Aaron Jungreis takes the long way home.
After work, the investment sales broker scopes out the city, looking for potential buildings to sell and learning neighborhoods block-by-block. He spends most Sundays doing the same, canvassing owners and learning the details of each property he represents.
“As a broker, you have to know your product,” he said. “I’m confident in my product.”
The attention to detail has propelled Jungreis’ firm, Rosewood Realty Group, to one of the top spots in sales brokerage, despite only having 10 brokers.
In 2010, CoStar named Rosewood a top 10 New York sales firm and Jungreis, its president, was named a top broker, taking a spot amongst the likes of Darcy Stacom of CB Richard Ellis and Douglas Harmon of Eastdil Secured.
Rosewood is also distinct because of its balanced presence in the outer boroughs – Jungreis encourages his brokers to take assignments throughout the city, instead of focusing exclusively on one area. In 2010, the firm sold nine properties in the Bronx, 25 in Brooklyn, 10 in Manhattan and 12 in Queens, with over $470 million in sales, and is on pace to surpass the numbers in 2011.
“That’s diversity,” said Jungreis.
The firm does the majority of its sales in multifamily property, a segment that Jungreis describes as always moving. Generational changes, retirement and, in some cases, financial distress have led to an ever-trading market, which has intensified as financing has loosened.
At the end of last year, Jungreis and partner David Berger brokered a $22 million sale of two mixed-used buildings, consisting of 59 residential apartments and seven retail stores, at 431 and 441 Third Avenue in Manhattan to the Parkoff Organization.
In the spring, they sold four mixed-use Brooklyn buildings in Lefferts Garden for $31 million, capitalizing on the area’s changing residential and retail. The four properties total 225,000 s/f, with 250 residential units and 30 retail stores.
Jungreis recently sold a three-building portfolio in Brooklyn for $51 million, totaling 352 apartments and a 91-space parking garage.
When Jungreis has a listing, he targets potential buyers whom he has worked with in the past, but makes sure to pitch properties that would fit a particular client. He believes a key to closing deals is personalizing his marketing.
“It’s all relationship-based,” he said. “It’s very easy to hit send. That’s not what we’re about.” Instead, he spends the bulk of his work day on the phone, filling notepads each day with a list of contacts that he crosses off as he speaks to them.
Through his many contacts, Jungreis deals with a swathe of different landlords, spanning various ethnicities. Queens, in particular, has an eclectic mix of nationalities. More recently, the firm has been taking on work with institutional investors, banks and insurance companies, aided by Jungreis’ ability to move product and draw higher prices.
“You have to be a chameleon,” he said.
After studying at the University of Maryland and Touro College, Jungreis began his career by selling insurance at New York Life before moving to commercial brokerage. He launched Rosewood in 2007 with David Berger, and the two sold over $1 billion in properties over the next year.
A father of four, Jungreis made it a point early to meticulously learn the cityscape, first walking, taking trains and now driving, and Rosewood embodies the same principles. He is considering recruiting a couple more brokers, but would rather have a strong core than a sprawling office with a “revolving door.” He takes pride in Rosewood’s hands-on mentality, and never plans to merge with a bigger firm.
“We are the quintessential street firm,” he said.