An Open Letter to Real Estate Brokers

Hey Guys,

I hope is well. Everybody had it tough during the Recession, but you guys had it tougher than most. Nobody was growing their business, so there weren’t many new buyers or renters. People who needed to sell didn’t want to sell at a loss. Or were just too stubborn to admit they made a mistake. Human nature, I guess.

Things seem to be getting better of late. Maybe you are seeing it. I hope so. More phone calls. More activity. All good stuff.

Look, we value jockeys know how you feel about us. Green eyeshade types. Always calling. Taking up your time. We sure as heck don’t put a nickel in your pocket. And what are you going to tell your spouse? “Honey – good news! I didn’t close any deals today, but I helped three appraisers!” Probably not a conversation you want to have.

But here’s the thing. We are all on the same team, and the rules have changed. The modern market relies on a (relatively) free flow of information. The days of real estate omerta, of keeping secrets, are over.

In years past, car dealers always had the upper hand over consumers because the had exclusive control over information. This is no longer true. Information readily available over the internet forced dealers to change their business model.

I know a very successful family of real estate operators. They have one hard and fast rule: nobody, but nobody gets to know anything about their business. Ever. Not the rents they get, not their occupancy, not their expenses.

But what if they need financing? The bank is certainly going to want some details. And what if their property is badly assessed? Their tax appeal will be dismissed out of hand if they do not answer the Standard Interrogatories, which call for, you guessed it: leases, occupancy and (three years of) income and expenses.

I can’t speak for all appraisers, but as far as I am concerned, this is a two way street. Me database es su database. Whatever you need. Brain available for picking, thorny problems welcome.

I know I can’t fix this problem overnight, so let me start with this:

How can I help you?

– Bob Gagliano

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