Mordy Geffner, Meridian Capital
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
I find that the most impactful part of my job is helping my clients expand their portfolios. Watching my clients grow their portfolios from a couple hundred units to a few thousand units as a result of our work together has given me the greatest sense of accomplishment thus far in real estate.
What is your most notable project, deal or transaction?
The most notable was a project that came to us last minute. It was a difficult deal that required a short window to close without the option for an extension. Closing the deal in time required a lot of time and finesse – we had to pull a few all-nighters to ensure we would close in time. Thankfully, we were able to close at the last possible minute, right before the contract expired. Now I understand the adrenalin rush that skydivers experience…
Who or what has been the strongest influence in your career?
My partner/mentor, Barry Lefkowitz. He taught me the ins and outs of the industry and continues to be a great sounding board on a day-to-day basis. I’d like to also out to my first boss who told me that I’m ‘too nice to make it in this industry’. I think about his words all the time, and that sentence alone continues to motivate me to work harder every day. Last, but certainly not least, my wife is my rock who supports me working late hours and gets me through the challenging aspects of the job. Her support and courage allows me to power on.
What impact has social media/networking had on your career?
I have connected with some of my largest clients via social media, and I believe it can be a great tool to connect with new people and to stay in touch with older clients. Conversely, I do not believe it is a sole driver of business in this industry. Social media can be a useful tool if used correctly, but I believe you still need to work to develop and maintain in-person relationships through networking, events and in-person meetings.
Tell us how and when you began your career in the profession you are in, about your current position and why you choose the field/profession you are in today?
My first job was working in a completely different industry. I worked for great people, but I knew early on that the industry wasn’t for me. I kept my eye out for opportunities along the way. My dad’s friend connected me with my first position in the real estate industry. I chose to stay in this field because I get to see the satisfaction of my clients’ projects come to fruition.
What were some of your early goals and did anything happen to change them?
My earliest goal was to just close a single deal and that alone took over a year. There were many times that I thought it would never happen, and that perhaps I was not cut out for this business. Over time I learned how to navigate the ups and downs that come along with each deal, and I learned to ride the wave and keep working at it until I succeed. I now look back at this as one of my greatest pain points and learning experiences, and I’ve learned that having a strong support system and a go-getter mentality will continue to drive me to consistently aim for more.
What unique qualities and or personality do you feel makes you most successful in your profession?
I pride myself in never giving up and being able to work on deals for months at a time with no guarantee of executing. When things go south, I am determined to get back in the game and fight all over again. Also, at the end of the day, nobody cares more about your deal than you.
What challenges and or obstacles do you feel you needed to overcome to become as successful as you are today?
I needed to learn to embrace challenges instead of running from them.
Who do you feel was most influential in your life when choosing this profession?
My wife. I didn’t do much in my first crack at this business. When I was moving on from my first position in real estate, I considered many different industries. Ultimately, it was her strength and confidence that allowed me to push forward and motivated me to succeed.
What is the funniest, most unique situation you have faced/conquered during your career? Or in your life?
During my early stages in the business, I connected with a potential client through a cold call. The client needed to feel that they could trust me and needed to find some comfort in working together. As we were chatting, we discovered that his brother was a close friend of my dad’s, and that gave him the faith he needed to work with me – it was this connection that jump-started our close relationship and the ability to close many deals together.
What outside activities do you enjoy during you free time?
Football games with some good friends and a tailgate are a favorite.
What inspiring word of advice would you give to a young executive graduating from college today?
Learn the highs and lows of your experiences and understand that we are all constantly learning and growing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or admit that you don’t know something. Another important tip is to remember that those who work for you will only care about and work as hard as you do. If you won’t stay at the office late at night to work on your deal than your underwriter or processor likely won’t be working on it either – lead by example.