What’s the Difference Between a Broker and a Client Advisor?

Voit Client Advisor

Experience matters. For 50+ years, Voit has developed a reputation for excellence in commercial real estate. So, what’s our secret? At Voit Real Estate Services, we believe our success stems from our people’s success, specifically our brokers, also referred to as client advisors. For those who aren’t familiar with the term “client advisor”, we’re here to help—and to explain how they make the Voit difference.

So, what’s the difference between a broker and a client advisor?


By definition, a broker is “a person or firm who arranges transactions between a buyer and a seller for a commission.” At Voit, while this definition is not inaccurate, there is so much more to being a Voit broker or client advisor, as we often refer to them. Brokers are transactional, focused on their own business rather than the client. Brokers tend to approach partnerships with the idea “What’s in it for me?” in mind. Brokers are hyper-focused on the commission, completing a lease or sale without the intention to necessarily repeat business with a client.

Voit Client Advisors

Voit client advisors are relationship-focused as opposed to transactional. Client advisors work with a long-term perspective in mind and are creative to reach the clients’ objectives whereas brokers tend to go with the easiest, quickest path just to get a deal done and move on to the next.

At Voit, our client advisors are fiduciaries to their clients. Client advisors, in fact, will usually have some kind of engagement agreement with the client to ensure we are representing their best interest.

Eric A. Northbrook, Managing Director and Partner of Voit San Diego, puts it this way: “When you work with Voit, it’s really a personal relationship.”

“We are not transactional,” he continues. “We are relationship-oriented, and I know that phrase gets overused but it’s really the truth and we take the time to really understand your business first before we do anything.”

Understanding one’s business and its unique needs are fundamental to Voit and how we serve. “If we don’t understand the business,” says Northbrook, “We’re just taking you out in the car and now we’re a glorified tour guide!” he laughs. “That’s not who we are.”

Our client advisors have a deep knowledge of the markets in which they operate, with the ability to adjust course very quickly as the market demands. Voit, additionally, is a broker-owned firm, which means that every decision is made with the clients in mind—not for shareholder profit, like in the case of many publicly traded firms.

Additionally, our client advisors don’t have geographic boundaries in which they must stay—as some brokers do at other firms. Our client advisors, as a result, can support clients in any market that they have an interest in exploring.

For all of these reasons, we brand ourselves as client advisors.

Voit Client Advisors


Voit Culture

So, we’ve got our client advisors, but what’s the additional difference between us and the larger firms you might see championed around Southern California? “We have a lot more fun here!” says Northbrook.

Our brokers are some of the happiest, most well-supported CRE brokers in this industry. But how do we know this? We listen. We trust our client advisors to keep us on the cutting edge of efficient practices and technologies. Voit is the place our professionals choose to stay. Our people are our greatest asset.

We offer a variety of services, including landlord and owner services, tenant and buyer services, investment advisory services, and debt and equity services. Voit is here as a resource to provide help and solutions.

We do so by keeping our three fundamental core values close to us: relationships, value, and transparency. Our service-first approach is all about building relationships, and our extensive network of working relationships is at your disposal from start to finish. Our resources are your resources, no matter how simple or complex the transaction might be. 

Additionally, the culture instilled in our client advisors is centered on being good listeners who are open to feedback because, at Voit, we value transparency and integrity.