How To Succeed In A Family CRE Business
The numerous legacy family CRE businesses throughout the city that have bought, developed and/or sold properties are thriving. Today, the next generation at such firms joins the industry with a new approach to the business and a different outlook on how to succeed, GlobeSt.com has learned EXCLUSIVELY.
A group of four such professionals—and one non-family member who works at a family operated firm—gathered in Midtown Wednesday afternoon at RealShare New York.
“In 2010, we decided to take money out of the properties and put it right back in with capital improvements,” declared Jonathan Kaufman Iger, president and CEO, Sage Realty Corp.
“We spent $160 million in six years and went through a full repositioning of our properties, putting in amenity spaces, shared boardrooms, outdoor spaces with features such as movie nights as well as indoor and outdoor yoga. Programing the space and working with the community has been our focus.”
Added Danielle Winick, associate, Winick Realty Group, “We see a shift to data and analytics, clients want more information on neighborhoods. We’re able to track where tourists and residents are and map it, providing information in a format millenials like. We’re also building a social media platform and using it to brand ourselves by sharing what’s going on in the market and what’s happening around our properties.”
Winick also is using social media for research, she noted, allowing the firm to curate information. “We’re able to get trends on hotels and other properties all around the city and maybe find a tenant that isn’t known to any of our competitors.”
Others are focused on pockets of the city. “We invest in areas with scarce supply and insatiable demand,” shared Jared Epstein, VP and principal, Aurora Capital Associates. “The Meatpacking district has some unique qualities to offer, so companies will continue to chomp at the bit to be there.”
Epstein isn’t related to anyone at Aurora, but notes that he has been “adopted” by the Cayre family, which runs the firm. The family dynamic can present challenges, but it offers up opportunities too, the panelists noted.
“To be surrounded by people you love is great in some respects but it can be really complicated,” acknowledged Levine. “If we have an argument, it doesn’t end in the office—it spills over.”
So how does he address this issue? “It’s about creating a balance and talking to others who’ve been through it. If I have a beef with father, we will settle it in private. You have to stand up for yourself but you also need to respect the other family members.”
According to Winick, open discussion is encouraged at her family’s firm. “My father always has welcomed opinions and advice from anyone on what steps we should take and what we can improve. Also, our generation gap allows us to challenge each other and come up with new ideas together that we may not have been able to find on our own.”
For Kalikow, there is a litany of advantages to working with his relatives. “When you’re in a family business, you are able to voice your opinion in ways that others may not be able to do. I act as a conduit between others and my father, and I have an open door policy.”
He continued, “If a decision is made by my father or brother, I may have insight into it that others don’t have. We keep things in check: from 9 to 5 we’re a business but after that, we’re family.”
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Winick Realty Group is one of New York’s prominent real estate firms specializing in retail leasing and advisory services. Over the years, Winick Realty has served a broad range of domestic and global clients, with a strong emphasis on long-term representation and expansion and growth strategies. Winick Realty Group is highly recognized as a forerunner in the retail real estate market.