Digital Recruiting

How I’d Steal an Employee from a Good Friend


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Your guide to Digital Recruiting

The competitive paradigm of marketing, business development, and taking people/clients from your competition has shifted drastically in the last five years.

In relatively recent times, cocktail parties, networking events, golf courses, and karaoke bars were where relationship and market share thievery occurred. Face-to-face networking will always play a role for business development tacticians but is only one arrow in a technologically sharpened quiver of digital arrows.

“In today’s climate, a proficient marketer will have touched their acquisition target multiple times, in many cases without direct solicitation, before ever swinging a club or tipping a glass.”

—Alex Cervasio, Archon’s digital marketing subject matter expert

Alex Cervasio bio page

In this article, I will cover some awesome terminology that I learned from my ninja partner, Jon Hellein:

“The Deep Dive”

Dave’s Tactical LinkedIn Protocols:

1. Digital Deep Dive:

diver underwater

Always perform a social media deep dive on anyone who will influence or affect your life (personal and professional). Research should be allocated in this order:

  • LinkedIn: Dig, dig, dig!!! Look at connections, education/alma mater, and recent activity (comments, articles and posts under profile section). Microsoft has transformed LinkedIn into an interactive, constantly evolving digital resume.
  • Facebook: Facebook is typically utilized for more personal connections. Facebook limits you to 5,000 followers, where other mediums have no limit. There are phenomenal tactical means to utilize Facebook for specific business scenarios such as:  
    • Specific targeting for retail leasing or sales. Our friend Beth Azor is very tactical with Facebook prospecting.
    • Getting to know a person’s characteristics, dynamics, and idiosyncrasies. Uncover their relationships and target for acquisition.
  • Instagram/Twitter: Typically supplants LinkedIn and Facebook research. Look for interests and comment connections. Also great for real-time posts, news and short videos that can go viral!

Tactical Example #1: How I Would Steal Davey Brown from JLL

I mentored Davey at our former company, he is a dear friend, and I’m very proud of his career progression. I even nudged him to hop on with Justin Greider (dear friends since grad school) at JLL when T-Hart bounced. I had started my new gig, we were no longer working together, but I’ve always respected the hell out of Davey. We are all still good buddies to this day, and I’m about to attend his wedding in a few hours!!!

Hypothetical Scenario:

Group of male friends at a wedding

**Picture taken on 1/24/20 at Davey/Britton’s wedding with our former teammate and my current partner, Jonny Hellein!!!

I’m running a team of 7 retail producers in a major market. I’ve never met Davey before, have heard good things about him, and have decided to research him as a talent acquisition to grow and build a landlord representation department.

His boss, John, is older and a few years from retirement at a national corporate commercial real estate firm. It’s called CBLL. His boss has a static LinkedIn profile, no activity and relies on his “cemented relationships.” That is all I know about Davey and their organization.

Here’s what I learned from a snapshot of Davey’s profile page:

Davey's LinkedIn Profile with notes
  • Davey and I have 636 mutual connections, 17 of which could make a strong warm introduction.
  • Detailed information about four of his teammates and limited details on his boss, John and a seasoned co-worker Billy Rodriguez (Bicho Raro).
  • We will perform an ancillary deep dive of all superiors, co-workers, and subordinates in that order of importance in phase II.
  • Davey’s specialty is landlord representation and opportunistically does tenant representation. Potentially trainable as an opportunistic hybrid role.
  • One potential client that might come with him if he leaves.
  • That another deal maker in our market changed jobs.
  • That he went to Florida State at the same time as some of my friends, and I have a lot of family members who are FSU alumni. I have been watching Cheif Osceola for years. The 1993 National College Football championship is to this day is my favorite game of all time!
  • That we are from the same hometown!
Sign for Flagler Avenue on a sunny day

The initial goal is to find commonalities, ice breakers, and enmeshment conversation topics. The initial bonds lead to a trust-based relationship. After the trust base is established the secondary goal is to uncover chinks in the competitive organization’s armor, formulate a center of gravity strategy and exploit weaknesses.

Weights near a scale

You do this through “Calibrated Inquiry” or “Tactical Questioning.”

Dave: What does John at CBLL do for his personal digital brand?

Davey: He has a LinkedIn profile, but doesn’t really care about social media. He thinks it’s all cats chasing lasers, Justin Timberlake memes, and Kim Kardashian shaking her moneymaker.

