Leveraging Your Own Inherited Advantages

My conversation with the pal that I wrote about in my last blog got me thinking about inherited advantages. Commercial real estate is often built on the trust created by experience and reputation. That’s why my pal’s boss only hired people with valuable connections.

Advantages such as built-in insider connections may be unfair, but they exist. And if used well, an agent can bring big advantages to a client, especially with today’s increasingly complex real estate transactions. And while everyone may not be born with a last name that gives them access, everyone is born with unique gifts. Most people may not fit the profile that my friend did, with his inherited contacts to call on and trust fund, but people do have their own inner advantages and personal relationships that they can tap into and cultivate. Relationships made through hobbies or civic involvement, for example.

I recognized early in my brokerage career the power of inherited advantages, and I’ve been able to leverage them to create better value for my clients. My family has a long history of being involved in political and civic affairs, including serving on many boards in the community. My parents were staunch supporters of the public schools, and as a member of the school board in the 1970s, my dad, Bob, helped drive the leadership in de-segregating the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system. My mother was the first woman Chair of the Mecklenburg Planning Commission. My sister, Ruth Samuelson, has been involved in local and state politics, including serving as a member of the N.C. General Assembly. My wife and I are also active in local civic affairs, such as McColl Center and the NC Economic Development Board.

Not only am I proud of my family’s accomplishments, but I recognize the value that these experiences can bring to my clients. Deals these days have increased complexity. That’s the single biggest change for the world we are in now. Post downturn, every transaction has become incredibly complex, fromthe land entitlement process to bank lending requirements. And how do you get through it? By leveraging one’s wealth of relationships.

When planning your next project, download the Cardinal Prepared to Win-Win negotiation worksheet to help you come-up with creative solutions by identifying and leveraging those inherited advantages you have.

Thank you, Mom and Dad.

Real estate transactions can be fraught with frustration and pitfalls.

Sometimes the hardest part turns out to be working with your broker, the person who is supposed to help you through the complexities. Veteran commercial real estate broker and client advisor John Culbertson discovered that brokers’ interests aren’t always aligned with those of their clients. He realized there was a better way to advocate for clients and get the deal done.


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