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Episode 37 Show Notes

Have you ever heard of a firm that helps clients figure out how to buy their furniture for a project rather than what to buy? That’s exactly what the ladies from CBRE do and their sole goal is to help clients, dealers, and manufacturers come together and build healthy relationships.

Julie, Melissa, and Aileen understand all aspects of the customer buying process from design to purchase and they are there to fill in the gaps between the design firm and the dealer. They actually help facilitate better dealer relationships thereby creating long term relationships.

They also help the dealer create stronger relationships with manufacturers. 

Listen as they share examples of value they’ve created for their customers and why focusing on people is so important to them. They’re giving some amazing advice to our community and looking to change some perspectives. 

They’re also digging deep into their RFP process and why they never really go quite to plan. This is definitely an interview you won’t want to miss if you’re looking to expand your industry relationships.

In this episode:

[02:06] Welcome to the show, ladies!

[02:18] Julie shares her title and what she oversees.

[02:39] Melissa gives her title and what her role is.

[02:57] Aileen focuses on the strategic side with clients.

[03:18] Listen as Julie explains what the CBRE is.

[07:30] The CBRE comes in ideally either immediately before or just after the design firm is retained.

[09:16] They are acutely aware of the dealer and their role, and they are there to fill in the gaps between the design firm and dealer.

[10:07] Julie shares an example of the value they create for the customer.

[14:20] Listen as they speak about what the people component means.

[17:13] Julie discusses what the CBRE RFP looks like and the data they need.

[25:33] They don’t want the dealers to come in with a PowerPoint; they want to talk to the dealer about their service capabilities.

[29:28] Aileen shares the advice she would give to the dealer community.

[31:04] Melissa’s advice is to learn to speak in terms of square feet.

[33:15] Julie says for all the RFP’s they’ve worked on, they have never had one that didn’t have errors. She would suggest having a SWAT team to look for errors.

[36:15] Julie discusses the advice she would give to manufacturers in the industry.

[39:06] Aileen agrees with Julie that the dealer and the manufacturer need to have a strong partnership.

[40:22] Melissa says that having an open conversation with the manufacturer is key; ask questions, and don’t break the rules.

[44:25] Thank you all for being on the show!

Links and Resources: 

Connect with the CBRE Furniture Advisory Service Group:


Julie Deignan

Melissa Perttunen

Aileen Pendleton


[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

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The Trend Report is proudly sponsored by INDEAL. Partners in progress in the commercial interiors industry. To learn more about INDEAL, please visit their website at 

The Trend Report introduction music is provided by: Werq by Kevin MacLeod Link: License:

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