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Commercial Real Estate
Business Observer Friday, Oct. 16, 2020 3 days ago

NAI affiliate focused on thunderous entry into the market

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Tampa-based Thor Commercial Group brokerage hopes to differentiate itself through corporate structure and its network affiliation.
by: Kevin McQuaid Commercial Real Estate Editor

NAI Thor Commercial Group hopes to bring the hammer down by covering Central and Southwest Florida’s diverse submarkets.

The new Tampa-based commercial real estate brokerage, which has been formed by a pair of veteran brokers from the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area, will initially maintain an operation in Fort Myers as well.

Sometime in 2021, the company also intends to open offices in Sarasota and Naples to expand throughout its territory.

Brad Berzins and Andy Georgelakos, who worked together for more than a decade as principals at NAI KLNB Inc., say their coverage of the market and focused, personalized service for clients will be largely unrivaled. To that end, the new company will work closely with the NAI affiliate in Miami.

“We’ll differentiate ourselves from the competition by being a full-service brokerage firm that offers a wide array of offerings to clients and our agents alike,” says Berzins, who has been in the commercial real estate business for two decades and completed deals valued in excess of $1 billion.

In addition to industrial, office, retail and healthcare property brokerage, NAI Thor will offer investment sales expertise, tenant representation services, property management and debt placement.

Berzins and Georgelakos also believe the NAI Global structure of independent affiliates, combined with the firms’ privately held status, will differentiate it from several large, publicly traded competitors such as CBRE Inc., Cushman & Wakefield and Colliers International.

The company will become the 12th NAI affiliate in the state. NAI, which touts itself as the largest such network in the world, maintains offices in Florida in Orlando, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere, in addition to Miami.

Georgelakos, NAI KLNB’s president from 2000 through 2017 and a part-time resident of Lee County for more than a decade, says the NAI affiliation will be a key to the new firm’s success.

“NAI is far and away the best brand for independent brokerages,” he says. “There’s really no second place.”

Berzins says while the NAI brand will be critical, equally important will be hiring the right agents to execute the pair’s business strategy.

“We’re going to provide our brokers the tools necessary for them to do their jobs effectively,” Berzins says. “That’s what separated us at KLNB. We understand how to serve clients.

“We’re going to provide an institutional level of service regardless of a clients’ size,” Berzins adds, “and we realize our efforts will only be as good as the people we recruit to join us.”

Unlike most real estate brokerages, NAI Thor’s agents will have the opportunity to become direct owners of the business, Berzins says. That corporate structure allowed KLNB to add top agents in each sector.

Over the next three years, the pair hope to grow their roster of agents to more than two dozen.

Nor is NAI Thor overly concerned about the already well-established competition from the likes of publicly held global giants such as JLL or regional specialists such as LandQwest Commercial.

“Everyone told us when we were in Baltimore that Washington, D.C., would be too hard to break into,” Georgelakos says. “But we not only did it, we succeeded — thanks to having good people and solid relationships.

“Our business plan here is about people, too,” he adds. “If we do the right thing by our clients and agents, we’ll do well regardless of the competition.”

Jay Olshonsky, NAI’s president and CEO, says the pair’s familiarity with the network will help them gain traction throughout Florida.

“A lot of people in the network already know Andy and Brad,” he says. “They have a nice combination of age and experience in the business. From our perspective, opportunities like this one just don’t come around too often.”

In all, NAI Global is comprised of 375 offices — 200 in the U.S. — with more than 6,000 brokers. The company’s affiliates generate in excess of $20 billion in transactions annually and manage 1.15 billion square feet of property.

Berzins is particularly intrigued by the possible links between Tampa and Miami.

“I’m really excited to be able to tell people we have an established partner in Miami,” he says. “It’s the icing on the cake for us. There’s lot of harmony between those markets, and collaboration will be key. We think it’ll prove to be fruitful for us and for them.”

 

 

 

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