Behind the List with Mark DiSanto
CEO of Triple Crown Corp. Inc.
Q: What does your company do?
A: We are builders, land developers and property managers. We have a very balanced portfolio of both commercial and residential properties.
Although we own properties in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and have some assets in Maryland and Rochester, N.Y., we are primarily Central Pennsylvania-based. We have developed more than 1,400 apartments and 2,500 for-sale homes in the market.
How has the field changed?
I think the fundamentals of property management, whether you are working on the residential or commercial side, are the same as always — you want to maintain the asset and its value, keep it fully leased and maximize revenues for the owner.
What has changed is how you go about doing that. We used to advertise in newspapers a lot, but now that has migrated to the Internet. We use Craigslist for the residential rental side and social media for marketing. Even for commercial properties, you don't send out hard packages as much as electronic information to your key client base.
A lot has also changed in the field of energy management. Owners are billing the actual costs of utility services back to the tenant, so the consumer is in charge of those expenses. In older properties, it can be difficult to meter and sub-meter, but a lot of newer construction includes individually metered units that makes it more fair because people are paying for their actual consumption. A lot of time and energy today is spent building energy-efficient properties.
What are some of the challenges your industry has been facing recently?
The economy has had a dramatic impact on the commercial real estate market with people trying to renegotiate their leases and curb spending. You also see a reduction in the overall demand for traditional office space because more people are connected through the Internet and able to work from home these days.
On the residential side, with the tightening of credit requirements, we are seeing a lot of people who used to be able to buy homes not able to. That has made for a significant demand on the residential rental segment.
What do you see for the future of your business?
We're seeing modest and continued growth in all segments of the real estate market. There is more activity in commercial leasing, a strengthening in pricing for new home sales and a real strong push in the apartment segment.
What are you most proud of?
One of our recent significant construction projects has been the new church for the Holy Name of Jesus Parish, which is the largest in the Harrisburg Diocese. It's really beautiful. We're also just finishing 192 rental apartments in Swatara Township known as Ivy Ridge, which has been a very successful property for us. We started it 16 months ago and now have it built and completely occupied.
Note: Information about regional commercial and residential property managers is available at www.CPBJnow.com/ListCentral.
About Mark DiSanto
Time with the company: 26 years
Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Villanova University, law degree from University of Toledo, master’s degree in real estate development from Columbia University
Professional involvement: Member of the National Association of Home Builders, Harrisburg Builders Association, Central Pennsylvania Apartment Association, regional board of M&T Bank
Family: Wife Susan; son Nicolas, 25, who works on Triple Crown’s construction services team; son Christopher, 23, who is headed to the University of North Carolina for law school; daughter Alexandra, 20, who attends the University of South Carolina
Hobbies: Playing tennis, road and mountain biking, hunting duck and elk in Colorado
Little-known fact: Last year, DiSanto bicycled from east of Rome, Italy, to the Adriatic Sea with his wife and two other couples. This year, he is taking his family on an African hunting safari.