Bill Greiner, president and co-founder of industrial brokerage Greiner-Maltz Co., says he hasn’t taken a vacation since the 1950s, and he likes it that way.
At 92, the Roslyn resident has no plans to retire, and continues to work seven days a week. Monday to Thursday he goes to the Plainview office of the company he started in 1953 with his business partner, the late Richard Maltz; Friday to Sunday he works from home.
The company, which also has offices in Queens, Westchester and New Jersey, brokers more than $400 million in deals annually, chief executive Tom Attivissimo said. At a luncheon on Tuesday, the firm will honor Greiner with a lifetime achievement award for his 63 years with the company.
Greiner, who now handles distribution of the company’s property maps and historic property data, said he knew nothing about the industry when he started his real estate career more than 65 years ago.
After returning from his service in the U.S. Army in 1948, he completed his business degree at City College.
“Fortunately, there were no good jobs around,” Greiner said. “I say fortunately because I went to work for a real estate firm in Manhattan . . . and I learned the real estate business.”
In 1950, he was hired as a property canvasser handing out fliers for Brett, Wyckoff, Potter & Hamilton. It was there that Greiner met Maltz, whom he credits for “formulating the concept of Greiner-Maltz.”
Greiner said he developed a talent for gathering information on potential buyers and sellers. Maltz took notice, and in 1953, the duo opened a 300-square-foot office in Long Island City. The firm opened its second office in 1962 in Westbury, before eventually setting up shop in Plainview.
Greiner’s son Dean, chief financial officer of the company, said one of the best strategies he’s learned from his dad — who brokered the sale of the 650,000-square-foot former White Rose warehouse in Farmingdale to P.C. Richard & Son — was to scout out industrial properties on Saturdays to see which companies were working overtime, and which ones had unkempt appearances.
“You couldn’t ask for a better mentor or adviser,” Dean Greiner said.
Frank Frizalone, an executive director at the Melville office of international brokerage Cushman & Wakefield — a competitor of Greiner-Maltz — said Greiner was “ahead of his time in many ways,” including his development and distribution of market statistics and detailed property maps.
“He would share that information with his competitors,” Frizalone said. “There’re no more Bill Greiners out there, I can tell you that.”
Greiner credits his career longevity to an “absolute” commitment to healthy living.
“I have a very disciplined, healthy lifestyle,” said Greiner, who keeps a cycling machine and hand weights at his desk. “It’s not heredity. It’s lifestyle.”
About 40 years ago, Greiner cut beef and pork from his diet, and is a big advocate of salmon and avocados. His health routine has become such an important part of his life that he has created fliers for company employees detailing tips for exercising and eating right.
The last time Greiner took a formal vacation — a weeklong trip to Cape May with his late wife Doris, to whom he was married for 57 years — was around 1955. It was then, he said, that he realized work was his “outlet.”
“I was bored out of my mind,” he said. “I couldn’t take it.”
Greiner has held that mentality since. Although he’s no longer making deals or canvassing properties, he said, staying busy has been the key to his ongoing career.
“The most important part of your body is your brain,” Greiner said. “You’ve got to use it. You’ve got to keep busy with projects all the time.”