By RITA DUCKWORTH
Travel anywhere in the Metro East and you are bound to see signs for commercial properties represented by BARBERMurphy Group, Inc. The commercial real estate brokerage has more than 500 listings in Southern Illinois.
Steve Zuber, CCIM, SIOR, has been with the firm since its inception in 2005, becoming a principal in 2013. Founders Wayne Barber Jr., SIOR and Paul Murphy, along with Collin Fischer, CCIM, round out the firm’s management team.
Zuber credits much of the firm’s continued success with its emphasis on site location search services. Clients who are seeking an existing building or land for new construction bring their list of requirements to the firm. Essential data is compiled regarding acreage, building size, transportation and infrastructure needs. Zoning is often an important component.
The brokers apply a collaborative, rather than a competitive approach to locating the perfect property.
“Our collective knowledge of this market area helps us hone in on the locations and communities that are most suitable for the clients’ list of requirements,” explains Zuber.
The company was intentionally structured in a way that allows for this collaborative approach.
“The 18 brokers all have varied specialties and backgrounds,” says Zuber. “They work in different geographical areas and focus on specific market sectors, such as retail, office, medical or industrial.”
Zuber’s specialty is industrial real estate. A native of Central Illinois, he earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Millikin University in Decatur. He started his career in industrial equipment sales. The experience he gained in manufacturing and warehousing reinforced his transition to real estate sales in the industrial market with BARBERMurphy.
Combining various expertise and territories, the firm’s brokers collectively cover all southern Illinois’ markets. When any member of the group taps into the collective knowledge of the team, they have a wealth of information to draw from. “It’s an environment of interaction rather than competition,” says Zuber. The goal is always to find the right property for the client.
Recent projects for the firm include the Prairie Farms Dairy corporate offices in Edwardsville, as well as multiple banking and medical office locations.
And the job isn’t done once the ideal site has been identified.
“Part of our service is to assist our clients through the regulatory processes. This can include zoning, annexation, and financial incentives. Our combined working knowledge of the region allows us to expedite the process.”
Zuber points out that even with large national firms, real estate is, at its core, a parochial business. “It comes down to knowledge of the community where you’re working, and we know this market.”