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Commercial Corner: Isaac Shrem

Isaac Shrem, Associate, Westbridge Realty Group

Isaac Shrem, an associate at Westbridge Realty Group, focuses on investment sales in the metropolitan New York area with particular expertise in the disposition of multi-family and mixed-use assets.

Shrem, who joined the team in July of 2015, quickly showcased his abilities by successfully brokering several transactions including a 28-unit mixed-use building in the Bronx; a 20-unit building in Brooklyn, and various others.

In 2017 he sold $8 million worth of deals that included the sale of 1125 Findlay Avenue, which started a new trend for sales in the Bronx.  This deal traded strictly on a cap rate, unlike any other Bronx properties at the time.

Shrem’s passion for the real estate market started at an early age when he was exposed to his family’s substantial involvement in the investment of shopping centers and retail strips across the U.S.  Isaac has successfully leveraged that passion into becoming a consistent dealmaker for Westbridge’s clients.

He graduated with honors from Yeshiva University’s Sy Syms School of Business with a B.S. in business management and marketing.

Active in his community, Shrem supports and strongly advocates for the Sephardic Food Fund in Brooklyn that discreetly identifies needy members of the community and provides them with special credit cards that enable them to shop at all supermarkets, butchers, and bakers.

How long have you been in the business?

Almost three years. I came to Westbridge Realty Group in June 2015 and have been here ever since.

What made you decide to get into real estate?

The lucrativeness and excitement. I’m a salesman and always have been. The dollar signs aren’t nearly as big in any other industry.

Who inspires you?

My grandfather, Abe Seruya. He’s been in the real estate industry for over a decade and has lived through it all in many different markets, whether it be in the fashion industry, stocks and bonds, or real estate. His experience and knowledge is unparalleled. Plus he’s 77 with no plans to retire anytime soon, even though he is more than able to do so.

What pushes you to the next level?

Competition. Whenever I see a deal that I worked on in the past close, or a deal that I know I could have done, that’s something that really bothers me. I try to take that energy and use it to motivate me to work harder and smarter.

What is the hottest deal you have made to date?

The sale of 27 apartments and two stores that I sold in the Bronx when I first came into the industry over two years ago. The price per unit and per square foot were insanely low compared to the current market and it is in a prime location in the Little Italy section of the Bronx. Once we mentioned the deal to a few investors, we were bombarded with phone calls.

What is your secret weapon for sealing a deal?

Convincing the parties involved to seize the moment and that this opportunity will not be around forever. Otherwise they will just hold on to their properties, and nobody would ever sell unless they were in a dire financial situation.

What is the hottest area for deals right now?

Without a doubt the Bronx. When I first started out, everyone used to laugh and tell me that the entire Bronx is for sale, if somebody is willing to buy it. That is true, but most investors only realize it now that they feel that deal flow in Brooklyn has been significantly reduced.

What’s the best season for deals?

I like the summer. Even though a huge con is that everybody is always in and out of vacations, investors are always looking for a good deal.  On the days my clients are working, they are hungrier and ready to do deals, plus everyone is in a great mental state in the summer.

If you had to work in a city other than New York, where would it be?

Tel Aviv. The city never gets old and has such an amazing creative aspect to it. Plus there’s always great vibes there.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to someone starting in the business?

Be motivated. The fire needs to come from within, everything else can be taught. Someone who really wants to be successful and make things happen will do so.

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