When Darla Longo arrives at CBRE’s workplace in Glendale, California, Barbara Perrier is already ready, sporting a blue pantsuit. Longo, with a wonderfully framed blonde fringe, walks into the room — additionally sporting a blue pantsuit.
“I asked Barbara what she was wearing,” Longo says, wanting over at Perrier, her youthful sister, who nods with approval.
It’s a uncommon female second within the testosterone-fueled world of economic actual property. The two sisters have personally offered $10 billion price of business property within the final yr — greater than 3 times what Blackstone paid for WPT Industrial REIT’s 38 million-square-foot portfolio — whereas managing to ship out Valentine’s Day presents to their teammates, proving that success within the business doesn’t must be masculine or chilly.
“They are brilliant performers for us,” stated Lew Horne, the president of Greater Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire for CBRE.
Since Longo enlisted Perrier to workforce up on industrial gross sales and leasing about 20 years in the past, the 2 have dominated the sector. Brokers within the L.A. space view them as an untouchable duo. Few of their rivals have been prepared to speak about them on the document, and even off the document, a number of made certain to notice that that they had nothing dangerous to say about both sister.
Longo doesn’t hesitate to talk up for herself and her sibling, to not point out the 32 brokers they lead at CBRE, which she says has the biggest market share of any industrial capital markets workforce within the nation.
A path with roadblocks
Longo was nonetheless an economics pupil at UCLA in 1977 when she determined to enter actual property. Her father thought she’d be good at gross sales. Growing up, she offered kumquats in her neighborhood in Glendale and plenty of Girl Scout cookies. She thought actual property was attention-grabbing, however residential didn’t sound interesting — too many nights and weekends.
She received a job at Jon Douglas Company, a business brokerage agency, in West L.A. and arranged her courses round work, not telling her boss that she was really nonetheless a pupil. Her first deal was promoting a chunk of land in Pacoima to Continental Yogurt — she made $15,000.
It wasn’t straight up from there.
“I can’t tell you how many offices I came out of in tears,” Longo stated. “I was never raised thinking there was any bias against women. It just never registered.”
After she graduated, she was employed right into a coaching program on the L.A. workplace of CBRE, which was recognized on the time as Coldwell Banker.
In the ’70s and ’80s, Longo stated, she was one of many solely ladies working with industrial actual property. It was “super unusual” –– most girls again then selected to enter retail or workplace. Asked whether or not both of them had some other feminine brokers that they may depend on for help, Perrier responded, “Who was that gal? Susan?” to which Longo interjected, “Mary?” Neither of them may keep in mind.
But Longo preferred producers, a penchant she attributed to her dad’s job within the metal enterprise.
Gone have been the tears.
“She was this brilliant, young protégé who was very successful from day one,” stated Stephen Batcheller, a accomplice at Transwestern Development Company who labored with Longo within the Eighties at CB.
By 1989, her youthful sister was additionally searching for a job.
Longo had helped Perrier get a foot within the door at Coldwell Banker, doing part-time information assortment whereas she studied English at UCLA. Once she graduated, Perrier needed to work at Coldwell Banker full-time within the Inland Empire, the place Longo was working.
“I told Darla, ‘We’ll be in the same market’,” Perrier stated. “But she said, ‘I don’t think that’s a good idea. Go do your own thing.’”
So Perrier received a job as a runner for Horne when he was nonetheless a senior dealer on the agency, working within the San Fernando Valley.
Each of the sisters stated they confronted a number of “roadblocks” as ladies within the industrial sector.
“I was young, I was blonde, I was female — strike, strike strike,” Perrier stated.
“But you learn to cut out the noise,” Longo added.
Though they declined to touch upon particular cases, each stated their early years introduced harassment, snarky feedback and discouraging and dissuading male friends.
“If they were facing those issues, you would never have known, they never let it show,” Batcheller stated.
“The world was different,” Perrier stated. “The world’s a better place today where there’s more opportunities for people to raise a complaint if they’d like to, or breastfeed if they want to, or take maternity leave if they want to.”
Enlisting the household
Throughout the Nineties, Longo and Perrier operated individually, leasing out industrial properties of their respective territories.
But as Longo continued to make a reputation for herself within the enterprise, she needed extra. She needed to start out really promoting the buildings she was leasing and finance the offers. She was advised she couldn’t do each — she must surrender leasing.
