Cambridge Realty Capital has a long and trustworthy history of strong originator and broker relationships. “Cambridge’s reputation as a firm that values relationships is one of the reasons clients return to us for subsequent opportunities and also why they refer others to Cambridge,” Cambridge President Andrew L. Erkes commented.
What may not be as well-known is Cambridge’s track record when working with brokers. The originator/broker relationship is historically tricky, regardless of industry. “Brokers by nature are a very suspicious group and protective of their clients,” Erkes stated. “They want the best for their client from a lending partner.”
Cambridge Realty Capital is fully aware of what it takes to earn each broker’s trust. “There are some basic tenets that Cambridge follows on all deals originated by brokers,” Erkes noted. “Transparency and communication right from the initial conversation ensures that all parties feel like equal stakeholders and that everyone’s interests are valued.”
One of the very first issues Cambridge addresses when working with a broker is that of compensation. It’s often a taboo subject in spite of the fact that it’s on everyone’s mind. Rather than dancing around the question of compensation, Cambridge puts it all on the table up front. “Compensation is a key bedrock of broker relationships,” Erkes asserted. “If you ignore resolving the question of compensation, the relationship will always be challenging. It’s really in the best interest of all stakeholders to be forthcoming and transparent on the subject of fees.” He added, “We ensure that the broker is part of every discussion. Everybody in the relationship needs to be satisfied with their compensation.”
Another part of the deal that needs to be discussed early is how Cambridge sees the deal. “We always make sure the broker has a voice in these discussions,” Erkes stated. This includes discussing both the deal’s positive and negative points with the broker and how Cambridge will address both. “We are fully forthright as to how the deal stacks up and the odds of successfully doing the deal or not. Finally, we ascertain that the broker recites and fully understands the pros and cons of the deal. This is important, as false expectations are not good to begin any relationship on, nor are they a good way to respect the time and energy of all stakeholders,” said Erkes.
Key to those initial conversations is a commitment to transparency. “100% transparency is Cambridge’s model with any deal and especially originator and broker deals,” Erkes asserted. Cambridge understands how every deal works, whether broker-originated or otherwise, and clearly and honestly communicates the deal with the broker. “Even if we doubt the deal can get done, it’s crucial to share those feelings with the broker upfront and explain why,” Erkes added, “It is never possible to over-communicate, so we make certain to share all the facts along the way.”
Also key is patience. Cambridge remains 100% patient in all broker discussions throughout. “It’s important to us that the broker has all of the information necessary to apprise the client, and that the client doesn’t feel pressed to make a quick decision,” affirmed Erkes.
At the end of the day, it’s all about communication. “Like any relationship,” ERkes compared, “talking and communicating is the key.” He added that each party–client, broker, and Cambridge–should feel empowered to ask any questions upfront. “In many ways, working with an originator is like a marriage and both parties need to have a voice. From beginning to end, we make sure communication is top of mind.”
Cambridge understands that every relationship is important. “Each broker or new relationship has the power to make or break your business,” Erkes acknowledged. “Every broker or otherwise has their own network and will tell the network whether Cambridge is a partner that is willing to work with you. We want every broker that we come in contact with to say positive words about Cambridge.”