacific.


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