Success can be defined in many different ways, but according to Rod Santomassimo, CCIM, founder and president of Massimo Group, there's no “secret” to being successful. “Great brokers learned from the advice they received from other great brokers,” Santomassimo says in the introduction of his new book, Brokers Who Dominate (available at www.brokerswhodominate.com). With more than 25 years of industry experience, the career coach and adviser turned author profiles some of the top leaders in commercial real estate from companies and markets both large and small. Commercial Investment Real Estate asked Santomassimo to share what inspired him to write the book.
CIRE: How did you evolve from a broker into a career coach and adviser to commercial real estate professionals?
Santomassimo: There is no better education than doing deals. Over my brokerage career I have managed hundreds of brokers and worked extensively with institutions, regional clients, and local clients, which complemented my formal education as well as my CCIM designation.
But as the market began to change in 2007, it was apparent that there would be a need for a more personalized, focused approach to the brokerage business. I knew it was best for me to make a change as well and I founded Massimo Group.
Today, we are proud to include every major brokerage firm and/or their individual advisers as clients. We recently secured clients in Canada, and eventually I envision the Massimo Group becoming an international coaching conglomerate, focusing on the commercial real estate industry.
CIRE: What prompted you to write Brokers Who Dominate?
Santomassimo: I wanted to answer the age-old question of what makes top performers so successful. Wherever I travel for presentations or workshops, this is always the No. 1 question. So Brokers Who Dominate does just that: The book shares specifically how top performers not only attained but continue to maintain their dominant positions in the market.
CIRE: Is there a set of core principles that dominating brokers possess?
Santomassimo: Yes, eight specific traits of top performers are identified in the book: disciplined, oriented to client, market presence, industry focused, navigate career, aggressive, team oriented, and entrepreneurial. Thus, the acronym DOMINATE. The book goes into much greater detail about each of these principles and what they entail.
CIRE: With so many talented commercial real estate professionals in the marketplace, how did you select the individuals who are profiled in your book?
Santomassimo: I wanted to showcase a range of industry specializations, market locations, and experience levels. To start, I surveyed many industry leaders to find out who they believe dominates in their markets. I also approached national, regional, and local companies and associations with the same questions. It was also important to avoid profiling too many members from one single company. However, in retrospect, the book does profile more than its fair share of CCIMs!
CIRE: Many of the individuals you profiled come from big, successful companies in large markets. How can readers in small companies and tertiary markets apply the strategies that are used in large companies and markets?
Santomassimo: While it is true that many professionals from national brokerages in primary markets are included, Brokers Who Dominate also profiles independent brokers and those in tertiary markets. For example, Jill Duemeland, CCIM, in Bismarck, N.D., and Bo Barron, CCIM, in Owensboro, Ky., are with smaller firms in smaller markets, yet many of their successful strategies can be applied in any size company or market. The book offers something for everyone in commercial real estate.
CIRE: How does affiliation with professional organizations such as CCIM Institute factor into commercial real estate professionals' ability to dominate in today's market?
Santomassimo: It has a significant impact. CCIMs prove they are willing to invest in themselves and continually learn new tactics and strategies and implement cutting-edge technology to better serve their clients.
I would recommend all CCIMs follow a few simple rules: Use the tools, get known, and tell your story. If CCIMs simply use their incredible tools, make a point to get known both within and beyond the organization, and articulate the value of the designation, they can make great strides in becoming market leaders.
CIRE: What are the book's top takeaways for readers?
Santomassimo: A key item is that anyone can become a market leader. There is no silver bullet. You don't need to be born into commercial real estate or have keen analytical skills. This book proves it. Follow the principles and strategies shared in Brokers Who Dominate and you will have a roadmap to become a top broker in your market.
Jennifer Norbut is senior editor of Commercial Investment Real Estate.