The Klabin Company Broker Spotlight – Courtney Bell

November 21st, 2019

The Klabin Company prides itself on its teamwork and its people, many of whom have been with the firm for decades. One such team member is Mr. Courtney Bell who joined the company more than 30 years ago. Today, he is one of the firm’s top producing brokers and serves as Principal, fostering new and existing client relationships, while also mentoring several of his colleagues as they start out in the industry.

His journey to commercial real estate began in the mid-1980s while working in another industry in which he felt unchallenged and was looking for more out of his career. By chance, one day in Manhattan Beach, he met Denis Ouellette in front of a home under construction. The conversation that ensued would change the course of Courtney’s life and career. As it turned out, Denis was building the home for himself, and happened to be an industrial real estate broker. Intrigued by Denis’ success and his knowledge of real estate projects, Courtney sought guidance from him on a new career path. Denis helped open doors, set up interviews, pushed Courtney to develop his own impressions of the industry and finally led him to The Klabin Company, the firm where Denis had worked for years. Courtney was hired as a clerk assisting brokers on lease and sales transactions.

Through his own enthusiasm for the industry, Courtney went on to receive his real estate license in 1989. Something he learned at the start of his career and still excels at today is being a trusted consultant, one that understands marketing, the art of negotiating, the ability to identify the benefits of a transaction and how to properly communicate those benefits to his clients.

“Communication is key, and that means being as good at listening as you are at talking,” said Courtney. “I tell young brokers all the time to be good listeners. We need to instill confidence in those we represent. This starts with asking the right questions to gain an understanding of what our clients’ needs are in terms of a new property. Then we need to demonstrate how we can help them fulfill their goals by having as much information as possible at our disposal about the market and available product, and how we’re staying ahead of the competition.”

Courtney specializes in owner/tenant commercial real estate sales, leasing representation and investment sales. His career includes defining moments, the first being a “build-to-suit” project in the mid-1990s that afforded him the opportunity to gain valuable and in-depth knowledge of the new-construction development process from start to finish. Another highlight was in early 2019 when he was part of the team that finalized the more than $20 million sale of an industrial building in Santa Fe Springs, California, his largest transaction to date.

Courtney is one of a handful of brokers who have had the opportunity to work with Stuart Klabin, both as an associate and as a leasing representative for properties owned by Stuart’s development company.

“Stuart is our company namesake and that is not lost on me,” said Courtney. “He is a pioneer in our industry, a founding member of the American Industrial Real Estate Association (AIR) and has been successful in all aspects of our business. As a developer, the product he built in the past has stayed viable for decades. I’ve been very fortunate to tap into his wealth of knowledge over the years.”

While the industry has changed significantly during Courtney’s time at The Klabin Company, he is as passionate as ever about what he does.

“It’s a joy to come to work every day,” he said. “The people, open-office structure and collaborative environment keep me motivated. I’m proud to be part of a boutique firm that, on a per broker/agent basis, does more business than any of our competitors in the marketplace, including the national firms. The strong market does have challenges. With less product available, we are out of developable land and the consolidation of brokerage firms has created a more competitive environment. But with these challenges come tremendous opportunities. By remaining hyper-focused on our clients and staying in front of the market, we will continue to be successful.”