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Meet Gil Priel and Eli Tene of Peak Corporate Network in Woodland Hills

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gil Priel and Eli Tene.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Gil and Eli. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Gil: Eli and I have known each other for a very long time, but we joined forces in 1990 to create the Peak Corporate Network. We both have many years of experience in the real estate industry, but I come from a background as a principal with assets and Eli came from the service side of the business. We decided to bond together to create a single platform with the highest level of services in the real estate industry. We started off with a few entities and over time expanded to what we currently have in the Peak Corporate Network.

Eli: In 1990, the industry was declining and Gil and I felt that if we worked together we could fill the voids of the business. What we set out to establish is a balanced and cycle-proof real estate company. What does this mean? That we shine during times of distress and still thrive during a stable real estate market – this is a unique concept that we are very proud of creating and expanding upon. Between our varied backgrounds and expertise, we were able to foresee what would help our business be recession-proof and succeed no matter where the market is.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Eli: We’ve been working together for over a quarter of a century – can you name one business or person who has ever had a completely smooth run for that length of time? We work in a service industry and in an environment where technology is changing all the time. We work with people and manage their financial assets and assist in some of the most important purchases they will every complete. We deal with the toughest underwriting guidelines, legal compliance issues and so much more – with all of this there is no way to have a completely smooth ride.

I remember in January 2007, we started a large private lending fund through a partnership with a $12 billion private family office. You truly could not have pinpointed a worse time to start a venture like this, it was right before the real estate melt down. At the same time though, we are proud that this fund and this company made money and didn’t lose money. That success is due in large part because we knew when to pull to plug, and we secured lending on good assets.

Gil: On the development side, during the bad cycles we managed to partner with builders who were about lose everything on their projects, literally everything. We came in and helped take out the existing debt and partnered with the developer to turn what would have been a huge personal loss into an actual profit. The way we’ve been able to minimize our losses is by staying ahead of the market and ahead of the game.

Eli: I remember watching the movie the Big Short and laughing because we lived through all of that. In the movie, they were talking about January 2007 and this guy who predicted the market was going to fall. Just a year prior we were negotiating and preparing a structure to handle short sales of residential homes on the national level. We built it to be the largest of its kind.

Gil: Eli and I started this company with a very strong direction and purpose. While we’ve hit bumps along the way, as do all businesses, we feel that we’ve been able to eliminate many of the headaches of the real estate industry by being ahead of the market in technology and research and maintaining a high quality of professionalism and staffing. Our people are like family, and that’s always been very important to us – the values. That’s why we have employees and tenants who have been with us for decades, not just years. We’re very loyal, and sometimes to a fault.

Eli: Every time we moved office locations, we ended up outgrowing the space. We have tenants who have followed us and employees who have been with us forever.

Gil: Eli and I have grown up together and we’ve experienced a lot as business partners and as friends – marriages, kids, graduations, and more.

Eli: My wedding and our partnership all happened within the same year!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Peak Corporate Network story. Tell us more about the business.
The Peak Corporate Network is the brand name for a group of related, but separate entities. We specialize in a wide range of real estate related services – including residential and commercial brokerage, financial services, foreclosure, 1031 exchange, escrow and more. We also have a nationwide company called InterServ, LP, which is one of the largest companies to provide renovation services to the hospitality industry in the United States. The idea behind the Peak Corporate Network is that we offer a one-stop-shop for all real estate needs. This is a very unique model in the real estate industry, because it allows consumers to experience the highest quality of service in every real estate transaction from start to finish without having to go anywhere else, or having to communicate with multiple vendors. We handle it all in house – and we’re very proud to have established a brand that is essentially recession-proof. We offer services that are highly sought after in a down market, as well as in a thriving economy.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Gil: We work with many different partners and clients and every day and every meeting is an opportunity for us to learn something new or to advocate. Every time we have opened a new company or embarked on a new venture we’ve always brought in an expert in that field who has been able to raise the level of the business, and who has taught us something new.

My grandfather and my father were also in real estate. It was inevitable for me to not fall into the business, I couldn’t escape it if I tried!

Eli: The majority of the credit belongs to our deal employees, partners and clients. I grew up in the real estate environment too. My father was in the business and at the age of 10 or 11 I was already embedded into it.

Warren Buffet is a very strong role model for me. He is a very smart analyst of the core US economy and business world, while he also remains philanthropic and generous, which really inspires me to be the same. We want the DNA of the Peak Corporate Network to be about giving back to the community.

Gil: I have always been inspired by the structure of successful sports franchises. The ability of some teams, even with a significantly lower payroll, to compete year after year. That is true leadership. The ability to have your people perform at the highest level, maybe even overachieve and want to do it for the good of the team.

Eli: I would also say that experiencing the loss of a close friend has played a strong role in shaping me as a businessman and as a person overall.

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