The Kings of Commercial
Chief among them is Brendan Cavender, Chaconas' partner. A twenty-four-year-old Ann Arbor native with a U-M degree in business sociology--a major he devised himself--Cavender is as brash as his boss. When I ask them what's the best thing to happen to the city's commercial real estate market, Cavender jumps in before Chaconas with his own question: "You mean other than me?"
Cavender's first sale was of himself. "Brendan kept pestering me, and I wouldn't talk to him," says Chaconas with a laugh.
"I wouldn't take no for an answer," says Cavender. "I called many, many times before I finally got a response: 'Call Debi.' I didn't know who Debi was or how to contact her, but I figured it out. And the first thing he did was to make me learn every commercial building in Ann Arbor!"
"Everybody here knows all the market prices," says Chaconas. "If someone calls on the phone with a question, you shouldn't have to say you'll get back to them. You should know the answers in your head, or you shouldn't be in the business. A computer is a tool; it's not knowledge.
"The key is: don't lose the personal touch," Chaconas continues in full flow. "We actually go out and look at the property and shake hands and meet people.