Top Deal Makers: Lazer Sternhell CEO of Cignature Realty

The establishment of Cignature Realty in the second quarter of 2009, in the midst of arguably the worst recession of modern times, is a feat in itself, but Lazer Sternhell was

buoyed by his critical participation in 2008 in a set of commercial real estate transactions totaling some $885 million — equivalent to about 5% of all transactions completed last year.

Lazer Sternhell, CEO of Cignature Realty, grew up in New York City’s commercial real estate community. He learned early in his career how to analyze transactions and how to find elements that offer value not readily apparent. And, of course, his early exposure to the business made him something of an “insider” who gets access to client deals before they start getting shopped around. These qualities helped him to accumulate more than $1.5 billion in transactions over the past two years.

Last year, in fact, he was part of a team of brokers who closed some $885 million in transactions and put him high up on the coveted list of 2008 CoStar Power Broker AwardsTM winners. Sternhell established Cignature Realty in the second quarter of 2009, in the midst of a recession. But his focus is not so fixed on distressed properties; rather, he says, “We are sticking to our core business. There’s always going to be demand for apartments in New York, particularly rent stabilized buildings, and there are always going to be buyers and sellers who seek opportunities in this segment — individuals and organizations with whom we have established relationships over many years.”

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