Dave: So, what does John do for your team’s digital brand?

Davey: (long pause…) Nothing really, we need to interact with our marketing department and do our own stuff.

Dave: So there’s no strategic content creation collaboration with your direct superior?

Davey: (puzzled look…) Nope.

Dave: What are the ages of most of his key relationships?

Davey: Most of them are his age or a bit younger.

Dave: Where do you think those relationships will be in ten years?

Davey: Many retired or not as relevant, I’d think.

Dave: All of those people had job titles right? Who do you think will have those titles in ten years?

Davey: A younger generation of people, obviously.

Dave: A younger generation of people who are addicted to their smartphones, my man!!!. These devices are now an extension of our brains. Potential relationships are looking at them every waking hour. If a commercial real estate firm doesn’t influence a message on digital mediums, they are unknowingly and fundamentally irrelevant.

Davey: That’s true, so what your company creates content posts for your executors?

Dave: Not exactly, over the past few years I’ve been developing a team and process for creating dynamic and rigidly consistent content. The next generation of young producers is looking to follow and ascertain knowledge through revolutionary technology. Tell me about your teammates and their thoughts on your digital marketing.

Davey: A few of them post great stuff, but it’s all their efforts. We take pics, but nobody really wants to get on camera for videos. Basically, there isn’t a process in place for consistent content creation or truly attainable goals/metrics. Just talking heads and static pictures in cyberspace.

Dave: I totally get it. Vlogs, blogs and dynamic posts are the wave of the future. W’ll help you create “Davey Brown’s digital brand” that will lead to a new tier of accounts and relationships. Vlogs are basically us talking like we are now and I can mentor you on the creative process for dynamic writing.

Davey: Very interesting, but can I monetize this?

Dave: I have hard stats on how we can leverage our digital brand along with Archon’s commercial real estate expertise into straight money for you. This strategy is based on high-level and tactical relationship building. Small teams and tactical client upgrading is our modus operandi. Let’s talk about your teammates and their accounts too. 😉

Davey: I definitely want to talk again.


This lesson is applicable for any principal, corporate team, small business or team leader in the B2B spectrum. This is especially true for my fraternity of compatriots that own small brokerage, legal, development firms, corporate teams & ancillaries related to CRE. Conversations like the one above are already or will be happening with your clients, employees, and executors if you don’t establish a digital presence. In short order, it will be tantamount to not having an email address over the next few years. Call me anytime if you want advice at (407) 506-9058.

Dave with family and friends

For those of you who don’t know my circle of friends, this scenario is truly hypothetical. Davey works for my good friend from grad school (Crummer 06’/far left) Justin Greider at JLL. He has a great book of business and is a phenomenal executor under outstanding and empathetic leadership. We all are at Davey’s wedding to celebrate his marriage to Britton. We have a great circle of allies and friends and I’m very thankful for my CRE fam/peeps!!!


Site Source Network map

Mike Guggenheim and I decided to write about two very important topics in anticipation of the Site Source broker network concept starting on Wednesday in San Diego. We are excited because our friend Beth Azor will also be speaking at the conference. 

Goal# 1: Educate all of CRE friends on the free value-add marketing that is available—especially boutique CRE firms in our network.

Site Source map of the US

Site Source has 45 boutique affiliates and damn near the interconnectivity of a Southwest Airlines Map. The opportunities for strategic engagement are limitless. Engagement and interaction are the primary goals of the San Diego conference and we have the ultimate conduit.

Courtesy of

Goal #2: Forewarn them about an inevitable trend that will disrupt CRE marketing and business development. This tsunami will make kings, destroy myopic organizations and fits in the palm of our hands.

Phone with data flying out

*When I was a senior in college in 2001 (DePauw University, Greencastle IN), I saw Greg Louganis give a heartwarming talk about coming out, the AIDS concerns with the Olympics and coming out to his family in the 1980s.

**Jon, Davey & I were a trio of executors for four years at a previous company.

David Cobb

David Cobb

David Cobb, Principal & Founder at Archon Commercial Advisors specializes in connecting Tenants w/ Developers, uncovering ninja CRE deals and cultivating a network of entrepreneurial influencers — ultimately leveraging information arbitrage to uncover unique and lucrative opportunities, stimulate expansion and create wealth for our ecosystem of relationships.

Leaving Already?

Stay in touch! Enter your email to get connected with Archon.