January 9, 2017
Executive Profile

Dealmaker Morizio one of region's most prolificrealty brokers

HBJ PHOTO | John Stearns
HBJ PHOTO | John Stearns
Nicholas Morizio stands by a collection of trophies he's earned over the years for being a top commercial realty broker.

Nicholas Morizio

President, Connecticut and Western Massachusetts, Colliers International.

Highest education: Bachelor's degree in real estate and finance, UConn, 1974.

Executive insights:

"The value of relationships, … that's the most important thing in this business. Those people who recommend you. Deals that you do with attorneys, they're going to recommend you to their clients, or accountants, or whatever. Those are people who recommend me and then I recommend them. … One hand washes the other in this business."

Nicholas Morizio has had a hand in the purchase or sale of some of the most recognizable commercial real estate in Greater Hartford and Connecticut through decades of hard work and relationships built face to face.

"You build your business by knowing clients and building trust," said Morizio, president of Connecticut and western Massachusetts for Colliers International. "I don't see myself as a salesman. I see myself as a person giving real estate advice to people who want to buy and sell real estate."

Morizio, 64, grew up in Hartford and Wethersfield, went to UConn and joined what is now Colliers in 1981.

Morizio got his real estate and finance degree in 1974 and wanted to be a banker, specifically a commercial loan officer. But his first banking job steered him into tasks he didn't enjoy and he quickly left.

He got a real estate appraiser's job at the Connecticut Department of Transportation and then landed at a commercial and residential real estate firm as an appraiser for experience, but no pay. A UConn acquaintance there made him an industrial manager, working for listings on industrial properties and tapping his real estate, accounting and marketing knowledge.

A career took root and, by 28, he moved to what was then Dow & Condon, which offered him an ownership slice. Dow & Condon, founded in 1941, became part of Colliers in 1989.

Morizio, who has Counselor of Real Estate and Society of Industrial and Office Realtors designations, has marketed properties exceeding $800 million in value and totaling more than 100 million square feet, his bio says, listing him among the firm's top producers in North America. His biggest deal was representing both sides in the sale of the Prestige Park industrial portfolio and Riverview Square office complex in East Hartford, a deal valued at $58 million.

In Hartford, he sold the Bank of America tower at 777 Main St., which the buyer successfully converted to apartments, the Southern New England Telephone Co. building across from Bushnell Park, and the Stilts Building downtown.

Morizio played supporting roles in Colliers transactions involving The Hartford property in Simsbury, and the Gold, Goodwin Square, CityPlace II and 280 Trumbull St. (Prudential) buildings downtown.

"I like my job selling property, showing properties, being out there with people, shaking hands, going to meetings at night. … ," Morizio said, noting his involvement in myriad organizations and attending events. "That's how you get to meet people. You got to remind them every day who you are."

Keith Kumnick, one of Morizio's four partners, likened Morizio to a .400 hitter in baseball, saying he's consistently in the top tier of brokerage in the market.

"He's just a very consistent, transaction-oriented broker," Kumnick said, adding Morizio has a lot of repeat business and adoring clients.

Kumnick, who joined Collier's 20-plus years ago, remembers going to lunch soon after he started with John C. "Jack" Gunning, Morizio's predecessor. At lunch, Gunning called Morizio "a closer," Kumnick recalled.

"In our business that's very important," he said.

Morizio leads by example and colleagues regularly learn from him, according to Kumnick.

"He provides examples for the newer agents as well as the inexperienced agents on how to develop a book of business, how to treat your clients, how to stay in business for 40 years in this market — you got to have a good reputation to do that and you got to take care of your clients," Kumnick said.

Sizing up the industry, Morizio said industrial warehousing is hot now. He's also a believer in Connecticut.

A single dad with two children, 8 and 9, Morizio said he'll probably work another 10 years or so.

The Cromwell resident enjoys golf, squash, sailing his 40-foot boat in summer and skiing from his winter home at Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont.

He plays hard, works hard and tries "to be the best dad I can be and run a good company and be happy."

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