An Introduction to Student Agencies Real Estate General Manager Maxwell Pazzaglini ('21)
Maxwell Pazzaglini (’21) is a rising junior majoring in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences with a minor in business. His hobbies outside of SAI include playing chess, spending time with friends in his fraternity, and exploring the stunning local gorges in Ithaca. Professionally, Max is interested in a career in real estate with a focus on sustainable development.
Through his fraternity Alpha Delta Phi, Max met former Cornellian General Manager Antonios Tsougarakis (’20) and Director of Human Resources Daniel Museles (’20), who both spoke highly of their experiences working for Student Agencies and encouraged Max to apply for a position. At first, Max was also considering applying for the position of Chief Financial Officer, but ultimately decided that Student Agencies Real Estate was the agency that best aligned with his interests. Born and raised in New York City, Max grew up in awe of the skyscrapers that surrounded him and the vibrant communities that they formed. His father, who is also a real estate professional, further familiarized him with the tremendous real estate market of New York City and supported him as he began interning at architecture firms as well as a hotel company before joining Student Agencies.
Max’s role managing Student Agencies Real Estate has immersed him in and clarified his passion for the industry. He has enjoyed getting to build and manage relationships with both commercial and residential tenants as well as help maintain the physical aspects of the properties, especially the historic 411-415 corner on College Avenue. His experience working for Student Agencies has also contributed much more broadly to his professional development and overall experience at Cornell. As he explains, “Prior to SAI, I wasn’t deeply involved in any one real aspect of Cornell. This has been by far the most engaging and immersive activity for me as well as the largest time commitment.” One especially important lesson that Max has learned throughout his experience with SAI is to always keep the bigger picture in mind and be able to differentiate instances where minor detail is important from those where they may not be. Max has also found it quite interesting getting to learn and navigate the power structure of SAI and SAF given the unique dynamic of Real Estate. Unlike the other agencies, he has the opportunity to work with board members on a more frequent and direct basis. “It’s great getting to attend and have a voice in some board meetings,” Max elaborated. “I’ve learned so much and gotten some great advice from board members who are involved in many different industries.”
Real Estate is also unique in terms of the challenges the agency has. As a property manager, Max has to maintain a comprehensive understanding of the entire surrounding Ithaca student rental market, which is crucial to his success. With several other ongoing or recently finished developments emerging around the same time, it can be difficult for him to effectively market apartments in an older building. That being said, Max has had a very successful year securing new tenants and is excited to take part in planning for the upcoming redevelopment of the other buildings.