By Nick Christophers
[Editors Note: The author is related to John Michaels.]
Sometimes in business you need to take a chance to move up in the world. This would be the case for two ambitious individuals, John Michaels and Craig Truen, whose combined experience was a recipe for success. Craig Truen learned from his father about the real estate business and commercial loans and soaked it all in. He took what he was taught and formed Truen Associates a commercial mortgage broker in 1987. Craig specialized in the restructuring of condo and coop projects as well as spearheading over $600 million in commercial transactions in the metro area.
Fast forward to 2004 when John Michaels would end up joining Craig in his company. John an MBA Graduate from St. John’s University specialized in commercial mortgage underwriting and sales with 14 years of Bank experience. He first worked at Interbank in Astoria, Queens where he was able to establish a solid commercial real estate department that solidified loan amounts from $50,000 to $5,000,000. He would soon be rewarded with the title of Senior VP of the Real Estate Lending Department. Yet John wanted to spread his wings and saw the potential in joining Craig to run their own commercial mortgage firm.
In 14 years since they partnered up they have developed a vast stable of return customers. They deal with traditional commercial loans and also own their own private real estate lending fund. At this point they have 35 million outstanding private loan money which currently perform at 100%.
“We pride ourselves on our tremendous repeat business from our more than satisfied clients,” added Craig.
Their knowledge of the real estate market and the knack to close deals quickly is one of their best weapons. They have forged solid relationships with most of the active real estate lenders in the Tri-State Area. Craig and John also excel in private loans for many projects. For example, one of their key functions is helping clients with their immediate real estate financing needs. Their needs may not be bankable due to time, credit or collateral issues.
So far over the years they have closed some amazing deals. There are three in particular that come to mind. They had helped finance a 600 Unit Co-op in Coram, NY for $18 million, $13 million mortgage and $5 million credit line. Another was the financing of the famous Old Homestead Steak House on 9th Avenue in Manhattan and an office building in Queens for $27 million. On the entertainment end they
Assisted in the financial acquisition of the well-known Scores Entertainment via a Wall Street hedge fund for $11 million. So far since their inception they have cleared at least a billion dollars in financing with all types of commercial properties. Furthermore, no deal is too small or too large to handle they have the connections and or knowledge for all real estate transactions.
Craig and John are true entrepreneurs’ in every sense. They both come from different backgrounds and have used their connections in their ethnic communities to grow their business. Craig with the Jewish community and John with the Greek. The real phenomenon is that they have amassed all this business with NO advertising or marketing. That is as grass-roots as you can get.
“We aim to secure the lowest commercial loan rates and desired terms for our clients. This way saving them time and money along with a hassle-free application process,” added John.