David Block // Senior Vice President, CBRE, Inc.



It doesn’t matter what his portfolio says. And forget about whether he has a sense of humor or works like no one’s business. David Block insists his most important asset is his reputation.

Try day-trading that.

“I’ve been doing this for almost twenty years and I think what I’ve learned over that time is that the only asset that I really have is my reputation,” says Block, senior vice president at CBRE, Inc. “It’s really never about the deal; it’s never about the transaction. It’s about approaching the business in a consultative manner.” In fact, that’s often a precursor to advising clients against finalizing a lease or doing a deal, he notes.

“They realize that I don’t just care about closing a deal; I want a long-term relationship. I want to advise them on their real estate correctly. As a result, they keep coming back,” says Block, who is based in Stamford, Connecticut.

However, the luxury of repeat business doesn’t mean Block routinely snags eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. “Do I think about this stuff all the time? Do I wake up in the middle of the night and think about transactions I’m working on? Unfortunately, yes, I do,” he admits. “Maybe closing the deal is the only way we get paid, but if it’s only about that, you’re probably not going to do business with that individual and their company over and over again.”

Despite his track record, though, sometimes his considerable efforts have “led to nothing whatsoever,” says Block. “In those instances, it’s easy for [those clients] to talk to friends or associates, which usually becomes a much easier way to gain more business.”

No matter which way a deal goes, Block believes his attitude stems from the fact that he doesn’t consider himself “your typical salesperson. Again, it’s not just about scoring the win. I truly care about the people I work with.” Along those lines, Block says he tries to work with those he likes personally, which he thinks has helped him trailblaze a successful career.

Now, it’s not that turning down a potentially lucrative deal just because he doesn’t feel an unmistakable connection with a potential client wouldn’t be difficult for Block. “I don’t need every client to be my best friend; I’m not looking for this match or chemistry. [I just don’t want to work with] someone I don’t want to work with. I care a lot more about quality of life and looking in the mirror and liking what I see.”

Try day-trading that. Especially these days.