Back one day in 1992, several prominent Long Island brokers held a far-ranging, lively conversation about the real estate industry. The discussion touched on many important areas, not least of which was the need to raise ethical standards and overall professionalism. No definitive answers resulted, but everyone agreed they should keep talking.
Out of that conversation the Commercial Industrial Brokers Society (CIBS) of Long Island was born. This year marks CIBS' 20th anniversary; it is also my 20th year with CIBS. I'm privileged to serve as president during this celebratory year and I'm pleased to highlight some accomplishments of our first two decades for you.
Every CIBS member commits to the organization's Code of Conduct defining ethical behavior and professionalism. CIBS continues to raise the bar when it comes to ethics. Earlier this spring, our organization updated the code to address the practice of sharing commissions on co-brokered deals, often a contentious topic in part because parties too often don't document their terms. Now, CIBS requires the listing broker to put commission rates and terms on paper and make them available in a timely manner. Breaking the code is grounds for expulsion. CIBS is among the first commercial real estate organizations in the country taking a stand on this issue.
CIBS programs interactive events featuring influential speakers throughout the year. Recent programs have touched on such topics as commercial space utilization; legal issues impacting tenants and lessors; new real-estate finance techniques; mixed-use development; land-use and planning; economic development and more. CIBS members meet congressmen and county executives; regional planners and town supervisors; economic development directors and village mayors.
CIBS influences public opinion through published articles in leading publications, newspaper interviews, think pieces and speaking engagements. CIBS officers opine on such topics as economic development, taxation, housing, mixed use and sustainability.
Closer to home, CIBS has created new initiatives around the issue of generational continuity. Our market is growing older; getting started is getting tougher; fewer young people are entering the field. CIBS helps the next generation Millennials-and those becoming brokers in mid-career-through a series of initiatives designed to encourage newer brokers to get involved. CIBS appoints two younger brokers to the board on non-voting roles; offers tiered membership pricing and staggered fees; and books a calendar of lively social mixers aimed at the under-40 crowd.
A key aspect of ethical behavior is social responsibility. I'm proud to say that CIBS has made significant donations to organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island and John J. Byrne Community Center in Uniondale. Earlier this year CIBS established a scholarship fund at Hofstra University in memory of Lawrence Feldman. Feldman was a driving force behind CIBS and an inspirational man who died much too young.
Proud as I am of CIBS' accomplishments over our first 20 years, I believe our greatest achievements lie ahead. If you're active in the Nassau or Suffolk markets, please consider joining CIBS. At age 20, we're just hitting our growth spurt!
As appeared in NY Real Estate Journal:
By: David Pennetta is president of CIBS, the Commercial and Industrial Business Society of Long Island.