Q&A with Ron Koenigsberg
If you know Commercial Real Estate on Long Island then you know the name Ron Koenigsberg, but how much do you actually know about the man behind the name? Read on to find out all about Ron Koenigsberg and what he would have been if he weren’t a Commercial Real Estate broker.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. That day my father was working so he was late getting to the hospital. He had no money so he borrowed money from my Grandmother to buy my mother flowers. That day my mother took the bus to the hospital. My childhood was spent growing up in Plainview, Long Island.
Where did you go to college? Graduate School?
I attended American University for undergraduate school. There was never a question of what I wanted to study – I was accepted into the Kogod School of Business and majored in Accounting. Because I am Dyslexic I had a natural aptitude away from written skills and towards math. For Graduate School, I was in the very first class of the Real Estate Development and Masters of Science Program at New York University. I graduated in 1989 with only 12 people my graduating class. It is a huge program today.
What is your proudest moment at American University?
My proudest moment at American was my 2nd semester of my junior year… accounting was a tough major, but I focused really hard and was able to get a 4.0. That was the highlight of my academic career. I am also proud of being the Social Chairman of my Fraternity ZBT for 2 years, and the President of the Accounting Club.
What are your favorite hobbies today?
Crossfit because its so complex as it incorporates running, weightlifting, diet and exercise. But my number one hobby is being a Dad and spending as much time as possible with my two sons Drew (19 months) and Chase (4 months) and my wife Danielle. The highlight of my day is most definitely singing “Elmo Song” with my son Drew over and over and over, it’s one catchy tune.
Give us a day in the life of Ron Koenigsberg
I get up every day at 6:40am to get to my Crossfit workout of the day by 7am. Once I am finished with my work out by 8am, I then go home, get ready, put a suit on and get to my office. Once at work, I focus on returning emails, making calls, putting out fires, and following up on details. The most important part of my job is the details in every deal, whether it’s with a tenant, broker, seller, buyer, etc. My day and job match my personality. I’ve had other jobs but this one feels like was crafted for me because I really like Real Estate and I am intrigued by it every single day. I really enjoy the history part of it and equally enjoy the social aspect of interacting with buyers and sellers on a personal basis. I thoroughly enjoy these relationships and therefore what I do.
When did you decide you wanted to be in Commercial Real Estate?
I know this sounds absurd but my Dad was a personal financial planner handling mutual funds, life insurance, and real estate, and to me, the only intriguing part of what he did was real estate. It interested me and my brother Jay so much that my brother became a Real Estate attorney, and I pursued Commercial Real Estate. It was always in my brain to be in Real Estate, I think I always knew it.
What do you believe is your greatest strength?
I believe my greatest strength actually comes from being Dyslexic…it gave me the ability to communicate and forced me to have outstanding social skills because I had to make up for my inability to communicate in writing without struggling.
…Your biggest weakness?
My old boss said that I am too nice of a guy and that I’d get pushed over. This is something that I am consistently cognizant of but still choose to keep kindness as a strong part of my core personality. I believe that kindness helps you connect to those around you.
What is the most challenging part of being a Commercial Real Estate Broker and firm owner/President?
For me, the most challenging part of being a broker and President of a Commercial Real Estate firm is juggling my clients and my employees while still having a keen attention to every detail. It is a lot to take on but we have formed a good team here at American Investment Properties, Inc., and we look out for each other.
If you weren’t a Commercial Real Estate Broker, what would you like to have been?
A Head Hunter… or a pitcher in the MLB. A Head Hunter is the job that I feel is most similar to being a Real Estate Broker, but instead of properties you are brokering people and trying to find the right career fit for them. I’m a people person so I would definitely have to be doing something with people and building relationships. As far as being a pitcher in the MLB, the salaries are huge and you only have to work every three days. It’s just too bad that I could never throw a good curve ball.
You’re a huge Long Island advocate – what is your favorite place on Long Island?
All of it, really. I’m from here, silly accent and all. I’ve always found my greatest joy here on Long Island. I’ve enjoyed my time on Jones Beach as much as I’ve enjoyed my time growing up and going to bars in Huntington. I’ve spent time in the Hamptons, I love living in Roslyn, and working in Garden City is ideal. So really, when I say “All of it” I mean it. It’s a great place to live and to work. Long Island is such a huge part of who I am.
What do you think Long Island will be like in 20 years?
My family moved here in 1968 to Plainview, since then so much has already changed. Plainview was mostly farmland; I grew up with farms all around me. I think the future of Long Island is going to change most drastically in its landscape. I think that whatever rural or even suburban area we have will eventually become downtowns, village areas a lot like Great Neck, Long Beach, Huntington, or Patchogue.
If you could give your fellow Long Islanders just one piece of Real Estate advice, what would it be?
Be a risk taker. A great quote that I have written down and look at every day reads, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk…In a world changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” That was said by Mark Zuckerberg, and look what he’s achieved by taking risks.