“I refused to do that,” Longo stated. “I wanted to be involved from cradle to grave, the whole thing.”
Meanwhile, Perrier was engaged on an enormous leasing project with Prudential Insurance in Glendale, till Prudential determined to promote the entire park and Perrier misplaced an enormous chunk of her enterprise.
Now that each sisters have been seeking to diversify, they began entertaining the concept of working collectively — one thing their father had all the time recommended. But they have been hesitant.
“The brokerage business is a tough business,” Longo stated. “The last thing we wanted to do was have any issue as sisters.”
Perrier completed the thought: “We didn’t want any commission disputes, or any other problems.”
Sources accustomed to their resolution to workforce up stated Longo was actually searching for somebody to belief after main fee disputes with a number of of her companions at Coldwell Banker. After their father died in 1997, they finally determined to accomplice up — “all these things fell into place,” Longo stated.
One of their first offers was on behalf of a cement firm, Vulcan Materials, which was seeking to promote a portfolio of buildings and got here to Perrier. That form of deal would often undergo an funding gross sales workforce, however the sisters determined to grab the day.
“We thought, ‘We’re going to just go do this,’” Perrier recalled. ”We’re not asking for permission.”
For 10 years, Longo and Perrier labored collectively on gross sales and leases, splitting commissions.
One of their offers in 2007 was a 1.8 million-square-foot warehouse for Skechers within the Inland Empire metropolis of Moreno Valley — a lease that was valued at about $100 million. At the time, Longo described it as the biggest single-tenant lease within the nation.
In 2010, Longo and Perrier determined they wanted to department out and look past Southern California for shoppers — massive REITs and funding companies from throughout the nation have been seeking to do offers in L.A. and the Inland Empire, they usually needed to do them with the sisters.
The relationship with Vulcan proved fruitful. The agency had a 90-acre parcel off the 210 Freeway in Irwindale — and Perrier had stored her eye on it for greater than 20 years.
“We would drive by it all the time, and my kids would ask what’s going on with that site,” she stated. “It was years and years and years.”
The sisters offered the property final yr on behalf of Vulcan to Clarion Partners for $190 million. Clarion is constructing a brand new industrial growth on the positioning — and Perrier and Longo could have the leasing going ahead.
Not each deal has been clean crusing. In 2007, Perrier had one shopper — which she declined to call — that was “very anal” in regards to the providing memorandum. They needed to vary commas and durations and rework each different sentence.
Perrier spent about 4 months on the providing memorandum, after which the 2008 monetary disaster hit.
“The property immediately went from a very sellable property to losing $15 million worth of value,” she stated. “They ended up having to hold it for another like six years.”
Deals, offers, offers
Over the previous 10 years, the workforce has accomplished about $220 billion in whole gross sales and $45 billion in financing offers — Longo received her want of working offers from cradle to grave.
Last yr, the workforce did greater than $20 billion price of gross sales, with Longo and Perrier’s offers making up about half of that. Their commissions are all the time break up evenly throughout their whole workforce — an unusual technique in business brokerage.
With commissions for industrial properties starting from 1 to 2 p.c — although some smaller transactions may have the next proportion — Longo and Perrier’s workforce probably earned the agency a minimal of $200 million. That equates to $6.25 million for every dealer.
For Perrier and Longo, CBRE would take about 40 p.c of their fee. After this, Perrier and Longo may have made about $3.75 million every final yr from gross sales alone.
Longo and Perrier declined to remark particularly on how a lot they made final yr.
For comparability, think about a four-person industrial workforce at Cushman & Wakefield, made up of Jeff Chiate, Mike Adey, Bryce Aberg and Brad Brandenburg, who received high producing awards for the brokerage final yr. The Southern California workforce offered $4.3 billion price of business actual property in 2021 — lower than half of what Longo and Perrier personally offered.
Perrier famous that although gross sales costs for industrial properties have risen because the pandemic — to $289 per sq. foot within the first quarter of this yr, a 34 p.c soar in comparison with the identical interval final yr — brokers nonetheless want deal circulate to succeed in the higher echelons of the sector.
“It’s not like they go up exponentially because the pricing goes up,” she stated. “It’s the volume.”
Longo’s technique of taking up leasing, gross sales and financing has labored for her, Perrier and all the workforce — they’re capable of deal with all of it.
“I see their name on many different listings,” stated Krestina Babamuratova, an industrial dealer with Savills who represents tenants. “That’s the goal.”
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