Eastern Union Funding, one of the largest commercial real estate mortgage brokerages in the United States, has opened a new office in Jerusalem, Israel.
The office will be led by Tom Eisenman, managing director and an Israeli Defense Force veteran.
Eastern Union Funding spent a year assembling its team in Israel, a country whose population is buying American real estate at a pace rivaling China and other overseas-investing heavy-weights.
“Before this stampede of Israeli real estate players picked up, it didn’t make a difference whether our office was one mile away or 6,000 miles away. Now it does,” said Ira Zlotowitz, president of Eastern Union.
“We have a client base in Israel, actively buying commercial real estate on US soil, and now we have a team right in their capital which knows both markets and economical climates.”
Clients include Uri Frisch, co-founder of CITYR Group. An owner of several thousand apartment units throughout the country, Frisch maintains a global presence with offices in Tel Aviv, Israel, New Jersey and London.
“It’s rare to work with a mortgage brokerage shop that’s so well-rounded,” Frisch said. “Eastern Union has a team groomed and seasoned in the U.S. and Israel, and as an investor on foreign soil that level of insight is not easy to come by.”
The idea for the office was planted last summer as an effort to boost production and provide jobs in Israel.
With this idea driving him, Zlotowitz gave a course on commercial real estate, open to the public. From the 600 attendees, he selected several for internships, and ultimately recruited 10 to pioneer the new office.
Last month, he signed a lease in Jerusalem’s industrial and tech epicenter. That location is a finishing touch to the development of Eastern Union’s Portal technology, an online platform geared for the mortgage industry which, upon launch, already had 5,000 registered users.
The new office also takes advantage of time zone differences and can process New York City loans when it is night in the boroughs and day in Israel.
“This move makes sense for the company on every level,” Eisenman said. “We’re the fastest growing real estate firm in the US, so why not fly that growth over the Atlantic? We’re excited to be up and running.”