Interview with Tyler Brochstein, General Counsel

Comunale Properties is excited to announce the 3-year anniversary of Tyler Brochstein joining Comunale as its general counsel.

Tyler, tell us a little bit about your real estate background.

I guess you could say commercial real estate runs in my blood.  

I am a third-generation real estate attorney.  Prior to joining Comunale, I was a partner at Schlanger Silver LLP — a Houston-based law firm that has been servicing the needs of its real estate clients since the 1920’s.  While at the law firm, I had the privilege of routinely working on all aspects of commercial real estate transactions.  

On the principal side, I’ve had invaluable exposure to commercial real estate that our family has owned and operated for decades. Seeing things through an owner’s lens—as an investor—is fundamental to my legal analysis.  As my prior mentor used to say: “a document that has been lawyered to perfection is for a deal that likely never closes.”  Stated differently, the goal isn’t to wrestle every possible legal issue into submission.  Rather, the goal is to do what you can to make the deal happen if the business opportunity outweighs the legal risks.  That is my focus.    

Tell us about what led you to Comunale.

Since meeting the first week of college at the University of Denver, John Comunale and I shared a desire to work together.  While that plan took about 20 years in the making, throughout that time, we would routinely share our business successes and hurdles.  This offered me a unique look into Comunale Properties, from its very beginning to when I joined in November of 2019.   I had a great deal of respect for everything that went into the business and an admiration for what makes it so special.

How does being inhouse add value to the Comunale platform?

I think the two main ways my being in-house counsel adds value to the platform are (1) depth of knowledge and understanding and (2) speed of execution. 

An outside attorney might have perfect knowledge of the law but almost universally has limited visibility to the underlying facts.  Being intimately involved with Comunale’s vertically-integrated platform—which includes investment, management, development and construction divisions—provides me with the essential context.  Armed with knowledge of the law and facts, I analyze the legal issues from the perspective of an investor.  While there might be a litany of potential legal issues (and you would need to list all of them to score highly on the law school exam), I help to bring focus to those issues that truly matter.  Its “where the rubber meets the road.”

The second main way my being in-house adds value is speed of execution.  An outside attorney is all too often confronted with competing needs of different clients.  Client X and Client Y both have emergencies.  Who wins out?  Working for a single client, I don’t have to prioritize between clients.  Legal matters at Comunale that demand the most immediate attention get my focus.  If a lease needs to be turned in 24 hours, then that is what will happen.  

What makes Comunale Properties’ due diligence and deal execution unique?

Simply put, we dig deeper.  This includes spending significant time and other resources for the Comunale team to internally diligence and research acquisition and development opportunities alike.  As an example, our deal team reads the local zoning code and design guidelines for every acquisition and development project we work on.  And we do this from the perspective of a long-term holder, as most projects we acquire or develop stay in our portfolio for long periods of time. 

Comunale puts in the work to know what we can and cannot do over the life of an investment to mitigate the risk of any surprises, and we believe there is no substitute for doing this work.  While we greatly value our third party “partners”, including outside law firms, and incorporate them as appropriate, we remain fully integrated and informed of the issues throughout the process.  When investors trust us with their capital, it’s because we’re experts in our field, and we need to know our deal better than anyone else.  Knowing the details is our brand.