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Cooperative approach to service.

Theodore "Ted" Jackness is bringing a new methodology for gathering information and serving clients to the leasing brokers at Koeppel Tener Riguardi (KTR).

Jackness, 44, who was named executive vice president and director of KTR's commercial brokerage division, is employing techniques he was taught 22 years ago as a broker with Andover Realty and continued as the head of the downtown Manhattan office of Wm. A. White/Grubb & Ellis.

The 35 brokers and salespeople at KTR, a group that Jackness plans to increase by 50 percent, are all undergoing a training program prescribed by Jackness that reviews every technical aspect of the business, including selling skills.

Displaying a neatly divided map, Jackness explains that each broker is responsible for a territory. While brokers may close deals in other territories, the departmentalizing ensures that the firm has a thorough knowledge of the buildings and leases in every neighborhood of the city. The data is loaded into a computer system that was created by Jackness with the help of a programmer.

Jackness is also working to ensure there is no internal competition that can cause tension and detract from the quality of service.

"You must take the internal competition out of the office," he said. "They must work as colleagues."

The brokers at KTR are not permitted to form teams, he said. The sharing of information is urged, and, younger brokers will be well compensated for giving leads to more experienced brokers who are more apt at closing deals. When the company receives a leasing agency, he said, all the brokers push the agency not just those specifically assigned to the building.

Jackness said he is trying to instill in the brokers that brokerage is a "cerebral" business.

"You must learn to put yourself in the other person's position... What's important to the client?"

Hard work, Jackness said, is also stressed.

"Effort is probably what separates broker from broker," he said. "I believe in concept of working smart, but working smart and working hard is the key."

Collaborating Services

The team approach at KTR, Jackness said, extends beyond the brokerage division of the firm. KTR's management and appraisal divisions, he said, work in conjunction with the brokerage. When KTR is serving as a leasing agent, the management department can evaluate the building services and make recommendations that can improve the chances of renting space. The appraisal division can break down the economics of a particular building to the people responsible for leasing and management.

"[Clients] don't just buy a team of leasing people," he said.

Jackness has been in the real estate business since 1970. He began as a broker with Andover Realty. (According to Jackness, he has put his own spin on the lessons he learned from his early "professors", especially Stephen Freidus of Andover.) While at Andover, Jackness pioneered converting and leasing the secondary loft space of Midtown South. He later joined Williams Real Estate as a broker.

After seven years as a broker, he moved to California in the late 70's and spent seven years as a partner of a Los Angeles development company. He built 1 million square feet of high-rise commercial space and hundreds of subsidized housing units.

He returned to "his roots" in 1984 and was named to head the Downtown office of Wm. A. White/ Grubb & Ellis. While at Grubb & Ellis, he was responsible for leasing approximately 3 million square feet of prime office space. According to Jackness, the Downtown branch was one of the most profitable among the 164 nationwide offices of Grubb & Ellis.

Among his most significant deals to date are: * The 300,000-square-foot expansion/relocation of Automated Data Processing (ADP) to Journal Square in Jersey City and the subsequent leasing of more than 100,000 square feet of former ADP space to the City of New York * MitsubishiBank's 166,000-square-foot move to The World Trade Center * Leasing transactions, totalling more than 200,000 square feet, in New York, Los Angeles and other U.S. locations for Springs Industries * One hundred thousand square feet in transactions on behalf of Mutual of New York (MONY) * The sale of the 650,000-square-foot building at 395 Hudson Street to the Carpenters' Union Pension Fund

Jackness is a graduate of New York University with a BS in Finance and Management.

KTR, Jackness said, will continue to grow and deliver superior service, which is the ultimate goal. Today the company handles 12 million square feet in leased and managed space and they have offices in New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Somerset, New Jersey.

"You watch us we're a freight train going down the track and nothing is going to stop us," he said.
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Title Annotation:profile of Theodore Jackness, Koeppel Tener Riguardi Inc., real estate brokerage
Author:Fitzgerald, Therese
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Biography
Date:Oct 28, 1992
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