FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Here you’ll find the most frequently asked questions. If you can’t find an answer below, then please contact us.

Q#1: Brokerage firms are brokerage firms. What sets Rubicon apart?

Our Response:

Traditional brokerage firms are typically built around transaction generalists focused are narrow geographic markets or property types.  They also traditionally work with clients across multiple industries.

Rubicon works with one industry – the credit union industry.  The result is a deep dive understanding of the special needs and nuances unique to the credit union market.  Our model is best described as “an inch wide and a mile deep”.

We can say with confidence that the result is a level of understanding that enables us to deliver solutions unlike any real estate advisor in the commercial real estate industry.  For this reason, our list of clients extends from coast-to-coast rather than county-to-county.

Like the world of AI — Artificial Intelligence — the amount of knowledge we possess grows exponentially with each and every client we assist.  And we are proud to say that we never stop learning.  The credit union industry is dynamic and we apply best practices from every engagement to our ever-expanding advisory toolbox.

Another key difference is our cost-savings fee structure.  We save clients money in the following ways:

First, our two decades of experience enables us to provide an array of services that would typically be delivered by a disparate group of firms. Today, three categories of firms provide services to the credit union industry:  Consulting organizations, real estate brokerage companies and construction-related categories such as architecture, design, construction, FF&E and design/build firms.

Different firms providing overlapping services typically results in higher costs and longer timeframes.

By providing a holistic service continuum, we effectively deliver a streamlined experience for our clients.  With fewer “managers” in the overall process — coupled with our use of brokerage commissions to pay for all of Rubicon’s services — the amount of total fees paid by our clients is significantly reduced.

Another way we save our clients money is based on the fact that the commercial real estate industry is commission-focused.  It is built upon a platform of sales people motivated by securing the highest transaction fees possible. This creates an inherent conflict between the brokers’ clients and the landlords paying their commissions.

By contrast, rather than commission-focused, our model is client-focused. This philosophical approach – unique to the industry – fosters a culture in which Rubicon’s success is a direct result of the long term and measurable results we generate for our clients.  In short, your success drives our success.

In addition, Rubicon provides a scope of services that go far beyond those offered by traditional brokers.  In a commission-based industry typically motivated by speed, we are driven by diligence and armed with powerful database tools.

This enables us to uncover and validate all key metrics that must be considered in the process of making informed real estate solutions.  For us, the extra time required to deliver these metrics results in greater results for our clients.

Q#1: Brokerage firms are brokerage firms. What sets Rubicon apart?

Our Response:

Traditional brokerage firms are typically built around transaction generalists focused are narrow geographic markets or property types.  They also traditionally work with clients across multiple industries.

Rubicon works with one industry – the credit union industry.  The result is a deep dive understanding of the special needs and nuances unique to the credit union market.  Our model is best described as “an inch wide and a mile deep”.

We can say with confidence that the result is a level of understanding that enables us to deliver solutions unlike any real estate advisor in the commercial real estate industry.  For this reason, our list of clients extends from coast-to-coast rather than county-to-county.

Like the world of AI — Artificial Intelligence — the amount of knowledge we possess grows exponentially with each and every client we assist.  And we are proud to say that we never stop learning.  The credit union industry is dynamic and we apply best practices from every engagement to our ever-expanding advisory toolbox.

Another key difference is our cost-savings fee structure.  We save clients money in the following ways:

First, our two decades of experience enables us to provide an array of services that would typically be delivered by a disparate group of firms. Today, three categories of firms provide services to the credit union industry:  Consulting organizations, real estate brokerage companies and construction-related categories such as architecture, design, construction, FF&E and design/build firms.

Different firms providing overlapping services typically results in higher costs and longer timeframes.

By providing a holistic service continuum, we effectively deliver a streamlined experience for our clients.  With fewer “managers” in the overall process — coupled with our use of brokerage commissions to pay for all of Rubicon’s services — the amount of total fees paid by our clients is significantly reduced.

Another way we save our clients money is based on the fact that the commercial real estate industry is commission-focused.  It is built upon a platform of sales people motivated by securing the highest transaction fees possible. This creates an inherent conflict between the brokers’ clients and the landlords paying their commissions.

By contrast, rather than commission-focused, our model is client-focused. This philosophical approach – unique to the industry – fosters a culture in which Rubicon’s success is a direct result of the long term and measurable results we generate for our clients.  In short, your success drives our success.

