AZBBA Broker Spotlight – Joe Balbona

Joe Balbona
Joe Balbona

Joe Balbona
Gilligan Commercial, LLC

Associate Broker

How did you get into the business brokerage industry?

Totally unplanned. I had built two large Chevron stations with car washes after pulling the plug on corporate life – experience from developing the properties and later selling them led me to commercial brokerage.

What is your favorite thing about the industry?

Daily interaction with entrepreneurs from all walks of life. – I’ve met lots of interesting people!

What is the best or most interesting deal you have worked on?

Mmmm… might be a Valero station in Yreka CA. I had just joined a brokerage and met the seller at a trade show in Reno. Soon after a buyer called who might be a good fit. The two got along famously, becoming close friends. They handled details together – deal closed and they continued to be close. I never set foot on that Valero station in Yreka and both parties were happy as could be… that was the first deal I worked on.

What is the key to being a successful broker?

Tough question. For me it’s about having reasonable boundaries – it’s not just about taking Sundays off and knowing when to ignore calls, emails but also selecting good sellers, buyers and brokers to work with and filtering out those who are unethical, dishonest, time wasters etc. I don’t always get it right.

What is the strangest experience you have had while showing a listing?

It wasn’t showing a listing but rather following up with a buyer and his lender to review the loan proposal for a Chevron station. To my amazement during this meeting, buyer spilled his guts about gambling losses to the banker – over $100,000 in the past weekend in Vegas… which explained his sudden credit card balances. Loan didn’t happen.

What do you do on your day(s) off?

Catch up on chores, play tennis with my son or friends, hike nearby trails, bbq, call mom, … there’s always lots to do!