to increase property value by helping owners save on
operating cost, the least of which is electrical.
In the heart of the recession, when many companies
were shedding properties, Greg Schenk, SIOR, CNE,
president of The Schenk Company in Columbus, OH,
“We bought at a very low basis and now, two years
later, we’ve gotten 100 percent of our money back,”
says Schenk “We are in an enviable position.”
That’s just good timing and nothing to do with busi-
ness expansion. Schenk, a veteran of the business, does
something few others in the industry do, he’s created
a second business, Schenk Seminars, a company that
teaches, trains and counsels others about the commer-
cial real estate industry.
Schenk has been doing the speaking and training for
about 16 years, but as he comments, it’s only been in the
past four or five years that he has picked up the game.
“I focus on it even more
now,” he says. “I’m not doing
the 30 deals a year that I used
to, but I don’t want to either. I
am as busy as I want to be; I’m
in the nice position of not having to work as a broker unless
Even the best brokers aren’t getting that kind of
action these days.
“IF YOU HAVEN’T
NOW, IT’S TOO LATE.”
importantly, he was dealing with a lot more bank-owned
On May 1, Zelonker joined with two other professionals, who were also toiling in the bank-owned
property world, to form a new company, Real Miami
Commercial Real Estate.
“We are still working with banks, we are listing for
banks and brokers, and we buy notes,” he explains. “We
have a lot of foreign clients, South Americans, Japanese
and Israelis. They want investment properties with an
upside, which is mostly what we sell, or properties with
good cap rates.”
He is also working with a number of smaller real
estate investment trusts out of New York. “A little over
a year ago, I sold an industrial property to one of the
REITs for $5.7 million,” he says. “They put $6 million
into it and I just flipped it to major, publically-traded
REIT. My client made a 25 percent profit after holding
it for just over a year.
Nevertheless, Zelonker notes,
“my main focus is going to be
for bank-owned properties,
REOs and notes.”
David Leibman, SIOR,
JD, spent almost 25 years
with two of the biggest companies in the commercial
real estate industry. Then a little over a year ago, he
switched gears moving to the smaller, entrepreneurial, Des Plaines, Ill.-based Op2Mize LLC, where he
became a senior vice president.
One of the things that interested him about Op2Mize
was its focus on sustainability.
“One of the requirements here is that we
all have some level of LEED certification
and I went last summer and got my LEED
green associate certification,” says Leibman.
“It already has presented interesting oppor-
tunities for me to do some thought-leader-
ship in the area and to talk about concepts
and how they apply to the use of industrial
and office real estate.”
Leibman adds, we recently met with
a smart-building technology firm in
Wisconsin and “we feel we can team up
and do some really interesting stuff with
companies, helping them use our technol-
ogy to get their buildings to operate much
If sustainability isn’t cutting edge
enough, Op2Mize earlier this year merged
with an energy procurement firm. Now, the
company provides in-house, independent,
energy brokerage for electric and gas in the
newly regulated environment.
As for the customer, Leibman notes, “if
you save a company $10 a month in electrical costs, that translates into a $50,000
increase in the value of the property at a
6percent cap rate. It doesn’t take much