Earlier this month, Beth Mattson-Teig wrote a six-part series on the “Spotlight on Brokerage” for National Real Estate Investor’s online magazine. The series starts off exploring the recent wave of commercial real estate consolidation, the challenges of this consolidation on the parties involved; dives in to broker migration and adaptation; and concludes with the prediction of future consolidation.

Back in the late 1980’s there was the “Big Six” of accounting firms. I believe they are down to 2, or is it 3 today? Likewise, as of today, we have the big six of commercial real estate firms – namely:

[Tweet “In the 1980’s, we had the “Big Six” of accounting firms. Today, we have the big six of #CRE firms.”]

  1. CBRE

  2. JLL

  3. Cushman & Wakefield

  4. Colliers International

  5. Newmark Grubb Knight

  6. Eastdil

According to Ms. Matson-Teig’s article, the market is generally split if this consolidation will have a negative or positive impact on the industry.

Likewise, this series suggest that the number one challenge of consolidation is merging corporate cultures. No surprise here. We are fortunate to have clients in every major national, regional and local commercial real estate brokerage firms. Those impacted by this latest wave of consolidation express the same as the primary challenge.

[Tweet “The #1 challenge of consolidation is merging corporate cultures.”]

Another finding of this brokerage survey is, for those that responded, a full-service company is the most preferable firm to work for, while franchises came in as the least preferred. Our experience is a little different. For example, during our first years of offering coaching services to the brokerage industry, most inquiries came from independents figuring out how to compete with the big nationals. Over the last several years, this has shifted to national brokers asking how to compete with the more nimble independents.

[Tweet “Independents competing with big nationals has shifted to national brokers competing with independents.”]

To make this easy for you, we have added a link to each of these articles.

The National Real Estate Investor is required reading for any commercial real estate professional. My only regret is that this NREI brokerage survey did not disclose the number of respondents to produce their findings. Was it 200 or 20,000? Where they all located in major markets or were the respondents regionally dispersed? Obviously their findings will be skewed based on these answers.

[Tweet “My regret is that this NREI survey didn’t disclose the # of respondents to produce their findings”]

So what do you think – will the Big Six, become the Big 2 or 3? Who will remain? Let us know.

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