CORFAC INTERNATIONAL CELEBRATES 25TH ANNIVERSARY
FALLS CHURCH, VA. — Corporate Facility Advisors (CORFAC International) is celebrating its 25-year anniversary. CORFAC International was incorporated in 1989 as a not-for-profit association with the goal of becoming an affiliation of commercial real estate service companies. Affiliation for CORFAC is dues-based and a board representing the member firms governs the organization.
The initial concept for CORFAC International came from Charlie King Jr., principal with King Industrial Realty/CORFAC International in Atlanta. According to the organization, the idea for CORFAC started in November 1986 in the coffee shop of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan during an SIOR convention. The founding members were interested in starting a new kind of referral network — one built on personal relationships and with invitation-only membership.
“We wanted to have the ability to compete for business on a national basis and yet remain true to our roots as local service providers foremost — more Main Street than Wall Street,” says King. “We knew we were never going to be like one of the big national companies, but then we didn’t want to be like them. We intentionally established a network of companies in which the principals are closely involved in running their businesses and personally involved in brokerage transactions.”
Steven Podolsky, principal with Podolsky|Circle CORFAC International in Chicago; Michael Jacobus, principal with McBride Corporate Real Estate/CORFAC International in Paramus, N.J.; and the late Al McConkey of King Industrial Realty/CORFAC International in Atlanta were pioneers for CORFAC International. Podolsky, Jacobus and McConkey were all SIOR members who used their contacts to set up meetings in the early days, according to King.
King adds that one of the core features of the CORFAC network model — not charging fees off the top when two or more real estate brokers work on a multimarket assignment — has been an important differentiator for the CORFAC network. Robert Tillsley, currently serving as CORFAC’s president, attributes the organization’s success to the long-term relationships that individuals and affiliated firms have established over the years.
“We see each other a couple times a year at our national conferences. We help each other with ideas and best practices for running our businesses — everything from lease administration forms to technology and succession planning,” says Tillsley. “Valuable information is only a phone call away. For many of us we’ve become friends, we trust each other.”
Today, CORFAC is a network of independently owned commercial real estate companies with 65 offices in North America and a presence in 60 countries worldwide. CORFAC firms have averaged more than 9,600 completed transactions annually totaling more than 513 million square feet worth an excess of $5.95 billion for their customers in recent years.
— John Nelson