The Real Deal New York

Bob Knakal riffs on Massey Knakal’s renowned territory system

Specialization gave brokerage advantage early on with exclusive listings, he says
January 29, 2015 02:03PM

Bob Knakal broke down the strengths of Massey Knakal Realty Services’ trademark investment sales territory system – which The Real Deal first reported that Cushman & Wakefield will soon be adopting for New York investment sales — in a new column.

Massey Knakal assigned brokers to specific neighborhoods, and each broker was paid a piece of the commission if another broker at the firm originated a deal there. Fine-tuning each territory’s size and configuring the commission-sharing scheme, he said, took “years to get right.”

“Knowing every property within a territory — and all of the comparable sales, buyers, sellers, zoning changes and new developments in that territory — affords agents, especially newer ones, an easy way to differentiate his or her services from thousands of competitors,” Knakal, now chairman of New York investment sales at Cushman, wrote in the New York Observer piece.

“In New York, a 100,000-square-foot property on the north side of the street can have a very different value than a 100,000-square-foot building on the south side of the same street,” he wrote. “Often, these idiosyncrasies are not obvious, and ‘knowing the streets’ provides insight. The more time a broker spends in a particular neighborhood, the more they get to know the local character and the dynamics.”

He said the specialization gave Massey Knakal an advantage early on, when acquiring exclusive listings.

“By clearly defining each territory, we promoted cooperation among agents, who shared information about buyers,” he added. “This ultimately led to a technology-driven database of property owners, which was updated in real time whenever one of our agents interacted with an owner.” [NYO]Mark Maurer

  • no-permits

    bob, you should grow your hair out again.

    • SohoStylist

      in this day and age, better not to take the pony-tail out of retirement. go for a mullet.

  • BS politician

    Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered! Sell your soul for a few bucks, pay the price. Soon you will be the janitor.

  • jack black

    If you read the article Bob outlines exactly why the scheme works…. FOR HIM. His team “closed” 142 deals last year by originating business outside of “his” territory and taking 50% of the fee from the agent on top of the 50% that goes to the house. It’s not hard to originate business across the city when you use the firm’s money to market the Bob Knakal brand to the mailing lists created by the agents in each territory. You read that right, Bob has access to all the notes, all the phone numbers, all the mailing addresses in the “amazing database” he describes. He’s figured out a way to make all his agents believe the territory system is protecting them. But the territory system is really just a way for Bob to extend his personal reach into all 5 Boroughs at his agents’ expense. The funny thing is the CW agents haven’t drunk the Koolaid and will quickly see though this scheme for what it is. I see tough times ahead for the merger of MKRS & CW.