“I have a level of expertise born from 30 years in this business,” Alonzo R. Bell, Jr., CCIM, principal broker of Randolph Real Estate Services Company, says. “Our goal is to provide a full range of services to commercial real estate clients with a strong focus on customer service.”
Bell was raised with a father who was a master shipbuilder for 40 years and a mother who was an English teacher at Denbigh High School and a professor at Hampton University. “My parents gave my younger brother and me solid footing,” Bell says.
Bell is married to Sandi, a career advisor at Medical Careers Institute. The couple has two grown daughters, Alecia and Alexis.
Earning his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and operations research from Princeton University, Bell eventually transitioned into commercial real estate. In 2000, he founded Randolph Real Estate and obtained his Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation in 2003, a designation held by approximately 6 percent of commercial real estate professionals.
“My engineering math background perfectly supports the analytical aspects of commercial real estate and property evaluation,” Bell says.
Bell is involved with sales, leasing, property management, consulting and exclusive representation of commercial real estate portfolios. With four agents, the firm covers areas from Richmond to the Atlantic Ocean, dealing in investment, industrial, retail, office and land real estate, sales and leasing.
Agent Cleveland Shaw specializes in residential real estate and Darryl Blackstock handles both residential and commercial.
“Mr. Bell holds you accountable to see that everything is done the right way,” Blackstock says. “And that you conduct yourself as a professional.”
Clients have the opportunity to deal directly with Bell in evaluating their needs.
Bell enjoys the creativity involved in figuring the preparations needed to sell a property. Whether it’s renting part of the space, renovating the space, etc., a property must be readied for a tenant or owner to house his or her business.
“You have to come up with something that assures your property appeals to a myriad of prospects,” Bell says. “Bottom line is, if you want to get paid, you’d better come up with a way to sell the listing.”
Not all properties sell or lease quickly, so a commercial realtor must list as many positive features as possible. Commercial deals take longer than residential deals and involve different criteria and steps to a sale or lease. In residential real estate, people buy a neighborhood and look for number of bedrooms, baths, etc.
“By doing commercial first, it helped me see the big picture and understand the business,” Blackstock explains. “So when I am involved with residential sales, I can apply both sides of the coin to help clients.”
Bell enjoys closing all transactions, whether large or small. He says it can take years to finalize a deal. Getting a contract is only half the battle. There is still the financing, the bank’s environmental assessment and appraisal, filling any vacant space and more.
“I appreciate helping someone achieve a goal,” he says. “Whether it’s a business that wants a new location or a start-up looking for something, I’ve helped someone.”
As a smaller commercial real estate firm, Randolph Real Estate must carefully pick and choose its offerings. Bell wants to increase his number of agents to operate at a greater capacity in a larger area.
Randolph Real Estate is seeking to expand its presence in each of the markets it currently serves. Bell is looking for ambitious and experienced real estate sales/leasing associates to handle increased business.
“Residential rooftops drive commercial real estate,” Bell says. “Anyone who lives in a house has a need for commercial goods and services. That’s why when the residential market is good, the commercial market typically follows.”
Bell believes in giving back to the community that has helped make his business successful. He serves on the boards of Virginia Living Museum and Newport News Education Foundation, chairs the Newport News Economic Development Authority and is vice president of the Virginia Peninsula Chapter of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. He is also a football official for area high schools.
“Alonzo has openly shared a wealth of knowledge and opinions in each situation, which I can truly say helped me in making good decisions,” says Dr. Gerald Banks, one of Bell’s clients for more than 20 years. “I believe that good, honest interaction and understanding between the client and a knowledgeable broker/agent is very important in this field.”
Bell says, “Our reward is truly that people see what we’re doing in the community and give us the opportunity to sell or lease their property.”
TO THE POINT:
Randolph Real Estate Services CompanyAddress: 5731 George Washington
Memorial Hwy., Ste. 2, Grafton, VA 23692
Contact: Alonzo R. Bell, Jr., principal broker