In addition, Rubicon provides a scope of services that go far beyond those offered by traditional brokers.  In a commission-based industry typically motivated by speed, we are driven by diligence and armed with powerful database tools.

This enables us to uncover and validate all key metrics that must be considered in the process of making informed real estate solutions.  For us, the extra time required to deliver these metrics results in greater results for our clients.

Q#2: What do you know about the Credit Union industry that enables you to serve CU’s differently and better?

Our Response:

A major difference is that we fully understand the Credit Union business at a holistic level rather than merely at a real estate-centric transactional level.  Our two decades of CU experience provides us with a clear understanding of CU operations, culture, financial and regulatory needs.  And very importantly, we fully understand the difference between bank customers and CU members.

This knowledge enables us to provide levels of information, insights and action than typical brokerage firms fail to deliver because they do not understand the unique strategic differences between CU’s and retail banking.  Differences that on the surface may be insignificant but are actually vitally important when it comes to market share, staff recruitment/retention and cost control.

Q#3: What menu of services do you provide and how are they better than your competitors?

Our Response:

With any new client, we apply a proven set of disciplines and tools that enable us to help them analyze both their current and future markets.  Here are four key examples.

First, we typically begin by creating highly detailed heat maps.  These maps are built upon key information that clients provide us along with up-to-the-minute information we can access and that we know to be important based on our two decades of credit union experience.

Furthermore, these maps enable us to provide metrics our clients need to make informed decision about both their current real estate, as well future growth opportunities.

Next, we provide detailed real estate market analysis.  This enables us to determine the depth of options available to you in any market area along with an analysis the costs required to grow or penetrate that market.

(Murray note:  Need more clarity on the following response).  Third, we provide all of the associated real estate transaction and negotiation services regardless of the type of transaction. We will help you manage your current and future real estate portfolios.

And fourth, we provide hands-on consultative services directly related to construction or renovation projects.  Our clients find this service to be highly valuable because of our ability to provide guidance from a true CU perspective.  The results are higher quality in less time at a lower cost.  And Rubicon provides this service comes as no additional fee.

Q#4: Explain your process for assessing our needs and providing recommendations.

Our Response:

Compared to other real estate firms, we work backwards. The CRE industry begins by focusing on the real estate transaction.  We see the transaction as the end result.

As a result, we begin with understanding and analyzing your overarching situation and goals.  The actual transaction work is an informed action based our research and analysis.

Our process typically begins by helping our clients analyze the demographics and growth areas of the markets in which they currently and/or may potentially operate. We then apply all applicable data to create a set of strategic heat maps.

These heat maps enable all stakeholders to have a detailed visual view of all key data ranging from market size, incomes, education levels, surrounding industries, availabilities, costs and more.  In short, all relevant decision making data is captured and applied to these custom maps providing a highly reliable tool to analyze and compare opportunities and options.

Where applicable, we then take a look at each of your existing locations, studying  how they are performing individually, as well as within the construction of your portfolio-at-large.

This information, combined with our understanding of the credit union industry, allows us to create an in-depth and quantifiable market analysis. It is only then – based on the strength of these defendable analytics – that we develop our recommendations for which real estate assets to pursuits and at what rate.

Q#5: How would you serve our needs even though you’re not local?

Our Response:

This answer to this question is another key differentiator for Rubicon.  First, some perspective. 

The industry is built on a culture of information silos.  As a result, no matter how active a broker or company may be in a particular area, they typically have a limited and myopic amount of information causing the client to miss opportunities.  Also, if the scope of an assignment changes — which is very common — the broker selected may ultimately not be the most qualified for the assignment. 

In addition, the vast majority of the services within the real estate continuum do not require being local.  In fact, we believe that not being immersed in the local real estate industry provides unique competitive advantages that benefit our clients.  The following are three key examples:

  • First, being from outside the market ensures that we do not have any of the inherent conflicts that are common in the real estate industry on a local basis.  
  • Second, as your zealous advocate, we do not simply settle for terms that are considered “the norm” in any particular market which, in many cases, are determined by the local brokerage community.
  • Third, our clients have access to all the information our team collects from all the local brokers versus the very limited amount of information which is known by any single broker.  This results in full transparency and professional accountability.
Q#6: How can a small organization like Rubicon compete with national firms?

