Jan 10, 2019
Welcome back my friends to Real Estate REality Check. Today we have with us the legendary Bob Knakal, a man who has turned his relentless passion and once stellar pitching career at the University of Pennsylvania - along with two mistakes, one regarding a job interview for his freshman summer internship and the other, asking a real estate owner back when there was no such thing as Google Maps or Waze where 52 Vanderbilt in New York City was - to have formed the groundbreaking Massey Knakal Realty Services. In the earlier part of the decade, he and Paul Massey later sold Massey Knakal to Cushman and Wakefield, where Bob became Chairman of New York Investment Sales. In the fall of 2018, Bob took his talents, along with the vast majority of his team, to Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), where he is the Chairman of New York Investment Sales.
At 1:53, Bob Knakal shares what he learned from his early days in the real estate industry, and admits that he made many mistakes along the way, but fortunately did not make them more than once. At 2:58, Knakal notes that his move to JLL has been great and could not be happier, but calls it difficult and challenging in the same breath. At 3:57, he reveals his “oh my” moment, the second deal that Paul Massey, CEO of B6 Real Estate Advisors, and Bob closed when they were “kids.” At 6:29, Knakal believes that the best way to be a hustler is to get to sleep early. Bob speaks highly of his relationship with broker coach Rod Santomassimo (listen to Podcast Episode 016). At 8:57, he advises that there are 165,000 investment properties in New York City, and talks about the territory system he and Paul implemented at Massey Knakal (and how they learned early on that they were in “the information business, not the real estate business”). At 10:34, Knakal describes his goals and aspirations for the JLL investment sales platform. At 11:24, he mentions that doing the right thing, along with possessing integrity and honesty, forms the backbone of both business and life. At 13:09, Knakal talks about the importance of goal setting – writing goals down, focusing on the goals all the time, and having the discipline to achieve them. At 14:01, he touches upon discipline once again, and remaining true to your core values. At 15:46, Knakal notes that when hiring, Massey Knakal looked for “PHDs” (i.e., those that were poor, hungry and driven individuals who were motivated and hungry to succeed). At 18:08, he provides a brief synopsis on the state of the investment sales market in NYC. At 21:19, Knakal discusses employee mentoring and business coaching, and said that “helping people you work with should be a part of any platform.” At 22:48, he shares that he turned down a private office at JLL, and instead sits in the middle of the bullpen with the “troops.” At 23:19, Knakal compares the world with and without social media and technology, and believes that the brokerage business will fundamentally change within the next 20 years (or sooner). At 26:22, he provides some negotiating pointers, and notes that brokers need to realize that they are the intermediary in a real estate deal. At 27:55, Knakal talks about finding the balance between family, community and work. At 33:21, he explains doing by trial and error early on in his career, and not having the foresight to ask people who have been there and done that for advice. At 35:32, Bob Knakal closes the door on the podcast with a message on learning how to be likeable, as people in business tend to work with people that they like. He strongly believes that courses on likeability, selling and persuasion should be taught formally in an educational setting.