Commercial Executive Magazine’s 2013 Broker of the Year: Barry Gabel

The team
The team

Nov. 27, 2013- The distinction of CEM Broker of the Year is especially satisfying to Gabel because it represents a vote of his peers and undoubtedly reflects the fundamental tenets of how he conducts business: “Work hard, persevere, be honest, be yourself, do what’s right, treat people with respect and dignity, and great things will happen!” || 

When asked about the source of his success, Gabel points to his mother, Shirley, for her constant support and unconditional love and to a list of influential men who shaped and molded him, a roster that begins with his father. “My dad inspired me with his hard work, owning and growing his different businesses…he was a tough guy but loved his family.” Gabel’s story really can be explained through the lens of his father and the imprint he left on Barry, his brother Warner and his sisters, Holly and Shelley. ||

When his father passed away 33 years ago, Gabel’s life was irrevocably changed. “Losing my dad at the age of 18 inspired me to look to older men as role models.” His career in commercial real estate began while attending the University of Arizona and working with his brother over school breaks at Davidson, Graham & Myers. ”Warner bought  me my first suit and tie…he assumed the role of head of the family after our father passed away. He really did a great job.” ||

Working with Warner provided the basis for a burgeoning interest in the commercial market, a passion which led him to the next mentors in his life: Jim Mahoney and David Heiple. ||

“Jim really gave me my first break,” Gabel says. “He hired me right out of college, when all I had was a green Volkswagen, waiter experience and the desire to work hard and learn the business.” ||

Mahoney hired the young talent as a junior broker with Lakeview Properties, which later became Lincor Properties and then PrimeWest. Gabel credits Heiple, whom he also worked

Barry Gabel
Barry Gabel

under, with teaching him the fundamentals of real estate, follow through and accountability. “I owe a lot to both Jim and Dave.” ||

“I’m the guy that was lucky enough to hire Barry for his first job after college,” says Mahoney. “While at that time, Barry was a bit short on commercial real estate knowledge, it was obvious that he was gifted with the relationship building skills necessary for success in our industry. He now possesses both. There are few people that can match Barry’s robust energy to be so accomplished professionally, so committed to his family and friends, and yet make the time to give so much back to our community. I’m thrilled to have played a small role in his remarkable journey.”

|| Trammell Crow Company ||
Eventually, due to a merger, Gabel found himself part of the Trammell Crow Company, and it was there he was able to break into investment sales via an opportune partnership with Mindy Korth. ||

“Mindy had the financial background and I had the leasing experience,” says Gabel. “We each brought a new perspective to the way the other did business which resulted in a wonderful partnership. We have each played a vital role in each other’s success over the years and I’m forever grateful for our relationship.”||

The Gabel-Korth team got their first break together in investment property sales with Southern Avenue Medical Center in Tempe, Ariz. and Biltmore Pavilion in Phoenix, Ariz. Gabel had familiarity with the properties from previous work leasing the buildings and was offered the opportunity for their sale. || “We won the role because of our experience, passion and prime focus,” he says. ||

Gabel’s and Korth’s achievements at Trammell Crow Company were numerous: Top Producing Team in Phoenix Overall 10 times running (1996-2003, 2005 and 2006) and National Top Producer (2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006). ||

However, when discussing these accomplishments, Gabel is quick to credit another duo of inspirational leaders for their hand in his success. “I owe so much to Clarence Furuya and Ted Zinman. When I began my career I was fortunate to have the leasing assignments for Clarence and Ted’s numerous projects across the metro area. When I transitioned into investment sales, they gave me the opportunity to represent them with their acquisitions and dispositions. That experience was a huge stepping stone in my career. Both of these men have been instrumental in my success, providing guidance and impacting my life; they still do so today.”

||CBRE ||
In 2007, Trammell Crow Company merged with CBRE and Barry and his team continued their streak of success, winning NAIOP Investment Brokers of the Year for Arizona in 2008, 2009 and 2010. CBRE has also allowed him to continue his long-standing commitment to assembling and developing talented teams. Currently, his team includes Chris Marchildon, Amy Alschlager, and Jamie Altholz. Each member provides a set of core competencies that add tremendous value to the team’s success. ||

“I am really blessed to have the team that I do. Every day we come to work with the goal of making a positive difference for our clients and colleagues,” says Gabel. “I couldn’t do what I do without Chris, Amy and Jamie; I consider them family.” 

|| Current Assessments ||
Over the course of his career, Gabel has completed transactions totaling more than 17.8 million square feet and over $2.5 billion in value. His consistent success and lengthy record of achievements have positioned him as one of the preeminent experts in commercial real estate. Gabel’s insight into the Phoenix market is highly regarded, and, fortunately for his colleagues, his forecast is trending up. “Phoenix is rebounding well and I think it will continue to grow into one of the strongest and healthiest markets in the U.S.” Gabel cites capital flowing into the Phoenix commercial real estate market and the return of pricing and deal flow as proof. ||

“Our team recently did a study of ten value add properties (+50,000 square feet), which sold between 2008 and 2012, and then traded again in 2012 and year-to-date 2013. The owners of those value-add properties made the strategic decision that it was time to harvest those assets. Harvest prices averaged $184 PSF. Those 10 properties were originally purchased at an average price of $96.00 PSF. That’s a significant return on investment. What’s more, properties are still valued below what replacement cost would be. This makes Phoenix a unique market for both buyers and sellers.”

|| Next Chapter ||
“I’m so thankful for the opportunities afforded me thus far. I owe so much of my success to those around me, but in particular I’m incredibly grateful for my family. My wife, Babbi, and kids, Katie and Collin, are a constant source of strength to me and my accomplishments would mean nothing without them.” Looking ahead, Gabel sees a future teeming with opportunities for both himself and those around him, especially those new to the business. “I enjoy mentoring and teaching young people in this business,” he says. “I have been so fortunate to be able to work with and learn from some of the best in the business and I am committed to doing the same for others.” ||

When asked who Gabel would hope to be compared to one day, without hesitation, he says, “John Strittmatter with Ryan Companies. John is a brilliant business person, a generous philanthropist, a loving father and husband, a faith-based man and so well respected across the industry.” ||

It appears Strittmatter also holds Gabel in high regard. “Barry and his team have consistently through the years provided exemplary service to Ryan for many of our real estate sales requirements,” says Strittmatter. “He conducts himself with honesty and integrity and has built a lasting business relationship with Ryan.” ||

Going forward Gabel will continue to rely on those values that have been the foundation of his business: respect, integrity, service, and excellence. “I often get asked what my most notable deal has been. And to be perfectly honest, every deal, no matter the size, is notable to me and my team. We love what we do.”

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