Neil Pierson is editor of Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or email@example.com.
Karl Landreneau serves as senior
instructor and member of the
national board of directors for the
CCIM Institute. He has held multiple
leadership positions with the CCIM
board, served as its 2014 president
and teaches marketing classes to
other commercial real estate professionals. Landreneau is the director
of commercial sales and leasing at
NAI Latter & Blum, which has several
offices around Louisiana. Reach
Landreneau at (225) 297-7859 or
Senior instructor, CCIM Institute
By Neil Pierson
Improve your marketing
game to boost your business
Convincing a client that you have the specific expertise to help them close a deal often entails going beyond
a face-to-face conversation. Commercial mortgage brokers need to do their homework, compile relevant data
and show hard evidence of their abilities to prospective clients.
To do that, mortgage brokers also may need to maximize their partnerships, master technological advances
within the industry, and have a tenacious attitude around education and marketing. That’s the message that
Karl Landreneau, a certified commercial investment member (CCIM) and veteran of Louisiana’s commercial real
estate scene, gives to his peers as an instructor through the CCIM Institute. Landreneau spoke with Scotsman
Guide about the marketing and associated efforts brokers should be employing to strengthen their business.
What things do you focus on when teaching marketing principles to other commercial real estate
As we teach different concepts through the courses, we are, as practitioners, able to use the concept and apply the
concept to everyday use. … Other than just doing the quote “book learning,” we take the book learning and actually apply it to real life to try to teach how to make some money with it. And I think that’s one of the neatest things.
… I’m fortunate in that I manage six commercial [real estate] companies in Louisiana that [NAI Latter & Blum]
own and I have a full range of brokers, from just getting in the business, new recruits, to 30-year veterans.
And having that knowledge is great because I get to teach and use that theory every day, and get really good
examples, so to speak, to take to the classroom.
What advice would you give to a broker who’s just starting out in commercial real estate, even if they
have experience with residential properties?
My advice is always, “Education, education, education.” … You also get that same education by teaming with
a senior agent, asking to be a junior agent or assistant. When you do that, you need to exceed their expectations, so you learn and they bring you in on more deals. … You need to know geography because of our GIS
(geographic information system) mapping business-analyst usage, and the use of that style of technology is
driving the real estate business.
… We kind of have a philosophy that technology is great. It will not replace face-to-face [interactions],
necessarily. However, the only technology we use is technology that we can apply and hopefully make money [with].
All the other stuff, the fluff, we don’t need and we actually do not recommend or use.
What’s your advice for an experienced broker who has some marketing knowledge and may be looking
to start their own business or expand their existing business?
Take a hard look at what you’re doing. Generally speaking, you’re an independent contractor. Make sure you
know the business side and what it costs to do business, No. 1. Is it really the move you need to make, or maybe
[do] you need to do a shift in your business model?
… The other thing is using technology for marketing, for prospecting and anything else. You have to have that,
and I personally think that a one-man show is about gone … because of what’s required, what value you have
to bring to any project of any size. You’re going to have to have some type of team, either teams that are very
specific to a discipline or a team that’s specific to a project or a requirement, that you can assemble and get all the
necessary parts for that requirement, to end up getting that job and getting that sale.
Are there specific reasons to have a marketing partner, or can mortgage brokers learn and implement
this knowledge on their own?
Again, it comes back to the pace, the timing and time management. What I kind of preach, so to speak, to
my guys is to understand that if you’re a rainmaker, what is your real talent? Is your talent to be out creating
business? If that’s your forte, and you’re the lead, every deal needs some type of marketing, it needs some
type of presentation, it needs some type of research and then it needs some type of data collection. And even
though you can probably do all of that, how much time does that now take? It comes down to mathematics. n