It all starts with a simple question, “How’s the market?”

Most CRE professionals give the wrong answer every time…

In today’s Massimo Minute, we’re sharing how Bob Knakal, head of NY Investments for JLL, responds to the market question and turns strangers into clients.

Here’s what we cover:

1: What you should NEVER say when someone asks, “How’s the market?”

2: How Bob Knakal uses the market question as a prospecting opportunity.

3: How to get strangers to say, “Wow, so-and-so is a true resource. We really need to talk.”

4: The questions you should ask strangers and prospects who inquire about the market.


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Hey everyone, this is Rod Santomassimo with the Massimo Minute, and today we’re going to talk about a simple question that you are asked all the time and that you always give the wrong answer. I mean, you always give the wrong answer and what could be an easy lead into an opportunity to get a deal is dead. You let it just fade away because you really don’t really recognize what just was put in front of you. So this is it.


When you’re asked a simple question, whether it be, how’s the market? What’s going on? How is your business? What you’re doing? We tend to answer in adjectives, right? It’s great, it’s hot, it’s slow, it’s fast, whatever that word might be. That’s the worst thing you could do. And here’s why. Think about that. Someone’s asking you, they recognize you are professional, they recognize you are a resource and they’re asking you straight out, so how’s the market and what you come up with is, “It’s great.”


Well, what the hell does that mean? Seriously? What does that mean? What’s great to you may not be great to the person you’re sharing that with. And you have yet to determined and or qualify what is their perspective? Where’s their interest? What’s their angle? Why are they asking? Is it to be social? Okay, that’s one thing. But this is also your time to shine.


So what I really want you to do here is when someone asks you, how is the market? How are things? Take a breath. Recognize that all the lights just went off and a huge spotlight was just put on you and this is your time to shine. So when someone asks you how the market is, there’s several things you could do. I’m going to give you some examples of what some of our clients do at the Massimo Group, what we shared them if they need to do, but we learned this from one of our clients.


And that is Mr Bob Knakal, who’s the head of investments for JLL out of New York City. Bob has been a client of ours for a long time. And when you ask him how the market is, instead of giving an adjective, it’s hot, it’s cold, it’s great. Well, it depends, right? It depends. But he’ll share with you exactly what’s going on in his world, which is investment sales in Manhattan and he’ll share with you the absorption, the transaction volume, the market trends historically over the last 3, 5, 10 years, whatever it might be. He’ll let you know specifically how the market is going. He’ll articulate that in a very succinct manner, at the same time, very quantitative, while giving qualitative insight to how the market is.


And what does that do? Well, that tells the person that asked the question, “Wow, Bob is someone I need to talk to. He’s someone that’s obviously an expert. He’s just not a commodity like everyone always says it’s great, it’s hot.”


Another thing I will share with you and I, I’m looking at all sources for inspiration, for education, for motivation. Yeah. Sometimes I check out Tom Ferry to Tom’s obviously a residential real estate coach. We do commercial real estate here at the Massimo Group and Tom talked about the same issue with his clients. One thing I liked that he said was one possible response is, well, it depends or why you asking. Yeah. Are you an investor? Are you a buyer? Are you a seller? Are you a tenant? Are you a landlord or are you looking to refinance? Right? Who are you? What’s your perspective? So that’s a great question. It depends. So find out when someone says how’s the market ask them, well, from what perspective, tell me about a little about yourself.


Well, I’m a tenant. Well, great question. Let me tell you about the tenant market. I’m a landlord. Fantastic question. Let me tell what’s going on right now. From a lease perspective, tenant improvements, whatever it might be. I’m an investor, fantastic in multifamily, here’s what’s going on in office, here’s what’s going on, whatever it might be. So that that response, it depends what perspective are you looking at? will help you also define how the market is. So in this Massimo Minute, the one thing you need to start doing right now, it’s figuring out your answer to that question. Because you can be asked that question matter where you are, cocktail party, networking function on the phone.


You need to articulate succinctly and clearly the qualitative and quantitative response to “how is the market?” And with that response, you tell you the person, wow, this person is a resource. I need to work with them or this person just a commodity, and they really have no idea what they’re doing. Don’t be a commodity. Be the resource. So when someone asks you how’s the market, make sure you can answer. Answer succinctly. Give them a question, give them an impression. Let them know what you’re all about. Well, that’s it for this Massimo Minute. For more resources, information, please check us out at


The Massimo Group

The Massimo Group

Commercial Real Estate Consulting and Coaching

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