Real Estate Journal — 40 Under 40 — August 24 - September 13, 2018 — 13D


M id A tlantic

40 U nder 40

How do you contribute to your company and/ or the industry? Since joining Gebroe-Hammer in 2006, my focus has been the full spectrum of New Jersey’s multi-family housing stock – from sub- urban out-commuter and rural bedroom-community apartment complexes in Morris and Sussex coun-

Tell us how and when you began your career in the profession you are in, about your current posi- tion and why you choose the field/profession you are in today? While in college, my girl- friend at the time – who is now my wife – and I suc- cessfully built, restructured and sold not one but two

Stephen Tragash Senior Vice President Gebroe-Hammer Associates Years with company/firm: 12 Years in field: 15 Years in real estate industry: 15 Real estate organizations/affiliations: NJAA • NJPOA • NPOA

Adam Zweibel Vice President Gebroe-Hammer Associates Years with company/firm: 5 Years in field: 5 Years in real estate industry: 5 Real estate organizations/affiliations: NJAA • NJPOA • NPOA

ties to urban high-rises in Union County. In total, I’ve spearheaded over $800M in transactions involving 5,000+ units within these submarkets throughout my career and have contributed significantly toward establishing new benchmarks for Gebroe-Hammer. What are some of your most notable recent transactions? At a time when the North Jersey Metro’s multi-family housing stock continues to perform solidly, Union and Morris counties – home to several small-to-mid- sized transit-centric cities – remain among the state’s enduring hotbeds of in- vestment. Within these strongholds Gebroe-Hammer has propelled itself to the multi-family investment forefront with recent sales totaling $22.7M in which I exclusively represented each of the sellers and our brokerage team procured the buyers. These included the $15.45 million trade of Cornell Arms and Pingry Arms and 27 units at 315 W. 8th St., all in Plainfield. Additionally, we closed the sale of 48 units in Elizabeth – a city on the rise – and finalized the sale of an all two-bedroom/two-bath garden-style community in Morristown, which garnered a $233,333 per unit price. What challenges and or obstacles do you feel you needed to overcome to become as successful as you are today? It is often said: “timing is everything.” I like to think of mine as “perfect.” Although I embarked on a new career path as an investment broker just be- fore the Great Recession, I soon learned two very important things. The first – regardless of the economic cycle …up or down – is to distinguish yourself. The second: people always need a place to live and multi-family is virtually recession proof. As a former financial analyst and asset manager, I excelled at forecasting trends and forging strong relationships with some of the region’s most prominent owners and investors. At the time, I established a reputation for “digging in and seeing the deal through from start to finish.” Absorbing market knowledge and learning on my feet has shaped me into the formidable multi-family investment broker I am today. 

computer businesses. While president of one of these companies, I pitched Gebroe- Hammer Associates and met with President Ken Uranowitz, who immediately rec- ognized my tenacity, sales aptitude and overall zeal for building new business. He told me to give him a call if I ever had an interest in commercial real estate and I did just that after selling my second business. Not one to sit idle, I felt like I needed to re-establish myself – and quickly because my wife was pregnant with our third child. For me, commercial real estate was a “logical” choice and the rest is history that is still being written. What unique qualities and or personality traits do you feel makes you most successful in your profession? I have been told I don’t know how to take “no” for an answer, which I prefer to think of as unyielding determination. I think this is what makes me stand out in an indus- try where persistence runs through every investment brokerage professional’s veins. While some people get deflated hearing “no” or “can’t,” I go in the complete opposite direction – I go after the “yes” and the “can” with an extreme drive. This is the same genetic makeup that defined my early technology career. The formula seems to be working, so why mess with it? Within three years with Gebroe-Hammer, I was named a VP and most recently earned the firm’s top honor: 2017 Salesperson of the Year. What was the most defining moment for you? Five years ago, I applied my entrepreneurial, analytic and problem-solving skills to a new career path – switching gears from building and selling two IT companies, to selling hundreds of buildings and thousands of multi-family units. After 10 years in the IT field, I literally started over in 2013 as a sales associate and trainee in Gebroe- Hammer’s industry-unique mentoring program, where I was guided by and continue to collaborate with Executive Managing Director Joseph Brecher, a nationally recognized industry leader. In a short period of time, I’ve been armed with the tools and mentor- ships to yield tremendous results. In 2016, I closed 14 deals totaling 1,629 units and $192+M, topping off 2015’s 13 deals encompassing 1,340 units sold for $147.27M. And in 2017, I recorded transactions amounting to $259.7M and 1,706 units. 

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