Tryfon Christoforou got started in commercial real estate on the financial side of the business.
His family had been involved in real estate for years, but Christoforou’s first job out of college was working as a loan officer, learning about the business from an underwriting standpoint. He met Bart Weprin, the founder of Weprin Realty Inc., when Weprin sold a building for his family. Weprin convinced Christoforou to make the jump from the financing side to the brokerage side.
“It was very complementary,” Christoforou said. “It put me leaps ahead in terms of starting a career in commercial real estate as a broker.”
Now, Christoforou is the managing partner of 3CRE Advisors LLC, which he formed with his business partner, Michael Costantini. The two had been partners at Sperry Van Ness/Weprin Realty before setting out on their own as a boutique brokerage firm last year.
Since becoming its own firm in April 2018, 3CRE Advisors has grown rapidly, and it’s not looking to slow down any time soon. Christoforou and Costantini are looking to add three to five agents per year.
What technology has had the biggest impact on your industry?
I would say Loopnet. Loopnet, from a listing perspective, has allowed us to connect on a national level, so we’re meeting a lot of these investors nationally that are coming into the market, so that’s an external software. Internally, we use numerous softwares that help us with our offering memorandums. We’re very big on our packages and our offering memorandums, so we use software that helps us with that to make sure the information we’re putting out to the world is being seen and the packages are clean. In the past six to eight months we’ve really put a focus on social media. That’s somewhere where we differ compared to some of the other traditional brokerages. We’re on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram. It’s another differentiator compared to your traditional brokers that have been doing it for 20, 30 years.
How would you describe the culture of your workplace?
Our culture is really family-oriented. We’re all individual agents, but we’re also all a team. We’re looking for people to complement that. We’re traditional in the sense that we expect success, we expect results. Obviously it’s a results-driven business. But, at the same time, we want to make sure our agents are included. We’ll bring some of our junior guys into our deals and just allow them to train on site, be in a deal, learn the business.
Who do you turn to for business advice?
I’ve got a lot of mentors. I’ve got my dad. He’s a P&G veteran I turn to a lot. When I worked at NRL, Caveh Azadeh was one of my mentors and one of my best friends. A lot of my friends are entrepreneurs — they own their own businesses in different fields. My uncle Paul — he’s a developer from the ground up, multifamily owner, commercial owner. It allows you to have checks and balances. And Mike, that’s the most obvious. I’ve got a business partner for a reason.
When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A dentist. I think I had braces then. But I was not good at science, so I got out of that.
What was your first job?
My first job was cleaning cars. I was a detailer at a company called International Motor Car Co. We were on Dana Avenue. I became a salesman there and worked as a salesman there for four years through college. I’ve never had a salary position. I’ve been commission my whole life.
If you could trade jobs with anyone for a day, who would it be?
Some sort of athlete, just to be able to live one day like them. Lebron.
Where would we find you on a typical Saturday?
In the morning, I usually come into the office first for a couple hours, set up the week. Mike and I will meet, typically on Saturdays, just to talk about macro issues. And then head to the gym, run my errands. Relax for a couple hours, disconnect. And then I’ll head out, go to dinner. I try to taste new restaurants all the time. And then we’ll head out to the bars on a Saturday. I usually like to get together with friends and have a drink somewhere, whether it’s OTR, the Banks, Sixth and Walnut.
What food/drink is always stocked in the Christoforou household?
Alcoholic? Definitely bourbon. My favorite snack is Cheez-Its. And I like those Bai drinks, too.
Title: Managing partner, 3CRE
Hometown: Born in Melbourne, Australia; grew up in Cincinnati
Residence: Hyde Park
Education: Bachelor’s in business and marketing, University of Cincinnati
Career path: Loan officer/manager with Nations Reliable Lending LLC/Rapid Mortgage; joined Sperry Van Ness/Weprin Realty in 2014; launched 3CRE as a brokerage in April 2018