Chief Executive Officer
Elias Masri is the Chief Executive Officer of Falcon Properties, Inc.
Mr. Masri began his real estate career in the 1950′s by investing in the acquisition and refurbishment of commercial and residential buildings in Argentina. In 1988, he would found Falcon Properties, Inc.—a real-estate management corporation that would come to manage 500,000 square feet of retail and office space in the New York City area.
With over fifty years experience in the management, acquisition and administration of real estate, Mr. Masri’s primary responsibility is to oversee all investments, direct growth and ensure the economic development of the nine real estate companies managed through Falcon Properties. He sets all company policies and meets on a weekly basis with all managers and executives to review financial, budgetary, and sales, marketing, and personnel reports in order to institute and modify company policies.
Mr. Masri was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After graduating from the National University of the Littoral, he went on to study Law in Buenos Aires for a year, where he bought and put his first apartment up for sale. Initially accepting cars as down payments in order to ensure healthy mortgages for buyers, he would pioneer a new method of Argentinean real estate based on the newfound possibility of “exchanging a car for an apartment”.
Soon Mr. Masri would be devoting himself entirely to real estate as he continued to originate enterprising models to assist post-war businesses and families. By buying apartment blocks from contractors and selling the apartments separately, he would be able to sell two-bedroom apartments to one-bedroom families who only could now buy a mortgage for only the remaining room. And by putting his real estate agency on street-level, he would draw from new swaths of society. After leaving the residential sector in order to manage high-level office and retail spaces, Mr. Masri would come to work primarily with many high-level businessmen seeking the same standards as his own.
Eventually Argentina’s high inflation would lead Mr. Masri to explore new markets. After staying in New York from September of 1977 to January of 1978, he would decide to settle with his family in this new city. Presenting himself to real estate agencies as an investor who was interested in buy-outs, he found himself confronting a system entrenched in crumbling models and conservative practices. He knew he would have to impose himself if he was going to be taken seriously.
The city was broken. The old buildings in the Fashion District were deteriorating, and many lacked basic modern amenities such as elevators. Resolving to buy them up, Mr. Masri would soon remodel and repair the buildings to modern, state-of-the-art standards: revolving doors would even be placed in the entrance to give them the luxurious effect of a hotel. As the old leases expired, the type of tenants would gradually change as well, and the buildings would be fixed, modernized, and partitioned into smaller showroom and office spaces.
“As I always understood, one is either industrial or commercial: I always wanted to be commercial,” Mr. Masri has emphasized. Over decades of success, his company has been awarded prizes for everything down to the decoration of his buildings’ lobbies. “Now others copy our ideas,” he notes.
“Our company’s customer service is unique,” Mr. Masri continues. “Our own office displays an idea of honesty and transparency. Everything can be seen. When a tenant comes to sign, he sees all of us. In addition, I like to attend to customers personally…In this field there is an important need, which is to act quickly. We can sign a contract in 24 hours, while many other companies will take a month to do so.”
In envisioning the future of Falcon Properties, Mr. Masri has reiterated his confidence in the leadership of the company as it continues to pioneer 21st century real estate. “My daughter Florencia, who is now the Chairman of the Board, is well-trained, and she continues to acquire day-to-day experience.”