Presented By: Ripco
When Investment Sales, Leasing and Finance Work Closely Together, Clients Benefit
RIPCO Real Estate discusses how synergies between investment sales, leasing and financing provide tremendous value to the company’s clients.
As commercial real estate firm Ripco Real Estate continues to expand, so has its internal platform, which champions knowledge-sharing and cultivates cross-collaborative relationships within the company. By leveraging this winning formula, RIPCO effectively coordinates and delivers integrated solutions to its clients, transforming the company into a multi-service brokerage powerhouse.
“RIPCO is like a championship basketball team — passing the ball whenever we can and hitting the open man for a teamwork-driven score,” said RIPCO co-founder Peter Ripka. “We’re a passing team. That deep sense of teamwork leads to wins for our clients and for all of us here at RIPCO.”
Stephen Preuss has been the leading investment sales broker in Queens, and of the top NYC Capital Markets producers for the past decade. Preuss joined RIPCO in 2021 to widen his focus throughout NYC and Metro NY, and now, as the company’s Vice Chairman and leader of its Investment Sales platform for NYC and Metro NY area, he notes that the synergy between the company’s capital markets teams is unparalleled, leading to measurable long-term benefits for both sellers and buyers alike.
“Over the first 17 years of my career, I was at companies that had different service lines, but they weren’t really stapled together as well as they are here at RIPCO, where you have knowledgeable people in each office handling the same type of product with many owners you are dealing with or want to have access to,” said Preuss. “That bodes well for being able to value properties properly with their intimate and relevant experience. But also, on a full service execution level, my team has referred and executed about 16 retail leasing deals for about 300,000 square feet thus far. Over the last two decades, I can count on one hand how many referrals I’ve given out and executed; mainly due to not having a referring partner whom I could count on. So that is a huge value-add for my clients and an intangible tool for me.”
Preuss credits this in part to RIPCO’s thorough coverage of the New York metropolitan area.
“Each office has their own powerful local presence,” said Preuss. “Since we have physical offices in each of the major trade areas through the tri-state region, each office has their own experienced and well-rounded team. It’s a lot different than in companies where somebody may be sitting in Manhattan, but they’re being referred deals in Long Island or New Jersey, where they’re not as proficient. We have a full set of synergistic resources in all of these markets, which makes it seamless and expeditious to throw business back and forth, ultimately executing at the highest levels.”
Given this, the investment sales, leasing, and financing teams at RIPCO become a well-oiled value creation machine for every RIPCO client.
The seamlessness of the operation is made possible by the constant, daily communication between Preuss; Steven Sperandio, RIPCO’s executive managing director and head of the Debt & Structured Finance Group; and the numerous experienced leasing professionals throughout RIPCO including Managing Director Michelle Abramov and Vice President Greg Batista, who share an office with Preuss in Queens.
“It’s valuable for Stephen to know what’s going on with financing, because financing can be a challenge,” said Sperandio. “Having someone you know and trust to manage the financing element of a transaction is incredibly valuable to a sales professional, because not only does he have more insight, but he knows that it’s being handled with care.”
Abramov notes that RIPCO’s clients often come to engage one department after having satisfying experiences with another.
“Our clients have gone and hired Steven Sperandio from the debt capital team,” said Abramov. “While they’re lining up construction loans and negotiating with lenders, we’re involved in those conference calls, with the debt team explaining what’s going on with our activity and painting the right picture, because we’re trying to yield the best opportunity for the client.”
The capital markets team recently executed a record-setting transaction in Flushing, Queens. Preuss views the Flushing deal as perfectly demonstrative of how RIPCO’s departments work together to benefit their clients.
The buyer was a longtime client of Preuss’s, having done numerous transactions with Preuss’s team over the past 15 years. With businesses stationed throughout Queens, this buyer sought to consolidate his operation into one location.
Preuss and his team spent several years identifying potential properties, then negotiating for the parcels in question.
When it came time to address financing, Sperandio’s team was asked to search for bridge loan options.
This $51 million acquisition of four industrial properties worked to not only their seller’s advantage by hitting record-setting sales figures, but to their buyer’s advantage as well, elevating the search for floating-rate, nonrecourse financing from active bridge lenders into a long-term relationship and above-market debt execution with Deutsche Bank.
“One thing that makes us a bit different than your average mortgage broker is that we try to create ancillary or out-of-the-box options that a client wouldn’t have otherwise thought of,” said Sperandio. “This buyer didn’t have a private banking relationship.”
Sperandio’s team provided the buyer with around 10 bridge loan options, but then also proposed that the client consider a private banking strategy. Sperandio knew this could deliver added value to the client in several ways beyond simply handling the financing. The client had not considered this strategy before, but once the relationship with Deutsche Bank was established, it granted him tremendous value far beyond what he would have gained from a bridge financing relationship.
“Corporate banking, insurance, residential mortgage financing, private banking, wealth management products — these are all luxuries that high-net-worth clients can take advantage of once they’ve built something really special,” said Sperandio. “This all makes for some compelling business options going forward.”
To consolidate his business, the buyer had planned to buy out the tenants of the four properties post-closing. This led to concerns about not just financing, but also rental rates after the properties were vacated.
Preuss’s team worked closely with Sperandio’s team to execute a favorable financing that put $31 million of debt on the $51 million acquisition — making for an $82 million stapled transaction — and with the leasing team to project out rental rates for the buyer.
“That not only made the buyer comfortable, but the lender as well in providing such a debt loan,” said Preuss. “This was a fully synergistic execution between three different groups. We were able to execute a portfolio of industrial properties at a 2 percent capitalization rate and over $700 a foot, which were market records, and we were able to do this because of how closely these departments collaborate.”
In the end, Sperandio notes that given RIPCO’s structure and dedication to in-house collaboration, the company can’t help but provide value to clients far and above their competitors.
“RIPCO’s capital markets business is incredibly compelling,” said Sperandio. “And not just for Stephen and I, but for the company, because RIPCO creates a much stronger value-add for our clients when we transact across different levels. That opens up a wealth of opportunities for our clients. And when our clients are happy, everybody wins.”