Month: September 2015

Trion Welcomes Louis Pfaff, MBA! New Acq

Trion Welcomes Louis Pfaff, MBA!

New Acquisition and Operations Manager at Trion Management.

Trion Real Estate Management has always emphasized the importance of our moto, Trusted, Responsive, Invested and Always on Call. In recent months we have made great strides in improving all these aspects and one vital part of our growth and organizational process has been the addition of our new Acquisition and Operations Manager, Louis Pfaff, MBA.

Louis Pfaff recently joined the Trion Team as the Acquisition & Operations Manager. Louis earned both a Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a concentration in Finance and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Real Estate and Urban Analysis from the University of Florida. He completed both Programs with distinction and finished near the top of his class.

Louis’s diverse real estate experience spans over 15 years. During which time, he was responsible for over 2,000 leases, regularly managed a portfolio of over 400 diverse properties, and successfully completed hundreds of rehabs. He also benefited as an Officer at Bank of America’s Commercial Real Estate Group, CBRE as a senior multi-family underwriter, and later at Integra Realty Resources as a commercial real estate appraiser.

His investment and acquisition experience encompassed hundreds of purchases in multiple states. This includes but was not limited to, office, multi-family, land, and apartment/condo conversions.

At Trion Louis regularly helps identify, manage, and analyze worthy potential commercial real estate purchase opportunities, oversees the acquisition and transition process of all new management accounts and improves operational efficiency. He has an integral role in both the acquisition and operational processes, and ultimately ensures that Trion managed properties are performing at optimal levels. His continual recognition of the importance of emerging and changing technology in the property management sector continuously help identify what our best practices should be.

We would like to welcome Louis Pfaff, MBA to the Trion Team and immediately implement his extensive experience at all our managed properties.


Managing Commercial Tenants

While having goods and services like retail stores, banks and dry cleaners on-site can be convenient and viewed as a positive by co-op or condo unit owners and neighbors, not every commercial tenant is a good fit for every community or HOA. Leasing space to the right businesses—and really understanding the nature of the association/commercial tenant relationship—is key to a successful, mutually beneficial arrangement between the two parties.

Understand the Basics…

For boards and managers, the biggest issue is often misunderstanding the nature of the relationship between the business owner and the association.

“One of the biggest mistakes I have seen is where boards are so understandably excited about the new revenue that they fail to put the team together and ask questions prior to the tenant being found and instead wait until the tenant is found,” says New Bedford Management CEO Peter von Simson.

Eric Goidel, a senior partner at the Manhattan-based law firm Borah Goldstein Altschuler Nahins & Goidel, P.C., explains that condominiums rarely own commercial space, whereas a cooperative may own or control the allotted space or will own the building and lease the property. If the commercial unit is a common element owned by the association, the association is the landlord; however, a more likely scenario is that the sponsor or developer reserved a long-term master lease of the commercial space.

“If the co-op is the landlord of the property and the sponsor/developer is the tenant—they in turn sublet the space to commercial users,” says Goidel. “In the condominium, the residential and commercial units are owned by a deed and fee and typically it’s rare, if ever, that the condominium controls any of the commercial space.”

The Ideal Tenant

After a board determines its relationship to the space in question, one of the next questions is what type of business will be the best fit. In many cases, five year leases or longer are executed. Therefore if the board does have control over the space it becomes incumbent to not only consider the needs of unit owners, but of neighbors as well.

“An ideal tenant is someone that has a good reputation in their industry, financially qualified to lease or buy the space and a tenant that compliments the needs of the homeowners,” says Carmelo Milio, CPM and director of property management for Trion Real Estate Management, with offices in Yonkers and New York City.

Boards and managers usually look to the perceived benefits that a commercial tenant might offer, which normally has a fiscal implication; however it’s not always a prudent approach. “One of the biggest mistakes is not enough due diligence when screening a few applicant or reviewing the lease requirements,” says Milio. “We recommend that an attorney review the lease and amends it so that the board and management are covered in the event of a loss.”

While banks, drug stores and dry cleaners are usually viewed as favorable tenants as opposed to a bar or restaurant, if a board does have control of the commercial space it’s suggested to not only look at the amount of rent received—but also take a longer view.

“The co-op or condominium will be relying on this cash flow to defray the cost of managing the rest of the property,” says Goidel. “The question is: are they willing to trade income for a tenant that better serves their residents rather than a tenant that is willing to pay a higher rent? Some of these boards get razzle-dazzled by some of the numbers that are thrown around for rent.”

For inexperienced board members, the role of landlord can be vexing, as the nature of a commercial tenancy is different than a residential tenancy. In these cases, having experienced oversight is critical as well as listening to resident concerns, especially those living on the lower floors.

“Because a commercial space is such a large asset for a building it has to be operated as such. The board should pull their team of…