Our Response:

A common misconception in the commercial real estate industry is that large firms provide more resources and services.  Having spent years working inside some of the industry’s largest firms, we know first-hand that this perception is not accurate.

In reality, regardless of the size and scope of any real estate services company, the resources actually available to the individual real estate professional are limited.  Sadly, many of the most sophisticated and beneficial products and services housed within these companies are only available to a firm’s largest clients, or come with an expensive price tag.

Rubicon’s services are as robust as any firm in the industry and, in some cases –such as GIS — superior.  In addition, our services are tailored specifically to the credit union industry which make them even more impactful compared to the generic offerings provided by the industry-at-large  And these customized services are provided at no charge to Rubicon’s clients.

Q#7: How do you charge for your services?

Our Response:

We believe that the real estate industry’s commission compensation model is extremely disproportionate to the services actually delivered to a client.  The typical goal is to close a transaction quickly with the most minimal effort possible.

By contrast, Rubicon clients receive a platform of services that exceed any real estate firm in the commercial real estate industry.  From comprehensive strategic advisory services and valuation, to transaction management, legal and construction consulting, our services are specifically tailored to the unique needs of the credit union industry.

We are paid through real estate brokerage commissions that are standard in the market. And we don’t charge for any of the other services we provide.

Because Rubicon’s team members are not commissioned salespeople, a significant amount of the fees paid to us by landlords or sellers, are invested in the numerous services we deliver to our clients at no additional charge.

We provide this unique fee structure because we believe this is the best way to provide service that results in long standing relationships with highly satisfied clients over time.

While in the short term, this fee approach cost us money, we aren’t in business for the short term.  Our vision is long term and our success is measured by your success and satisfaction.

Q#8: Who is the main point of contact for us?

Our Response:

As a flat, nimble and highly responsive organization, Corey Waite serves as Rubicon’s single point of contact.

In this capacity, Corey provides leadership for a highly experienced team dedicated to providing a comprehensive menu of services expressly for our credit union clients including advisory consulting, valuation, transaction management, legal and construction consulting.

Q#9: How will you communicate with us regarding status, issues, opportunities and needs?

Our Response:

We believe that communications are vital to any personal or professional relationship.  Because of that, one of our first operational priorities is to establish an agreement as to how communications are to be conducted. 

This includes the method, frequency and reporting preferred by each client.  Issues, especially those that will have a potentially negative impact, are brought to our clients’ attention immediately and are properly and completely documented.

In effort to provide the best service possible, we also proactively elicit feedback from our clients in order to address any needs or issues as early and completely as possible.  

Q#10: What technology tools do your utilize and how do they benefit us?

Our Response:

Rubicon has invested in and utilizes technology that consistently exceeds our competitors. Most importantly, our technology platform is specifically configured to meet the specific needs of the credit union industry at a level that competitive firms cannot match.

Specifically, we subscribe to and consistently draw upon industry-leading resources including Reonomy, Costar, Loopnet, and other property search related tools.

In addition, Rubicon has invested heavily to create its own internal GIS Mapping capability.  This geo-spatial technology system provides us with the ability to create interactive heat maps that result in highly visual data sets allowing for well informed decision making on all key analysis criteria.

Q#11: What metrics will you provide us to quantify speed to market, market penetration, construction cost savings and efficiencies? In short, how do you measure success.

Our Response:

 Holistically, our sole measurement is the overall client satisfaction of our clients.  

The most rewarding aspect of our relationship with a client is when they refer us to other credit unions.  Also, unlike the majority of our industry, Rubicon as an organization and each team member is totally accountable.  

Because the credit union industry is so tight knit, we have a much higher level of accountability than the balance of the CRE industry.  Another difference is that we actively solicit feedback from our clients during and at the conclusion of each assignment.  This is not always easy to do but complete transparency and feedback from each and every client is one of the ways in which Rubicon is constantly improving.

Tactically, our success can certainly be measured in other important ways, including:

  • The dollars saved on a transaction or construction project.
  • The success of the location we procure in deposits and loans.
  • The member roles we help increase as a result of a perfectly located asset.
  • The quality staff you recruit and retain as a result of a well-located and designed workplace.

Contact Us

Email: info@rubicon-cre.com
Phone: +1 (213) 462-2810
Address: 505 S. Flower Street, Suite 71412 Los Angeles, CA 90071

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