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Insights from a CRE brokerage legend, Bob Knakal


Legendary New York-based commercial real estate broker Bob Knakal joins host Chad Griffiths for a wide-ranging discussion about the industry, his experiences and how Knakal sees today's market.

Among the topics they'll tackle are:

  • 0:00 - Introduction;
  • 1:15 - The famous baseball card;
  • 3:43 - Navigating through tough years;
  • 5:53 - Today's market vs. past recessions;
  • 10:15 - Knakal's game plan for navigating a recession;
  • 15:04 - Real estate is a marathon, not a sprint;
  • 16:56 - Advice for buyers and sellers;
  • 23:25 - Prospecting in a market with fewer deals;
  • 26:30 - Knakal's cold call strategy;
  • 32:15 - A huge success story;
  • 37:25 - What makes a good broker?
  • 40:31 - Question from Ron Rohde about vendor relationships;
  • 43:40 - Large brokerage vs. regional brokerage vs. boutique brokerage;
  • 47:11 - Technology won't completely displace brokers;
  • 48:56 - Rising ocean levels affecting NYC?
  • 53:04 - Twitter & ReTwit.

As senior managing director in JLL's New York office, Knakal leads the New York Private Capital Group. 

He was chairman and founding partner of Massey Knakal Realty Services, New York’s No. 1 building sales firm.

Knakal started his real estate career in 1984 at CB Richard Ellis, where he met Paul J. Massey Jr. They both left CB in 1988 to form Massey Knakal. From 1988 through 2014, Massey Knakal closed over 6,000 transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $23 billion.

To date, Knakal has been personally responsible for the sale of over 2,000 buildings (generally considered to be the highest total ever for a single broker in New York) and over $18 billion in sales.

In 2014, Cushman & Wakefield acquired Massey Knakal. At Cushman & Wakefield, Knakal acted as chairman of New York Investment Sales. He was ranked the top originating investment sales broker at Cushman & Wakefield, globally, in 2014, 2015 and 2016. 

Knakal joined JLL in September 2018.

Since 2009, he has written a weekly column on the New York City real estate market called Concrete Thoughts for the Commercial Observer.

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