The New York Real Estate Journal recently sat down with Tali Israeli, COO of EPIC Commercial Realty (EPIC), for a question and answer session.
Shown (from left) are: Nissim Oron, Vlora Sejdi, Marcus Jecklin, Mark Akilov, Yona Edelkopf, Israel Prus, Tali Israeli, Justin Zeitchik, Baruch Edelkopf, Levi Chein, Sasson Elya and Aryan Binazir.
Q: What services does EPIC Commercial Realty provide?
A: EPIC is a full-service commercial real estate investment brokerage firm operating in the greater New York metropolitan area. With over 70 years of commercial real estate experience collectively, EPIC provides comprehensive and innovative real estate solutions to investors, property owners and corporations world-wide. The company is unique in that it offers a hybrid model that includes both exclusives and off-market deals. EPIC currently employs over 30 agents and is looking to grow its team by hiring candidates that are driven and strive toward excellence in everything that they do.
Q. What factors led to EPIC Commercial Realty's sales success last year?
A: EPIC closed over 100 transactions totaling more than $300 million in sales in 2014, marking a record-breaking year for the firm. The company more than doubled its sales revenue year-over-year. This success can be partly attributed to the firm's close relationships with local developers in specific markets and earned trust over the years.
Q. What does your new role as COO of EPIC Commercial Realty entail?
A: I handle day-to-day operations and oversee the over 30-person team. My role entails catering to the needs of my sales team. As part of my daily responsibilities, I'm involved in every aspect of the team's training and development and I provide guidance about market trends. My top priority is to make sure that my team is nurtured and closely attended to so they can focus on deal making.
Q: What is your previous work experience?
A: Throughout my career, I've always been passionate and focused on helping businesses grow and develop their operational structures. Prior to joining EPIC, I was a senior operations manager at Hearing Life/Total Hearing Care, overseeing the operations for several hundred locations. My responsibilities spanned the acquisition, integration, and lease negotiations of 500-plus hearing aid facilities, as well as cost control and facility maintenance. Prior to that, I was partner in the property management division and a vice president of operations in the real estate development and general contractor divisions at Shuster Management, LLC for seven years.
Q: What have been some of the highlights since joining EPIC?
A: Since joining EPIC, I have been busy growing the team along with creating and reinforcing organizational structures in order to help my brokers excel. At EPIC, we take pride in delivering top quality service to our clients. Therefore, our training program is critical so that our brokers can continue to grow, learn and achieve success.
Q: As EPIC continues to grow and hire new employees, what does the ideal candidate look like?
A: EPIC's strong training program allows us to hire well-rounded individuals that are eager to learn and grow in this competitive market. Our training program is well suited for recent college graduates, who are enthusiastic about learning market trends and our company structure. EPIC is also looking for individuals that possess strong backgrounds in sales.
Q: What is your outlook for the NYC commercial real estate market this year?
A: There is some uncertainty in the current marketplace with the 421-a tax abatement program. We are seeing investors shifting from new developments to multifamily buildings.
Q. What trends are you seeing in the market? (hot neighborhoods, product types, buyers, etc.)
A: We are currently seeing the migration of institutional funds from larger deals with high cap-rates to smaller, more entrepreneurial and family size deals all over the