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Real Estate REality Check | Real Estate & Business Career Success Education and Training

Jan 30, 2019


Today we have with us a real estate rock star who on a daily basis channels my “Albert Einstein-Snoop Dogg-Drake Bring Your A-Game Theory,” given that he strives to not only be a man of value to his clients, but one who takes Snoop’s line, “If it’s flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s, be the best hamburger flipper in the world. Whatever it is you do you have to master your craft” to heart, as he knows that if he does not, his iPhone will no longer “Light Up” with calls from his clients, and even worse, he will no longer have access to his “Hotline Bling.” Yes my friends, today’s guest is Brad Wolk, Executive Managing Director, Co-Head of Integrated Consulting Strategies at Savills Studley. Brad, an attorney by education and training, is able to maximize leverage throughout the tenant representation process - with a little help from the title of an old Lionel Richie and the Commodores song - by leaning on the “Brick House” of knowledge he acquired while working for five years in real estate development, exclusively representing commercial owners in the acquisition, disposition and leasing of various commercial properties.

On a personal note, this is not the first time I have sat down with Brad for an interview, as the last time was nearly 20 years ago, back when we both had full heads of hair. Like the dog and pony shows he puts on when attempting to secure new business, his was one of the most engaging, informative and off-beat interviews I ever had ... so good in fact that I hired him for my old real estate development firm right out of law school. More importantly, I take great pride in knowing that (1) career wise, the pupil has definitively exceeded the mentor, and (2) he met his amazing wife Jen, who worked at another of my firm’s offices, while at our old company.


Episode Notes:

At 2:42, Brad Wolk reminisces about his 2001 interview with Larry Haber for a summer internship position, while still attending law school. At 3:34, Brad shares his appreciation for the underdog mentality of working hard to prove others wrong. At 5:14, Wolk touches upon fear of failure and the need to please others. At 7:34, Brad discusses goal setting, going after challenging assignments, and the importance of prioritizing. At 8:42, he believes that one must respect the competition, and over prepare to win while utilizing an intelligent strategy. At 9:39, Wolk speaks about service and focusing on clients. He advises that one should listen and react, more so than they preach. At 10:49, Brad talks about preparation, drive and negotiation. At 12:00, he reflects on his first boss (Larry Haber), his partnership and relationship with Matt Barlow, founder of Savills Studley’s consulting group, and his relationship with Mitch Steir, Chairman and CEO of Savills Studley. At 13:34, he shares how he manages the talent on Savills Studley’s Integrated Consulting Strategies (ICS) team made up of 15 diverse professionals. At 14:53, Wolk dives into the topic of whether tenants have altered their strategies as a result of the recently enacted FASB accounting changes. At 17:05, Brad talks about how creating lists of both personal and business tasks, keeps him organized and on top of whatever he sets out to accomplish. At 19:17, he shares the ski mantra of, “If you are not falling, you are not trying.” At 21:01, Wolk mentions the importance of paying it forward by spending time with younger professionals or anyone seeking out help. At 23:31, Brad notes his ambition to grow ICS, as well as being a great role model for his three kids. At 25:25, he stresses that one needs to have short memory when dealing with rejection, and that one cannot take the losses to heart. At 26:36, Wolk believes that the key to success and longevity is surrounding yourself with people that are smarter than you. At 27:11, Brad considers any word that resembles an excuse as “nails on a blackboard.” At 29:27, he shares that he is blessed to wake up daily, and work with his friends at Savills-Studley. At 30:45, Wolk speaks about working on complex deals, and taking challenging shots down field. At 31:31, he feels that the time of his life is “now,” as life continues to get fuller, and is enjoying time with his wife and kids. At 34:16, Brad Wolk closes the door on the podcast with a message that pertains to stamina and extreme focus when on the “5-yard line” of a deal.