In March, the REthink team was able to spend two days with NAI leadership from around the globe at their Annual Leadership Summit in Dallas. While drinking single malt scotch might not be my forte it was enlightening getting to rub elbows with the best of NAI and the industry. After two full days with the leaders I had three major takeaways:

1. No Leader Really WANTS a CRM

A CRM is one of those tools that every commercial real estate leader knows they need, but the process of selection, implementation, and change can be terrifying. Sure, every commercial real estate leader knows the benefits of a CRM like REthink, visibility, reporting & analytics, and deal tracking, but at what cost? These Managing Directors and brokerage leaders are faced with the choice of adopting new technology that they don’t even want. These leaders are having to make decisions for the future of their brokerage.

After many conversations with leaders of NAI firms I learned that it’s not the leaders that want the CRM it’s the younger brokers coming in. Younger, more tech-savvy, brokers are craving the technology at their fingertips that they are used to. To attract top talent the leaders of the brokerages know that they need to have technology rolled out through their company. A CRM is the hub for everything a broker does – manages relationships, properties, and predicts the future. Now is the time to take a leap to the tech side and implement a CRM.


One of the CEOs of a firm coined the term BYO CRM (bring your own CRM). She was explaining how it was a challenge to rollout a single CRM to her firm so she lets everyone decide and buy whatever platform they want. In theory, this sounds like the path of least resistance, but then I started asking her pain points she feels with this approach. Without one solitary CRM a CEO is not able to have visibility into their team’s deal pipeline. What could turn into a simple report or a visually appealing dashboard is now compiling many different reports into Excel. Here at REthink we always say that a CRM is used best in a team environment and I got to see why it’s important to have your team bought in first hand.

3. Not Everyone Will Agree

REthink had the pleasure of getting to speak in three different breakout sessions with Greg Brown, NAI DiLeo-Bram & CO, Managing Director, and he gave some very insightful tips to his fellow firm leaders. Greg, before implementing REthink, knew he needed a centralized CRM system at their brokerage. Greg was waiting for all of the brokers to agree on what system they preferred over the others. Each broker had their own opinion of what system to use. Finally, Greg knew he could no longer wait for everyone to get on the same page. He had to make a decision. The advice Greg gave was, as a leader, just make a decision and dive in. To hear more from Greg Brown you can watch the recorded Facebook Live on our Facebook page.

REthink knows diving into a CRM can be challenging, but there are many benefits to getting your brokerage on the same system. Let’s chat about ways REthink can help.


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