Each year, Midwest Real Estate News elects a new class to its Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. Here’s a look at one of our new inductees, Sam Munaco, president of Advocate Advisors in Southfield, Michigan.
For more than three decades, Sam Munaco has built one of the busiest commercial real estate careers in the Detroit market. And while doing so, he’s represented some of the largest commercial users in Southeast Michigan.
This list of clients includes some of the largest law firms in the Detroit market as well as Crain Communications, Compuware, One Magnify, Cooper Standard Automotive and Walbridge.
But despite this thriving career, Munaco didn’t always plan on working as a commercial real estate broker. He actually began his career practicing real estate law in 1986. But after three years, Munaco recognized his true calling and became a real estate consultant in 1989.
And since making the move? He has no regrets.
“I enjoy hunting and prospecting for new business,” Munaco said. “I call it big-game hunting without a bow and arrow. Also, there is a point in time where clients drop their defense mechanisms and to begin to trust that you have their best interests in mind. This takes time to overcome.”
Today, Munaco serves as president of Advocate Advisors, a bustling commercial real estate firm with an office in Southfield, Michigan. And while Munaco’s business is thriving, Advocate is growing, too.
That doesn’t mean, though, that Munaco hasn’t faced challenges during his career. The last more than two years have especially brought upheaval to the commercial real esate business.
“COVID-19 has been a game-changer,” Munaco said. “Every one of our clients who leases office space is attempting to navigate the new norm of space utilization and a hybrid work environment.”
To get through these difficult days, Munaco relies on his proven method of success: He works hard on behalf of his clients. He does whatever he can to deliver them the best possible results. He studies his market.
And when it comes to reaching out to his clients? No one does it better than Munaco.
“I am very good at remembering the little details that can differentiate you from your competitors,” he said. “One example is that I make more than 300 birthday calls to clients, prospects and friends. No texting allowed!”
Like most successful CRE pros, Munaco can struggle with maintaining work-life balance. But when he is not working, he enjoys morning workouts and traveling with his wife of 33 years and their four children.
“Vacation time away from work with the family is critical,” Munaco said.