YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The national narrative about the pandemic’s impact on commercial real estate paints a rather dreary picture of office space downsizings and vacancies, closings of retailers and restaurants, and underused hotels.
In Youngstown, however, commercial real estate broker Burgan Friedkin used equal parts creativity and hustle to increase 2021 sales 50% over last year.
And with deals in the pipeline right now, it expects to grow another 50% in 2022, reports Lisa Resnick, managing broker.
“It’s about redirecting our thought,” she says. “What helped us realize success was being open and adaptable to market conditions, while also being welcome to changing our mindset of how we view a property.”
Two examples Resnick cites are Penguin City Brewing and the Youngstown Flea. With each, agents helped the clients re-imagine how two former industrial properties in downtown Youngstown could be transformed into the vision both business owners had for their businesses.
“There’s so much positive going on in the commercial world. You have to be welcoming, adaptable and accepting of the change,” Resnick says.
This year, Burgan Friedkin anticipates adding four agents to its team. That includes one person already in the onboarding process.
The agency employs six, including Resnick and associate broker Alan Friedkin. Co-owners are Patrick Burgan and Susan Filipovich.
Burgan Friedkin will further expand the deployment of technology in 2022, including tools such as a 360-degree view of properties for potential buyers available on the company’s website.
The agency also will expand its digital marketing and social media outreach to buyers, according to Resnick.
“We get a lot of interest from investors in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and other neighboring areas. So offering a hybrid of virtual and traditional options for marketing our listings has greatly helped our business,” she says.
Resnick says there are some “big names” looking at properties throughout the Mahoning Valley. She cannot share details at this stage in the process. She did say, however, that job creation and reinvention of space are involved in the prospective deals.
It’s shaping up to be a favorable year, Resnick says, as channeling new ideas and reimagining space for different uses will to help guide the company’s anticipated strong performance.