Broker Spotlight – David A. Prior


March 12th, 2020

The Klabin Company’s David A. Prior has had two jobs in his life. The first he started when he was 14, working at a bicycle shop in Westwood. He sold and repaired bikes. He also got exposed to the shop’s interesting clientele: business leaders; professors at nearby University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); celebrities and politicians. David loved his job, and while he did not know it at the time, it would lead to a relationship with a client who would help shape his career for the rest of his life.

At the time, David was finishing his Bachelor of Arts in Economics at UCLA. He had begun the process of interviewing for positions at pharmaceutical companies, but quickly grew frustrated about the potential earning power in that industry. He thought about following family members into the residential real estate business, however after years of working on Saturdays, he wanted a more “normal” job where his weekends would be free. And then an introduction from Bud Myers, the client at the bike shop, would change everything. Bud worked for someone who wanted to get into cycling, so he introduced him David. That person was Stuart Klabin, founder of The Klabin Company. The two hit it off and Stuart suggested that David call him when he finished his studies. David called him, graduated, finished up his morally obligated time at the bike shop and started working for Stuart on March 5, 1979. It’s the only job he’s had since college.

His journey would take him to being named president of The Klabin Company in 1993 after Stuart decided it was time to hand the reins over. Now 41 years (and working many weekends!) later, David is Senior Managing Principal and the largest shareholder in the firm.

“I never want to lose sight of what Stuart gave me,” said David. “He reinforced the importance of ethical behavior, taught me about the benefits of an open culture, and how sharing information, experiences and contacts with colleagues works to everyone’s advantage. No one locks their desks here. Unlike many commercial real estate brokerages, there is nothing predatory about our environment. We reserve our aggression for external purposes.”

While the industry has changed during David’s time at The Klabin Company, his passion for the business and desire to the lead the team has not wavered. He’s been approached to manage much larger brokerages, something that never appealed to him.

“I enjoy having control over my life,” said David. “What I’ve been able to do is extract from experiences in the business to craft a vision for what I want a brokerage firm to be. It starts with taking care of people, being fair to those around you. I set out to create a culture where I wanted to come to work every day and that has been accomplished. I love the people I work with. I have great partners and ultimately, I feel good about being here, which at the end of the day benefits our clients.”

David is proud of his career. Beyond his impressive client list of leading companies in industrial real estate, he is a founder and past president of CORFAC International, one of the most influential commercial real estate organizations in the world. In 2020, he will celebrate his 30th year as a member of the Society of Office and Industrial Realtors (SIOR).

“I’ve been fortunate to be in a position to observe the industry and the world as a whole for the past 40 years,” said David. “This has allowed me to understand how I want to live and how I can keep a balance between my personal and business lives. Maybe I’ve come to an enlightened state of what life is all about. I’m grateful I can pass my insight on to the young, talented brokers in our office.”

 

Learn more about David or contact him at DPrior@Klabin.com.