As owner and president of Falcon Properties, Florencia Masri is not only carrying on a family legacy, she is creating one of her own as she marches the company into the future and into new territories. Falcon Properties is a New York City-based, family-owned business with over 40 years of international experience, specializing in real estate management and acquisition and commercial leasing. The company manages over 50,000 square feet of commercial space in the heart of Manhattan’s fashion district and leases over 350 commercial spaces for small office startups, fashion designers, photo and art studios, and other similar businesses. Although Falcon Properties has consistently flourished since her late father founded it decades ago, Florencia is elevating it to the next level, driven by the same determination that led him to build a thriving real estate venture in the midst of a depression.
Florencia joined the family business in 1996, and from the start, it was clear that she’d inherited the rigor and passion demonstrated by her father. When she took the helm after his passing last spring—during the peak of a global pandemic—this became even more strikingly apparent. Like him, she did not wither in the face of a seemingly insurmountable challenge, but instead, took the reins and drove the company upwards by transforming it. Working alongside her first husband, real estate entrepreneur and property manager David Zaga, Florencia is guiding Falcon Properties towards new endeavors, such as joint ventures, ground leasing, and expanding into markets outside of New York and into different areas of real estate, such as medical, and those utilizing e-commerce, to serve the changing needs of the New York City real estate market.
“I’ve always had a strong sense of intuition and the ability to adapt quickly. When COVID hit, I could feel what was coming, I knew the economy was going to be at a standstill, so David and I took proactive measures to fortify and diversify the company,” Florencia shares.
Succeeding—if not thriving—in times of crisis is second nature to Falcon Properties, and a skill that Florencia inherited. In 1978, her father came to the U.S. from Argentina while New York was in the throes of a crippling depression. He began buying small buildings, which increased in value as the economy rose, and, against all odds, built a thriving real estate business. In 2008, when the Great Recession hit, Florencia, along with her father and family, successfully navigated the company through those years of turbulence. Now, she employs a core strategy learned from her father that is once again allowing Falcon Properties to thrive—very low leverage.
“Not having the weight of mortgages and debt obligations allows us to survive during times of economic uncertainty and downturns in the real estate market. Just as his approach helped my father thrive during the depression in the seventies, it is now helping us—and our tenants,” she explains. At the outset of COVID-19, the company reduced tenants’ rents by 50%, then 25%, and now on a case-by-case basis. “Having small spaces at a reasonable price allows people the opportunity to still keep a working space in the city without having to share an office.”
As she drives the company to new heights, Florencia, like her father before her, is an unstoppable force, as only a woman with six kids and two thriving companies in two different countries can be. “We’re very grateful for the legacy my father left behind, and we respected his ideas as the founding father of the business. He taught me a lot, and I’m using the lessons and wisdom gained from him to take it into the future,” she shares.
Owner and President
Falcon Properties, Inc.
New York, NY