After a two-year get rich quick stint at the board of trade, and the mercantile exchange, didn’t prove to be as easy as he envisioned, Gary Denenberg moved on to commercial real estate as an industrial broker in 1988 with Matanky Realty Group.
26 years later, and now executive vice president & managing director of leasing services at MB Real Estate, Denenberg says, a professional, organized and logical approach to the business has kept him in the industry all this time.
“What I enjoy most about commercial real estate,” he said. “Is a combination of the freedom to dictate the majority of my working day, as well as working on, and executing, transactions with very significant organizations and individuals.”
“I least enjoy working so hard in pursuit of a deal, or assignment, and coming up empty. Fortunately we execute more than our fair share of transactions so it takes some of the sting out.”
Denenberg has learned many lessons after more than 20 years in the business, yet he says, the biggest thus far he’s learned is very important because the real estate niche community is relatively small.
“It’s very important to conduct yourself in a professional and respectful manner if you desire success and longevity.”
As a relatively small company hovering around 300 employees that does work nationally but, according to Denenberg, is not a national player, it is a rare event that someone simply hands MB Real Estate business.
“As a result, and due to our overall corporate culture, we tend to dedicate more individuals and provide a higher level of service to each assignment to ensure success for our clients, which results in retaining assignments and maintaining a loyal customer base.”
Recently, MB Real Estate has had much success, and covers many real estate disciplines, with Denenberg’s area of focus being the representation of office Landlords for whom he establishes strategies and leases their properties.
“This year,” he said. “Our leasing department has executed in excess of 80 transactions year-to-date comprising over 700,000 SF, including a significant recent transaction with the Board of Education City of Chicago for 207,000 SF of space, previously occupied by Sears department store on State, Madison and Dearborn.”
When Denenberg isn’t working, or kicking butt as the most hated fantasy footballer in MBRE’s office league (if you had access to his war room you’d understand why), he enjoys spending time with his family, and if time permits, he has a real passion for technology and utilizing it to improve at work and life.
“As 50 year old, with two and 6 year old kids,” he said. “My golf game and other athletic and exercise pursuits have stalled. I’d love to figure out how to get them back, spend significant time with my kids and find time to relax. It’s probably not possible.”