M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal — Best and Brightest Under 40 — August 19 - September 15, 2022 — Inside Back Cover D


B est and B rightest U nder 40

continued from page 6D Joseph Gehler, Gebroe-Hammer

Mordy Geffner, Meridian Capital

multifamily owners and inves - tors within this important Mid Atlantic Region market. What challenges did you need to overcome to be- come as successful as you are today? Through past experiences, I have learned the importance of really listening and becom - ing better at it. This trait has helped evolve both my work as a broker and in my personal life. Being a multifamily in - vestment broker has shown me that it is important to listen and really hear what is being said by coworkers, clients and buyers. Another situation that I had to embrace is the fact that no two deals or properties for that matter are ever the same. Being “brought up” in Gebroe- Hammer’s training program, I was able to both listen and learn from the best and register how they operate every day. I’ve also come to understand that being a good listener is an important leadership quality that goes hand in hand with Gebroe-Hammer’s other core values of integrity, persistence and patience. What inspiring word of advice would you give to others pursuing a multi- family investment broker- age career? My inspiring words of advice for brokerage career starters – as well as those currently in the profession and today’s mul - tifamily property owners and investors – is this: don’t let the talk about a looming recession or other negative sentiment de - ter you. By its very nature, com - mercial real estate – including the multifamily sector – goes hand-in-hand with the typi - cal economic cycles that have occurred since the beginning of time. Yes, the multifamily investment market is under - going an adjustment from the hypergrowth market of the past few years as interest rates rise and the recession conversation is more prevalent. BUT the offsetting reality is this: lending and capital de - ployment are still flowing into multifamily properties with - out any hesitation whatsoever thanks to their recession-proof nature. Furthermore, occu - pancies are in the +96% range thanks to record unemploy - ment and increased wages. As proven by past economic peaks and valleys, the appetite for multifamily investments is unwavering. Investors are still buying, and owners are still selling. Even in a market adjustment period, there is still plenty of business to do and plenty of ways to make money. MAREJ

During my early stages in the business, I connected with a potential client through a cold call. The client needed to feel that they could trust me and needed to find some com - fort in working together. As we were chatting, we discovered that his brother was a close friend of my dad’s, and that gave him the faith he needed to work with me – it was this connection that jump-started our close relationship and the ability to close many deals together. What outside activities do you enjoy during you free time? Football games with some good friends and a tailgate are ing five years into my career certainly challenged me to embrace and adapt to change, continue learning in new ways, and redefine my path based on the new opportunities. What challenges and or obstacles do you feel you needed to overcome to be- come as successful as you are today? I needed to be pushed out - side my comfort zone and learn how to be more self-reflective. I’ve always been driven and ambitious throughout my life. But that ambition can also sometimes cause stubborn - ness and impatience to move forward; especially early in my career when I felt failure and vulnerability equaled weak - ness. I never wanted to just achieve my goals; I wanted to exceed them. And I wanted to do it better and faster than expectations (May say I’m a little competitive….). Although not altogether a bad thing, it often meant I got in my own way, didn’t always listen to those around me, and didn’t take the time to embrace what I was doing, pay attention to the nuance, or spent time reflecting on successes and failures. There were two piv - otal things in my career that helped me push beyond that — 1) Starting a new division of IMC; and 2) Corporate leader - ship development. Starting a new division was a challenge I never coaching, and I was met each day with unanticipated challenges. It was a completely new leadership experience, met with new obstacles. It was one of the most eye-opening moments in my career where I was learning on the spot through building a business plan, hiring a team, develop - ing business opportunities, estimating and landing work,

