Al Rose, who’s been a very prominent figure in commercial real estate brokerage in Los Angeles since the 1950s, passed away on Thursday, February 14th, and for those of us who knew him well, we know that we will never again meet someone quite like him within our industry.

He combined wisdom, success, knowledge, expertise, even-mindedness, complete honesty, a great devotion to ethics, and a wonderful sense of humor, all in one man.

I had the great pleasure of working for Al and along with him for many years, and I’ve never met anyone else quite like him within our industry. In an industry where we’re constantly dealing with massive egos, both in the clients that we’re representing and with the brokers themselves, Al always had his way of projecting calmness, professionalism, and certainty towards people within his transactions, and this would then usually have people align with his opinion on how they should then be moving forward.

While other brokers will go for the hard close, oftentimes then alienating their clients and actually pushing them away from closing the deal, Al would be in his own unique way like a businessman-buddha, calmly presenting why this deal was really in the client’s best interest to move forward with, and doing so in a calm and rational manner, while being backed with his own aura of certainty and conviction…and then the client would oftentimes just “get it” and then finally move forward.

Compare this instead with many brokers who try to come over the top and put pressure upon their clients, trying to manipulate them into moving forward, believing that the client won’t really detect what they’re trying to do.

We all wish we could experience a salesperson selling us a product where we felt that they truly stood for protecting our own best interests at all times, and Al was a living embodiment of this principle. He had great long-term relationships with his people…clients who would never want to work with anyone else, because they knew that they could never find another broker quite like him.

You’d think that more salespeople would understand the principle that Al always seemed to operate under, “Deliver great service to your people and always look out for their own best interests, then they’ll become your long-term clients, and then they’ll refer their friends and business associates to you also.”

In addition, Al was a complete pleasure to work along with, and a great sounding board when seeking his expert opinion on how to best handle specific situations within brokerage. Keeping this in mind, decades ago he was awarded the distinction of being a Master of Industrial Brokerage by AIR CRE, the predominant association for commercial real estate brokers within Southern California, and that award has only been given out to less than 1% of all of the brokers who have ever been members of that fine organization.

With Al’s passing, there’s now a void within our industry in terms of trying to find more people who are just like him, and for those of us who worked along with him and knew him well, we know that he’s someone who will never, ever be replaced within our own lives.