The company was founded by Tom Gibson, a successful commercial real estate broker and broker manager in southern California. Business was thriving in the mid-90’s, but Tom recognized a major change taking place. He saw brokerage becoming a commodity service. Brokers became complacent. They went from dealmakers to “order takers.” Professionalism waned. Yet, Corporate and Private Clients had greater needs for advisory and consulting services. There was a disconnect. The large brokerage firms were stuck in the past. They did not see the shift. They were not agile and were not properly serving the very clients who paid their fees. Tom knew it was time for innovation and change. He stepped out to make a difference.
In the early years, Tom advised corporate clients. These companies were opening, expanding and moving offices throughout the United States. Tom managed their transactions. He developed expertise in identifying the best brokerage talent in national markets. He would partner with elite brokers to close the most favorable transactions on his clients’ behalf. His fees were paid by partnering brokers. There was no cost to his clients. This was the beginning of Advantage Transactions.
More recently, Tom has adapted Advantage Transactions for Private Clients. They are successful individuals, families, family offices, estates and trusts. What they share in common is real estate. Just like corporate clients, they have occasional needs to sell, lease or purchase property. Unlike corporate clients, they do not have the resources or expertise to hire the best broker and manage the transaction on their own. That’s where Gibson Company fits in.
Tom Gibson had such an epiphany. It happened during a phone call. Business found him instead of him finding business. He was talking to Charlie Matthau, son of the late comedic actor Walter Matthau. Charlie owned a large free-standing distribution property in Orange County, California. He told Tom he had just lost his long-term tenant due to bankruptcy. Without warning, his tenant was gone. So was his rental income needed to pay the mortgage. Charlie asked for Tom’s help to find a new tenant or buyer. Tom offered to refer a good broker to handle the assignment. Charlie said, “No. I don’t want a broker. I want you.” With those simple words, the “ah-ha” happened. A new business was born.
What Charlie wanted was someone to identify, hire and manage the best broker for his property. He did not want to deal with a broker directly. Tom crafted a unique proposal. His fee would come from a commission sharing with the broker. That way, Charlie would not have to pay any additional costs. The concept was simple: Tom would find the right broker for the job, then oversee the broker and manage the transaction. It was a huge win for Charlie. He got a great broker along with a seasoned transaction/broker manager. Best of all, it did not cost Charlie more than a typical commission. The project completed successfully. It was a win-win-win, for Charlie, Tom and the broker.
“No. I don’t want a broker. I want you.”
What Charlie did not know, was that Tom spent over 7 years of his real estate career as a turnaround specialist for underperforming brokerage offices. He recruited, hired, trained, and managed agents. Sometimes he had to fire them. He was responsible for all the brokers’ performance and the company’s bottom line. For Tom, this engagement was a step back in time.
Charlie was the inspiration, and now Tom says that it is the “Matthau Method” that enables him to Advantage Transactions for Sellers, Purchases, Landlords and Tenants.