Local Perspective with… John Pfefferle
John Pfefferle is the chairman of Pfefferle Companies and CEO of NAI Pfefferle in Wisconsin. The group has four offices in the “Badger State”– including Green Bay and Sheboygan, two of the most populous cities.
NAI Pfefferle specializes in the sales, leasing, and management of office, industrial, retail, multifamily, and investment property throughout the state. They are headquartered in the heart of the Fox River Valley, in Appleton, where they were founded fifty years ago.
A milestone year
John and his wife Lynne established Pfefferle Realtors in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1971, making 2021 a blockbuster year for the firm – their 50th anniversary.
The company evolved quickly from residential real estate to focusing exclusively on commercial real estate (CRE), and John has gone on to establish himself as a pillar of his community, serving on the Fox Cities Board of Realtors. In 2011, he was inducted into the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce ‘Business Hall of Fame’.
As they gear up to mark a half-century in business, we spoke to John about his passion for the job, lessons in longevity, and how he envisions the next 50 years.
Questions & Answers
- Tell me something you love about your job or your location?
Appleton is unique in having a very vibrant downtown and a true “community” feel. I believe the culture of our company is what sets us apart.
- Where would we find you on a typical Saturday morning?
Pre-Covid-19, I would be in some gym watching one of my grandkids playing a sport.
- What CRE trend are you keeping an eye on at the moment?
Like many others in our industry, we’re keeping an eye on the office market. The next few months will be critical as the Covid-19 vaccine becomes readily available and people start feeling more comfortable returning to the office.
Most of our local clients aren’t planning to completely eliminate their office space, but at the same time companies are evaluating how much office space they’ll need in the next three to five years, and how to make the office safer and more efficient.
Flexibility, which was a trend before Covid-19, will be the keyword going forward as employees expect a blend of office and remote work options. Factors like collaboration, productivity, and company culture will have an impact on decision-making as well.
- 50 years is a massive accomplishment; What do you think has contributed to your longevity?
As a family-owned company, we value treating our clients and employees like family. We collaborate, support, and trust each other, which goes a long way in business. Ultimately, it is our team’s hard work and our clients’ loyalty that have contributed to our longevity.
- What do you envision for the next 50 years?
I envision continued growth. We broke our fourth consecutive sales record in 2020 with more than $175 million in sales/leasing transactions including 50 deals over $1 million. We’re excited to have welcomed five new brokers in the last year and opened a new office, our fourth in the state. We now manage more than 13 million square feet of property and employ more than 120 people.
Long-term, our goal is to continue to be the region’s preferred commercial real estate partner. I’m confident that we have the team in place to accomplish that.
As part of their 50th anniversary celebrations, NAI Pfefferle will be featured on the front cover of a regional business publication, and they are planning to start a quarterly e-newsletter for friends and clients featuring insights gleaned from 50 years of CRE experience.