Name: Brandon Polakoff
Title: Director – Tri-State Investment Sales
Company Name: Avison Young
Year that you entered your current field? 2010
List up to three CRE organizations that you are currently a member of:
- NESCAC CRE,
What do you consider to be your greatest professional accomplishment in the past 12 months?
Over the last two years I have originated and closed over $200 million in sales and has played a role in over $2 billion in sales. I originated and closed 344-348 East 62nd St. for $35.5 million in February after multiple brokers could not make the trade. The properties sold for a 2.7% cap, which will likely stand as a record cap rate for a multifamily property sale on the Upper East Side in the coming years. The sale was salvaged when I recognized the seller’s attorney made a mathematical error after a 12-hour lease review and got the deal back on track.
Who or what do you attribute to your success?
I attribute my success to mentors James Nelson and Marty Burger, who have led by example since I started working in CRE. I’ve never met people who are so kind hearted and work so hard. In addition, I credit my success to the approach I take. In addition to working around the clock, I also always look to offer information and guidance instead of a sales pitch, and use that to obtain and retain clients.
The majority of brokers are very in your face and focus on commission dollars, and I have tried to differentiate myself in that regard.
What advice can you offer to someone who is interested in a career in your industry?
To make it in CRE, you cannot get caught up in the highs or lows. This business works in waves. What’s most important is that you stay consistent in your approach and trust the process. You have to remain very organized, be meticulous in follow through, and work harder than the next person. If you are too focused on your split of a commission, or degrading your competition, you will lose in the long run. You also need to be a sponge. Every experience is an opportunity to learn and you must use this knowledge as a tool.
What was your favorite thing to do as a kid?
I am my best self when I am busy. I would set my alarm early to workout, then go to school, and do my homework and practice/play sports after school. I challenged myself to be the best I could be in all aspects of life. I’m a type A, but always make sure to share a softer personality. Everything is internal for me. But I had a real passion for sports competition. The comraderie, the passion, and the constant strive to be the best invigorated me. As long as I do everything in my control, I’m proud of myself.