a favorite. What inspiring word of advice would you give to a young executive graduat- ing from college today? Learn the highs and lows of your experiences and under - stand that we are all constantly learning and growing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or admit that you don’t know something. Another important tip is to remember that those who work for you will only care about and work as hard as you do. If you won’t stay at the office late at night to work on your deal than your under - writer or processor likely won’t be working on it either – lead by example. MAREJ managing financials, etc. It taught me that for the oppor - tunity of success to be creating, I had to get out of my own way. I had to be okay with making mistakes, learning from them, and navigate new waters. What outside activities do you enjoy during your free time? As a husband and father to 3 young kids, my favorite activities, and hobbies outside of work are with my family — camping, hiking, playing sports in the backyard, working on a house project, watching sports, exploring nearby towns, you name it. I also still love to work on projects with my dad and spend time at my parent’s beach house in Cape May. Good music is always a plus, dis - covering new craft breweries, and spending time with good friends is pretty high up there on the list of favorites too. What inspiring word of advice would you give to a young executive graduat- ing from college today? Never stop learning — about your craft, about your industry, about your company, about yourself. When you start your career, you’ll hopefully be for - tunate enough to land a good job. You’ll be excited, fueled with young energy and bliss - ful naivete, and ready to make an impact. But you’ll also be “green”, and you won’t know what you don’t know. If you’re lucky, you’ll be surrounded by other people who are different from you, have more experience than you do, and can mentor your growth. Don’t walk into a room and assume you’re the smartest person there. Be vul - nerable enough to learn your weaknesses and absorb every - thing around you. Leadership success is built on being well rounded and vulnerable. MAREJ

At Gebroe-Hammer Associ - ates, it is all about relation - ship building. And, given the extended conditions under which we have been interacting, connections are more impor - tant now than ever. Even with these hurdles and as we gradu - ally enter a new normal, the strong relationships that I have cultivated are feeding what continues to be a robust pipe - line of multifamily deals. This includes fielding requests from buyers who have capital readily available for investment and obtaining new listings that are attracting very competitive of - fers. In addition, I’m continuing to identify new opportunities in established and emerging mar - kets for both Gebroe-Hammer Associates and clients. How do you contribute to your company and/or the industry? Since joining the multifamily brokerage profession in mid- 2016 as a trainee, I have served as a member of the Greater Philadelphia MSA/South Jersey Metro market team. In addition to securing exclusive listings and procuring buyers as either the sole broker or as part of a Gebroe-Hammer team, I have also served in an integral ad - visory role to property owners considering an expansion of their portfolio and/or disposi - tion or 1031 Exchange. In this capacity, I help owners realize the maximum value of their assets and educate them regarding current market con - ditions and anticipated trends. Specifically, during the past five years I have contributed toward Gebroe-Hammer’s over - all Greater Philadelphia Metro sales totals, which number over 175 deals and 18,830 units sold for in excess of $2.3B. What personal qualities and/or traits make you successful in the multifam- ily investment brokerage profession? As I have learned from my mentors and clients alike, it is important to keep your eye on the bigger picture. Of course, this means being proactive when facilitating deals and acting as an intermediary or facilitator when needed. This drive – along with my in-depth knowledge of the Philadelphia Metro and its surrounding suburban submarkets – and what I refer to as common- sense intuition have allowed me to succeed. This has made a significant contribution toward Gebroe-Hammer’s expanded presence in the Philadelphia/ South Jersey region, the firm’s heightened sales activity and its expanded client base of active

continued from page 16D are today? I needed to learn to embrace challenges instead of running from them. Who do you feel was most influential in your life when choosing this profession? My wife. I didn’t do much in my first crack at this business. When I was moving on from my first position in real estate, I considered many different in - dustries. Ultimately, it was her strength and confidence that allowed me to push forward and motivated me to succeed. What is the funniest, most unique situation you have faced/conquered during your career? Or in your life? When I first started my career in Dallas, TX, I remember hav - ing 3 goals: Learn as much as I could, work on various project types and to become an impactful part of Executive Leadership within the company. I was fortunate to work for a great company, had smart and in - tentional mentors, and learned more than I thought possible. I quickly accomplished the first two goals and was headed in the right direction for the third goal. In the back of my mind, I knew the path forward might look different. About five years into my career, my wife and I made the decision to move from Texas to Pennsylvania to be closer to family. I knew it was the right decision person - ally, but it definitely threw a curveball into my professional goals. I reconnected with a previous company, but it meant I was basically starting over re-building my reputation and experience at a different com - pany, with a totally different work platform. As I look back, it was the right move, person - ally and professionally. My new goals were to build trust in the business at this new company, gain the respect of those around me, learn the nuances of “East Coast” commercial construc - tion, and be seen as a valuable team member and leader. As I grew in the company, some of my goals never changed — keep learning, and continue work - ing on new types of projects. But my 3rd goal evolved to — find opportunities to mentor younger employees, embrace new challenges, drive strategic conversations, and ultimately earn a place of partnership within the company. So even though it wasn’t a drastic shift in professional goals, relocat -

Phil Ritter, IMC Construction continued from page 5D

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