Garden City, NY The New York Real Estate Journal (NYREJ) sat down with Ron Koenigsberg, this month’s Long Island Executive of the Month. Koenigsberg is the president of American Investment Properties.

Koenigsberg’s passion for real estate grew out of his childhood experience of watching his father survey buildings and construction sites. At the time, Koenigsberg had no idea where his passion for real estate would lead him.

Today, his passion has led him to a robust real estate career and the founding of a Long Island brokerage firm, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary in July.

Koenigsberg and his associate, Will Martorana

Koenigsberg and his associate, Will Martorana

NYREJ: Why did you decide to start American Investment Properties?

Koenigsberg: I have loved commercial real estate investment sales since the start of my career. I was a senior vice president at another investment sales firm and I aspired to be a partner or have ownership there. Unfortunately, there never came an opportunity to become a junior partner at the firm. As a result, I was determined to have my own brokerage firm. So that’s exactly what I did.

I successfully opened and incorporated American Investment Properties on July 4, 2001.

NYREJ: How did you come up with the name “American Investment Properties?”

Koenigsberg: I completed my undergraduate at American University. At American University I had a great time where I learned, grew, and matured so much. I wanted to create a similar experience with my own firm where everyone can have fun, learn a lot, teach a lot, and be successful in the real estate brokerage world.

Naming my firm ‘American’ serves as a reminder for those intentions.

NYREJ: What is one thing you wish you knew when starting the company?

Koenigsberg: The one thing I wish I knew when I started the company was the importance of structure and systems. Using organization, structure, and systems has allowed us to create more productivity with less resources. We are continuing to add more systems in place to increase our efficiency and serve our clients better.

NYREJ: What are your plans for the next 20 years?

Koenigsberg: My 20 year goal is to continue to grow American Investment Properties. In June 2021, we moved into a newer and larger office space in Garden City, N.Y. Our aim is to bring in more talented associates for real estate investment sales, marketing, research and analytics, and other respects to serve more clients, more efficiently.

NYREJ: How do you think you have changed over the two decades?

Koenigsberg: You mean aside from getting older and better looking these days? Joking aside, the best change I could ask for was becoming a father to my two awesome and handsome sons, Drew and Chase. There is no greater responsibility. I love my two boys so much and they inspire me to always work harder every day.

NYREJ: Your biggest achievement over the last 20 years?

Koenigsberg: My biggest professional achievement over the past 20 years is the longevity of the firm, the reputation we have established on Long Island, and our level of professionalism towards our clients and colleagues.

Koenigsberg with his sons Drew and Chase

Koenigsberg with his sons Drew and Chase

NYREJ: Your biggest challenge over the last 20 years?

Koenigsberg: My biggest challenge over the past 20 years has been the ability to reinvent myself as a real estate broker. Essentially, I would like to be better at teaching new salespeople, and arming them with the knowledge to be successful in investment sales. I love making deals happen and helping clients reach their goals. My challenge has been helping each associate attain that same level of success.

NYREJ: How did you lead the company throughout the pandemic?

Koenigsberg: The pandemic resulted in dramatic changes and difficult moments for all of us. During the height of the pandemic, my goal was to retain a sense of normalcy for our team. Virtually, I kept moving along our transactions as smoothly as we could, and maintained frequent communications with my associates. Aside from business, I ensured all my team members were doing well and always told jokes to make them laugh during the difficult times.

During the three months of lockdown, we remained motivated and available for clients. We conducted showings/virtual tours, and continued to do what was necessary to move deals into contract.

NYREJ: What changes in the LI CRE market do you foresee because of the pandemic’s effect?

Koenigsberg: Prior to the pandemic, there was an upward trend in working from home; however, the pandemic further emphasized this trend and its possibilities. A handful of team members here at American Investment Properties work remotely throughout the week, and we have seen an increase in productivity.

I’m sure we’re not alone in this trend, and it has opened American Investment Properties’s ability to hire more employees without requiring more physical office space.

Additionally, recent habits have continued to change the way consumers shop. Online shopping soared which ultimately created many retail vacancies. Going forward, property owners will need to be savvier in filling, or repurposing, their properties with pandemic-proof and “e-commerce proof” tenants.

Source: Article originally appeared on the New York Real Estate Journal