This month, Welfont’s Friday Five spotlights our 2018 Dispositions Agent of the Year award-winner Rob Blakely, National Acquisitions and Dispositions Director in Tampa, Florida. There, he specializes in all aspects of commercial real estate.
What inspired you to join Welfont?
God and my Pastor. What answer were you expecting? Seriously though, I was at a point in my life where I felt that my calling was to be a Pastor but God had other plans for me. The warm family atmosphere and ability to be myself sealed the deal at Welfont in 2015 and the rest is history. I am blessed to be able to work with so many wonderful and talented people on a daily basis. We truly are changing lives at Welfont.
What does the Welfont culture mean to you?
I think having a comfortable, transparent and collaborative environment at Welfont is very powerful in our industry and truly creates an advantage when talking to brokers and future sellers. Additionally, Welfont offers endless amounts of advancement opportunities for the taking. The number one thing that has translated to success for me personally has been Welfont allowing me to be “myself”.
What advice would you offer to new agents starting at Welfont?
Be yourself. The most important thing that you can do is be transparent, authentic and maintain your integrity. In a world with email, social media and cold-calling, relationship building often gets lost and overlooked. In any media, it’s important to stay true to who you are as an individual and the rewards will follow. Do not be afraid to connect yourself with a mentor and ask questions. I like to use the phrase “play is the best teacher”. Repetition is key here, as we gain real world experience, through all-of-our trials and errors.
Tell me about your most memorable deal?
I’d probably have to say my most memorable deal involved my old company Sunshine Development Group based in Saint Petersburg, Florida. It was a pleasure to give back to my boss who had provided me so much. The seller (my old boss) ended up netting $1.3 M more than what he would’ve gotten from a traditional offer. The back-end buyer, who was also a local businessman, was able to purchase a building from our nonprofit that was already 90% occupied. And the nonprofit was able to use the funds to better serve their mission. The deal ended up being a win-win-win.
What learning tools would you recommend?
I tend to go with what works for me, which is networking and building relationships face-to-face.