By: David Bjorkgren, Editor
Special to the Hellenic News
You could say that Evans Zografakis offers a one-stop shopping experience for your real estate needs. This 20 plus-year veteran of real estate is prepared to help you buy or sell a home, buy or sell a business, or broker a commercial property deal.
“I can sell homes or I can sell apartment buildings. I can sell shopping centers. I can sell warehouses,” he explains. “Because I understand the business I can go and find a buyer and a seller and match them together.”
Now would be a good time to take advantage of Zografakis’ skills and experience. The real estate market is hot, he says, and shows no sign soon of slowing down soon. People are making money in the stock market, interest rates remain at historic lows and in these post-Recession days, developers are starting to build again.
A heated real estate market can mean challenges, all the more reason to have a guy like Zografakis in your corner. Having a knowledgeable Realtor that will treat everyone fairly is going to be a key to success. Having one with the flexibility to handle different situations is even better.
What kind of situations? A business owner might be doing well and wants to buy a house, but also wants to expand his business to another location. He might want to buy a property for his children, or invest in an apartment building. Zografakis has built relationships with people in many areas of real estate and business development so he’s prepared to handle all of those needs, and more. If you need contracting advice, a referral for a carpenter or plumber, a real estate attorney, an engineer—he’s got that covered, too.
“It’s nice to have relationships because if you don’t have a relationship you just go into some real estate office to buy something. You don’t know who you’re going to meet,” he says.
He estimates that 50 percent of his business is residential, 50 percent commercial. Brokering deals between business owners looking to buy or sell is his special niche in the industry.
Often, he represents clients who are selling pizzerias and restaurants, hooking them up with potential buyers. The owner of a restaurant might be flipping burgers, creating gyros but he doesn’t know how to sell his business or find a buyer. That’s where Zografakis comes in. “Because I understand the business I can go and find a buyer and a seller and match them together,” he says.
For the buyer, he helps them ask the right questions and make the right decisions to give the best chance at success. Do they want to own in the suburbs or city? How much business do they expect to do in a week? “Once I ask them questions and I let them know how much they’ll have to pay for something like that, than I can find out, are these people real?” he says. Someone buying a pizza shop needs to know the realistic expectations of owning that business. “If you own a pizza shop, you don’t want me bringing somebody over that can’t afford to buy your place,” he says.
Zografakis is a Greek American who grew up in a twin home in Upper Darby, Pa. His father is from Crete, his mother from Athens. Both came to America separately in the mid-1950s for a better life, then met here and married. His father was in the Merchant Marines when he first came over. Now retired and in his 90s, he was an exemplary 30-year employee for Budd Electric, “probably one of their best employees,” Zografakis says proudly.
Zografakis’ background and heritage mean he understands the concerns of many of the pizzeria and restaurant owners who are also often Greek American. “Selling a restaurant or pizzeria, especially Greek American, is a little tricky because historically these businesses are cash businesses.” That can mean a more informal process for financing the deal. Zografakis works with the seller and the buyer to make sure the deal is private and smooth, without complications or misunderstandings.
He also has contact with many foreign buyers, investors in expensive New York properties who are happy to take a look at cheaper business properties here in Pennsylvania.
“Because I have these clients that trust me, if I bring them down for something and tell them this is good deal, they trust me, they’re coming. It doesn’t mean they’re going to buy all the time but most of the time I’m closing these deals,” he says.
He’s licensed in Pennsylvania and works mostly in Delaware and Chester Counties, and the city of Philadelphia, not that he won’t travel outside that territory when an opportunity is available.
Zografakis has a business degree from Temple University and was the owner of a used car dealership for about 15 years, buying and selling real estate on the side. With his growing success in the business, he decided to go full time. “I’ve always had kind of a knack for making the deals and matching people together,” he says. He likes the win-win aspect of deal making. “At the end, ultimately, everybody is happy,” he says.
His ethics for the fair deal comes from his Greek Orthodox upbringing. Growing up, he attended St. Demetrios Church in Upper Darby. “We’re a Christian-based family and I truly do like to run our business that way,” he says. “We’re not trying to do one deal and then ‘see you later’, take advantage of somebody and then we’re done.”
Zografakis has three brothers. His oldest brother George is his business partner. His second oldest brother is a Re/Max agent, focusing on the Wild Woods at the Jersey Shore. He also has two or three assistants, all operating out of a centrally-located office in Newtown Square.
Zografakis is happily married with a daughter, 13; and a son, 11, all living in Malvern. He credits “a great upbringing” and his father’s strong work ethic as reasons for his success. “It’s important that I raise my children the same way,” he says.