Crifasi’s Success Story
My business is an essential facet of my success, but my greatest accomplishment by far are my two sons and grandchildren. They are what has made my life the most rewarding.
This is my story: My background and how I got into real estate and how my companies have grown to four separate divisions: Crifasi Real Estate, Crifasi Management, Crifasi Maintenance and Crifasi Enterprises. It’s been quite a journey and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I hope you will get to know me a little better after reading my story. I would greatly appreciate getting to know you and utilizing my professional skills to help you in any real estate matter.
My Early Years
I was basically raised in the restaurant business living on top of our restaurant as a young kid. I performed just about every kind of job you can think of in the restaurant business. I came from an Italian family and always had a very hard work ethic. We like people and we liked welcoming people to our restaurant, pretty much like we like welcoming people to our home. These values I carry into my real estate business.
I went to college and got a degree. After graduation, my father said, “Help me run this restaurant or I’m going to sell it and you’re going to have to go ahead and get your law degree,” which is what I had anticipated doing. My intention was to get a law degree and pursue the law. I like the law and I understand a lot about it. But my dad was very convincing and I’m a family guy. So I decided to come in and help him run the restaurant.
So, I ran our family restaurant for quite some time. We became a very successful restaurant.
Getting into Real Estate
Later, our family moved to Florida for better opportunities with nicer weather. I wanted to find something different that I could do, something that would interest me other than the restaurant business. I wanted to branch out but use the ability I had developed to work with people.
I got a full-time job selling cellular telephones but what I really wanted to do was pursue the real estate business. I saw so many really wealthy people come in and buy telephones and I thought, “What do they have that I don’t?” I tried to really understand that and I finally figured it out. They really didn’t have anything more than I had.
I started working for one of the largest commercial brokers in town at the time. The company was J. M. Hovland. I really was at the bottom of the totem pole, working as a part-time salesman. I would work real estate on the weekends. During the week I sold telephones. After a while I saw my name at the top of the leader board, only working weekends. I found out that I actually had a good talent for selling and leasing real estate.
So the owner of the company made me an offer. He said, “Jack, I think you should be doing this full-time. You’re going to make millions of dollars if you do. And, I’d like to help you get started.”
So we made a deal together, I quit my full-time job and I went into real estate full-time. It was challenging at first. It happened right at the beginning of the savings & loan crisis and the recession in 1990. But I wasn’t deterred. I had a living to make. I was a single father at that time, raising two children and I had sick parents. I didn’t have a choice, except to make it work And, I did make it work.
I became the number-one salesman in that company for four straight years. I got my name out there and I determined that I should be doing this for myself. So, in 1994 I opened my own company, Crifasi Real Estate. I decided I was going to continue doing what I did for the other company but to do it for myself, a little bit better.
When you handle a commercial property there’s the acquisition of the land, development of the property, leasing of the property, management of the property and the maintenance of the property. Each one of those factors is an integral part of the overall commercial property business. In order to be more successful, I soon realized that I needed to create other divisions of the real estate company to develop, manage and maintain those commercial properties. That’s why the other companies were started.
This process has proven to be very successful.
Views on My Businesses
Building on my past success I established the Real Estate Company in 1994, which is the first of the companies.
My goal was to offer a pro-active client focused and customized Real Estate company which meets the needs of my clients.
As a veteran of over 25 years in the Real Estate industry my focus has always been to advise my clients with well planned strategies to maximize their assets value.
I have always prided myself in “Thinking outside of the box.”
Crifasi Real Estate is a full service company including asset and leasing management, commercial sales, raw land acquisition, and leasing of retail/office and mixed use properties.
Our reputation is essential to our continued success. We continue to build on our reputation not relying on it.
We strive to display the highest level of integrity and quality of service and professionalism.
Effective Property Management
One of my divisions is Crifasi Management. Successful property management is effectively managing properties on a day-to-day basis. We are firm with our tenants, but we are also fair.
Our company’s philosophy is ‘A happy tenant, a happy landlord’. We try very very hard to work with our tenants to address their needs and concerns. It’s important that our tenants are successful. If they’re successful, our landlords will be successful.
When Crifasi Management manages a property, I personally oversee the management of the property as if the property were my own.
When you’re managing a commercial property, there are many, many aspects to successful property management. Many of the things that we do may seem small to some people but it’s our philosophy that small things matter. And many small things become big things. We try to take care of not only the large things but the small things as well.
Our company has been managing commercial properties for many, many years. The overall goal of Crifasi Management is to enhance the value of our clients’ properties. I want our customers to go to bed at night having the peace of mind of knowing that their property is taken care of. I care about people and I take great pride in my company and the services we provide to our clients.
The Maintenance Company
When I began managing commercial properties, the maintenance of the properties also became a concern.
The maintenance is such an integral part of a well-managed property. I didn’t feel comfortable with leasing a property if it wasn’t well maintained. I felt that I needed to bring those services to our clients. I started a maintenance company that would provide the services that are so difficult to find in the marketplace today.
Some of the services that our company offers are basic janitorial services on the property, pressure washing, and emptying the trash. When we see a piece of paper on the sidewalk, we don’t walk around it. We pick it up.
We oversee the repairs of the physical plant of the property. If repairs are needed, we oversee these to be sure that the customer, our client, is getting the best pricing he can for the services that are offered.
In addition to the maintenance of the property, we also oversee the landscaping and landscaping maintenance of the property. People underestimate the importance of a well-landscaped and maintained property. It’s essential in Florida that it be perfect and we settle for nothing less.
Good Property Management and Maintenance equals Profitability
The profitability of the property is based on proper budgeting and maintaining cost controls for the property. Of course, we don’t sacrifice the quality of the property but we do everything we can to make every dollar count.
We have a variety of property management software systems to provide customized property management accounting for our clients that fits their needs.
A well-managed property is not only appealing to the tenants who occupy spaces within the property but also their customers who visit the property. That’s why it’s so important!
Residential Real Estate
In the past I have concentrated our productivity in the commercial area, but in the last few years I made a strategic decision to expand the services that our company offers to higher-end residential properties. Even though in the past we have done commercial properties, the same qualities and skills in negotiating and being able to relate to people can translate very easily into residential real estate. You need to be more concerned about the skills that a person has who is working for you than how long they have been doing it.
At the end of the day it’s about the people and how you relate to your clients and to the people you work for. I have a fierce loyalty to my clients and I try to do the best job that I can for them to get the best results. I believe that the transition into the residential division fits very well.