Bob Knakal riffs on Massey Knakal’s renowned territory system

Specialization gave brokerage advantage early on with exclusive listings, he says

From left: Bob Knakal and the territories for a portion of Manhattan
From left: Bob Knakal and the territories for a portion of Manhattan

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.

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“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