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Sherman Hillelson and Arrow Real Estate Services Alliance | Alliances, Arrow News

Arrow Real Estate Services, one of the region’s fastest growing commercial real estate firms, has formed an alliance with Sherman Hillelson, a well-respected business broker in the Philadelphia area.

Sean Sablosky, Arrow’s chief executive officer, said the agreement will allow clients of Arrow and Hillelson Business Services to benefit from a wider array of  services while the two companies increase their client base.

“It’s a way of taking our company to the next level by assisting our clients with that portion of the transaction as well,” Sablosky said of real estate and business sales. “It’s a very symbiotic relationship.”

“We are very honored and humbled that an icon of this industry has agreed to become a very welcome addition to our company, and I know that Arrow will be a complimentary addition for Hillelson. He’s a tremendous elder statesman in this business.”

For more than 25 years, Hillelson has helped small business owners buy and sell hundreds of businesses in a variety of industries. He said both companies have something that can be beneficial to each other, and called Sablosky “a smart businessman who understands the marketplace.”

When the two industry leaders kept running into each other at different transactions, Sablosky decided an alliance would be fortuitous for each of their companies and made a proposal that Hillelson accepted.

“Sherman is very different than most of our people, who are used to bricks and mortar,” said Brooke Henningsen, the co-founding partner with Sablosky since Arrow’s inception in February, 2012. “Businesses are things most commercial real estate firms are not fully equipped to deal with as part of the transaction. With Sherman, we’ll now have an additional business resource for our clients.”

Bob Winitsky, a principal partner with Arrow, said “When you bring in the right strategic partner, there’s value in what you can offer the client.”

Winitsky has worked with Hillelson on several projects. Whenever he mentions the Hillelson name to a client, the feedback is fairly standard. “They either know him or have heard of him,” he said.

Hillelson’s reputation sets him apart from other business brokers. “There’s a trust,” Winitsky said of the brand Hillelson has established. “You can work with Sherman because you can trust him. He serves the client. He’s not self-serving.”

Arrow has been growing like wildfire since Sablosky and Henningsen established the unique company a year and a half ago. Since then, Arrow has nearly 30 agents in eight states, with approximately 2 million square feet of listings, as well as a growing stable of retail clients.

The success comes as no surprise. The two co-founding partners chose to invest in people rather than overhead. By taking advantage of cutting-edge technology, it allows them to pay commissions to their associates at a higher rate. In addition, Arrow supplies state-of-the-art marketing, branding and all the accoutrements its agents need to succeed. The agents can make more money with fewer clients, allowing for greater customer service.

Winitsky, who’s been in the business since 1969, contends there’s another key reason Arrow has quickly hit its target.

“Ninety-nine percent of brokerage houses believe everything belongs to them,” Winitsky said. “They require you to sign contracts saying as much. At Arrow, we don’t believe we own the agent’s contacts or deals. We are a cohesive group of people sharing information, knowing that it’s not proprietary. It’s truly a different culture.”

Sablosky, with 30 years in the shopping center and commercial real estate industry, has held a number of positions over that time. Arrow’s success, however, is special as he’s watched others embrace the model and succeed. “I’m like a proud parent here,” he said, focusing on the high level of support through marketing and branding his agents have received. He consistently lavishes praise on them for their “productivity and results.”

The symmetry is evident in the numbers. “In 18 months almost 30 professionals signed on and are working in eight states,” he said. “It’s a great validation of our concept.”

“We wanted to start a company with a sense of innovation. Our frustration was that everybody that’s started a new commercial brokerage company in the last 20, 30, 40 years has done it the same way. They didn’t take into account the internet and cloud-based efficiencies. We have a much higher commission rate for agents who are making the deals.”

Hillelson said he had “a good feeling” meeting and talking to Sean. His wealth of experience has taught him that “when you put the right two people together, one and one equals three. When you put two heads together, it’s almost like putting three heads together. Sometimes things come out that wouldn’t have if you didn’t have that relationship.”

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