Posted by: BayAreaComRE | April 20, 2010

The Argument for Exclusivity

There’s really only one successful way to get a service provider to fully envelope themselves, if they’re a reputable vendor, in a project you hire them on: trust. In all service lines of commercial real estate, development, contracting, architecture, brokerage, and in almost any profession, there’s a shift away from using a sole provider for services, and we’d argue that the end results suffer drastically because of this. This phenomenon may be a result of the internet age, advancements in technology, or other unknown forces, but it seems that in times of cost cutting and controlling, executives are stepping outside their job descriptions and trying to solve problems they weren’t trained in or gained the expertise to accomplish successfully.

In our line of business, as real estate advisors, we are very passionate about what we do. Furthermore, when we are hired for a project that will take a lot of time and effort, the hard work always leads to amazing results if principal and agent are working like a well oiled machine. However it’s important that a client entrust their agent to do the job that they were enlisted them to do. The analogy that is often used in our business is choosing a tax accountant (good timing, we know). It would be ludicrous for you to look three separate accountants in the eyes and tell them, “whichever one of you helps me pay the least in taxes is going to get paid and will file my return”. First off, none of these accountant’s will be working in the clients best interest, second they may even take short-cuts just to get better results, and third and most important the accounts will be dissuaded to put forth 100% effort when you discredit their trade and you commoditized the accounting profession. We’re all for competition, but once each accountant/agent/advisor/vendor has bid on the project and presented their value proposition, pick a horse, get on the saddle and crack the whip!

Another analogy we’ve been using lately is white water river rafting. Principal’s nowadays may approach the real estate world and say, “I’ve bought a house before, so selecting an office for my company or an R&D site for our laboratory should be simple, I can do it on my own or use multiple advisors as a means to an end.” It almost sounds like they’re saying, “I’ve swam in a lake before, therefore I can navigate a stage-5 rapids on my own or by consulting a couple river guides before I go out.” You may make it down the river, but you’ll likely have a lot of bumps and bruises, and may even have lost some supplies.

In the service world, trust is paramount. Exclusivity is a vital tool because it solidifies trust. Trust leads to better results, happier clients, lasting relationships and positive growth. The technology age is everywhere around us and information is rampant, and while it’s made principals a lot more efficient in the day to day, it’s important that they realize, sometimes certain rivers are best navigated by a seasoned guide.


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