Robert Klein and Jeff Unger
We recently checked in with two of our longest serving brokers — Robert Klein and Jeff Unger. Robert has been a commercial real estate broker with Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates for 35 years. Jeff joined us 20 years ago.
KDA: How long have you guys been friends?
Robert: Jeff and I have been working on and off for approximately 20 years and share an office together. I have been with KDA since 1985 (35 years).
Jeff: I’m here 20 years and we’ve been friends for 20 years.
KDA: Where’d you grow up and how did you get started?
Robert: I originally grew up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the 60’s when Williamsburg was dirty and rough. Today Williamsburg is a different world, very hipster. Later my parents moved us to Kensington, Brooklyn, near Ocean Parkway. I started working in the Queens market and I knew little about Queens. Neil and Mr. Dolgin (Neil’s father Israel “Izzy” Dolgin) always said explore all the neighborhoods and familiarize yourself — go get lost and know that neighborhood like the back of your hand. Izzy Dolgin’s famous quote was “always show customers what they don’t want,” which still happens to be true.
Jeff: I grew up in eastern Queens and I focused on Long Island City from day one. My specialties are Long Island City and Maspeth Queens, to Sunset Park and Red Hook in South Brooklyn.
Robert: Those are the hot corners in Queens and Brooklyn — the neighborhoods that have larger industrial and commercial real estate. We both work on bigger deals with customers looking for large footprints in industrial and commercial building inventory. I have also worked on residential redevelopment of industrial properties that have gone through rezoning both in Brooklyn and Queens.
Jeff: I was the exclusive broker on the historic Falci Buiding in Long Island City, Queens, as well as the Maspeth Industrial Center, a 600K sq ft development which continues today. I’m also a broker for Liberty View Plaza, a 1.2mm sq. ft. industrial / commercial / office property.
KDA: Is there a saying or motto you live by?
Jeff: I treat people with respect and I work cooperatively with the entire brokerage community. Reputation means everything. You also become an expert based on your deals. Bob and I have canvassed a lot. We’re here at 830 am and leave at 530.pm. We’re street smart and always hitting the street. We’re in it to win it. And over the decades we’ve developed a strong connections with other brokers and brokerage houses and deploy the best marketing technologies.
Robert: Brokers just don’t sell or lease properties; we advise customers and educate them on all aspects of commercial and industrial real estate. It’s all about honesty and trust! Success is no accident. It takes hard work, perseverance, learning, sacrifice and most of all love of what you are doing. I have developed relationships over the past 35 years with customers who have become personal friends.
Jeff: We are both involved in reading up on the laws that have taken place, changes in commercial real estate regulations and zoning modifications from the NYC Planning Boards. New York City is going through a rezoning. Neighborhoods are changing in leaps and bounds. We also attend lots of networking meetings with developers and talk about the next hip neighborhoods.
KDA: And what are your favorite sports team(s)?
Robert: NY Yankees and Giants. I have also played in a men’s wooden bat baseball league in New Jersey for the past 30 years
Jeff: NY Mets and Giants.
KDA: And your favorite bands and foods?
Robert: My favorite bands growing up were The Eagles, Rush, Van Halen, and the Dobbie Brothers. My favorite foods are Italian, Thai, and Middle Eastern.
Jeff: My favorite band is the Grateful Dead. My favorite food is Italian.
Email Jeff. Email Robert.