Insight

Deal keeps firm in family

Tim Conley has sold Cresa Albany to nephew Zac Conley

December 9, 2014

Tim Conley will now have a lot more time to play his beloved game of golf.

One of the Capital Region's most prominent real estate executives, Conley sold Cresa Albany — formerly known as Conley Associates — to nephew Zac Conley earlier this month for an undisclosed amount.

The move allows Tim Conley, 59, to spend considerably more time playing golf and with his wife and family at their second home in Florida. But despite the fact that Zac Conley owns the company and is now managing principal, Tim, who remains on as a consultant, is not going away anytime soon.

"I'm still very much engaged in the business, and I intend to remain in the business," Tim Conley said.

Tim Conley, who lives in Latham and grew up in Watervliet, was named the top producing real estate broker for Prudential real estate in 1993 with $13 million in sales. He started his own real estate firm the same year. Conley Associates only represents tenants as opposed to both tenants and landlords, as many real estate agents do. Cresa is a Boston-based network of tenant-only real estate firms. When Conley joined the network in 2011, the firm became known as Cresa Albany. There are 58 Cresa offices in North America with a total of $240 million of combined revenue in 2013. Cresa Albany is located on Washington Avenue in downtown Albany.

Tim Conley's son Brian runs Conley Realty Services, a property management firm that Tim Conley also started.

Zac Conley, 32, a SUNY Plattsburgh graduate with a degree in business economics, began working for his uncle in 2004. At first he worked in accounting, but quickly was promoted to an agent. In 2001, he left the firm — a period he calls his "walkabout" — to work at Carrow Real Estate Services and First Columbia.

Zac Conley, a Bethlehem resident, said he was looking to lead his own company when his uncle brought up the idea.

"It kind of worked out perfectly," Zac Conley said. "I've wanted to own a real estate firm for years now."

Zac Conley says he plans to grow the firm from eight current employees, with two to three more hires by the end of 2015.

Tenant-only representation is a specialized field that includes not only representing companies looking for new space or building new space but also consulting on more specialized projects.

For instance, Emma Willard School in Troy hired the company to study if it was viable to lease out three buildings totaling 60,000 square feet on its campus, including a faculty apartment building. Cresa Albany ultimately recommended that the project would be too costly for the school compared to other investments. In other cases, the firm works with companies when they build new buildings, representing them in negotiations with developers and even serving as project managers.

Because of that, the firm has various fee structures, from regular commissions to hourly billing rates. Zac Conley says agents also have to be experts in everything from real estate to architecture, law and accounting.

"We level the playing field (with landlords and developers)," Zac Conley said.

 

Link to Article in Albany Times Union