Zimmel Associates Marks 30 Years of Real Estate Excellence
As Zimmel Associates, the Edison, NJ based corporate real estate services firm marks its 30th year in business, David Zimmel, president and CEO says, “The past three decades have flown by like lightening. It is amazing how much our industry and company have evolved over the years.” Zimmel’s firm, located in Raritan Center, specializes in the leasing, sale and management of industrial, office and investment properties and represents more than five million sq. ft. of exclusive space in Union, Middlesex, Monmouth and Somerset counties and surrounding areas. Consistently named a Power Broker by CoStar, Zimmel Associates had its highest grossing year to date in 2015. The firm recently gained the attention of the national commercial real estate community when it was ranked 12th in the nation for first half office sales by Real Estate Alert, which tracks sales of U.S. properties over $25 million. Zimmel’s father and business partner for 27 years, Bernard Zimmel (1928-2014), would have appreciated the firm’s latest milestones, the CEO says. Bernard Zimmel, who worked well into his mid eighties, was the first of three generations of Zimmels who have chosen careers in NY/NJ metro area commercial real estate.
The Zimmel Associates team, left to right: Joel Natter, executive vice president; Jordan Zimmel, vice president; David Zimmel, president; Jaime Zimmel, vice president; and Jason B. Zimmel, sales associate.
From left: Bernard Zimmel (1928-2014) and David Zimmel founded Zimmel Associates in 1986 as a dynamic father and son team, a tradition that continues at the firm.
Father and son team Bernard and David Zimmel formed Zimmel Associates in the summer of 1986. In the mid 1980’s both were working for the same New Jersey real estate brokerage firm when they were invited to join a new firm and have a partnership interest in it. It was an exciting offer. David Zimmel asked an important client whose opinion he respected what he thought about it. The client was Jack Denholtz, founder of Denholtz Associates. The prominent developer said, “Why not start your own company? We would work with you wherever you go.” “That advice inspired us to establish our own firm and we were a great team for many years,” says Zimmel. “ Some people find it hard to believe, but we never had a serious argument in all of our years of working together. If we disagreed, we always talked it out.” When queried about the most important things he learned from his father, Zimmel says, “My father was a hard worker and believed in being straight up all the time. He always told it like it was. Clients respected him for that. Integrity is the most important part of our firm’s culture. “He was a creative thinker too. He originated the concept of flex space for the industrial market and shared that idea with Jack Denholtz in 1969. It had major impact on the marketplace. “Denholtz developed quite a few flex buildings and named us exclusive broker for a number of them. It gave us a lot of visibility in the industrial market that continues to this day.”
Zimmel Associates’ standing in the commercial real estate industry and tradition of father and son teamwork are stronger than ever. Three of David Zimmel’s sons work at the firm. The third generation at Zimmel Associates are: Jordan Zimmel, vice president, and Jaime Zimmel, vice president, who have been with the firm for 10 and seven years respectively; and Jason B. Zimmel, sales associate, a recent college graduate who joined the firm just as it reached its 30 years anniversary. They, and Joel Natter, executive vice president at Zimmel Associates and a 20-year veteran with the firm, are a dynamic team committed to their clients.
“Not too many people can say that they had the opportunity to work with both their father and grandfather. I am so grateful for the opportunities and real-life education they provided.”
~ Jordan Zimmel
The Zimmel team has deep regard for the years when three generations served at the firm.
Left to right are David Zimmel, Jaime Zimmel and Bernard Zimmel.
Jordan Zimmel says, “Not too many people can say that they had the opportunity to work with both their father and grandfather. I considered working for another firm first to get experience outside of the family business, but with the reputation and success that my father and grandfather achieved, I wanted to learn the industry first hand from them. “I am so grateful for the opportunities and real-life education they provided,” he adds. “I’m comfortable saying that my brothers would echo those sentiments. As a group, we strive to achieve, not rest on past successes.” Zimmel’s eldest son Jared Zimmel chose a real estate career as well. A graduate of George Washington University who studied finance, he serves as a Vice President at Natixis Global Asset Management in New York, NY, where he specializes in securitized lending for commercial real estate projects. “As much as I want to direct my sons, I think it is important for them to have the freedom to make their own decisions,” says David Zimmel. “I am following my father’s example with me, so they can succeed in their own right. “We are lucky to have Joel Natter on-board for twenty years, says Zimmel. “He joined our firm as a seasoned professional and is extremely knowledgeable about the industry and our market, excellent at generating new business, and adds balance to our firm dynamic.”
Keys to Success
Zimmel explains that over the years, the firm has built a solid roster of long-term relationships with tenants, owners, developers and investors, and industry professionals such as attorneys, bankers, builders, and more. “Long term relationships are vital to our success,” he says. “We have clients that we’ve represented for more than 30 years and have maintained those relationships even with generational changes or changes in ownership” Zimmel says the key to maintaining those relationships is by always doing the right thing, being accountable and available at the drop of a hat, and producing very sharp results. “Know the marketplace like the back of your hand and be the best educated broker around,” says Zimmel. “Thorough marketplace expertise and attentive service is what sets us apart. We work hard to ‘not’ give someone a reason to replace us.”
“Know the marketplace like the back of your hand and be th