Interview: Mike Lombardo Plaza Realty & Management Corp

Condo Complex Fire (4 Million Dollar Loss)

Introduction (who I am):
I’m Mike Lombardo, a 28-year veteran of the company,  I joined Plaza Realty in 1982. I have extensive experience handling both sales and leasing deals and has successfully executed numerous real estate tax appeals on behalf of company clients in Fairfield and New Haven counties.

Active in community relations and charitable organizations, and have served on The Board of Directors of The Boys and Girls Club of Stamford, The Exchange Club’s Child Abuse Prevention Center, and Shorehaven Golf Club.  

How I met John Giordano & Giordano Associates

Actually, he was recommended to us by some people we know up in New Haven. And they knew we were in a similar business and thought it would be a good fit. But we never really did anything until I had a major fire.

It was out of our league so I called and spoke to John and he come down and we hired him on the spot.

Q -  When you say that “hired him on the spot”, what happened that made you feel so comfortable to pull the trigger?

Basically, the people that I knew that have worked with him before, I had great faith in them. And then when John came down, we were comfortable working together.

He’s a personable guy and he’s very capable, you can tell. He had a lot of experience in what he was doing as he was discussing the other things he had worked on that made sense with what we had our problem with.

It was no nonsense. It wasn’t the sales pitch. It wasn’t the overshooting.

It was just John saying what John was going to do. And we felt comfortable where some of the guys you know were just, didn’t have anything behind them. When we talked to them, they were just like, “Well, this is what I do and you know it’s no big deal.”

Well, we want to know a little bit more about whom you are what you are and he started talking about one of his associates, who worked for an insurance company on the inside.

So he understood the inside of the business

Then it just made us feel comfortable when he said that and we had a chance to talk to him.

Q - Can you tell me some details about the actual claim?

Well, the claim was you know it was 170 unit condominium complex and we had six units– well, three units that were completely destroyed by fire.

We had another 10 or so that had smoke damage and everything else and it turned out to be a little over $4 Million total. It was quite an expensive proposition.

A section of the building had to be removed and we still want to keep everything else together. So it was a big feat and it took about a year and– a year-and-a-half start to finish with everything, to get everything settled and adjusted and put back together.

John was there you know to the last $25,000 to make sure that we got everything that we were entitled to.

This wasn’t a short-term situation. This lasted a while and there’s a lot of moving parts
  •  John handled most of it and everything you know went through me.
  • So we were together between John, Anthony and I.
  • Their service was excellent.

Interviewer: One of the things that I’ve noticed that John brings to the table is his experience of these types of situations.

By the time you go through all of your documentation, if you don’t understand how to read it or it’s the first situation that you’ve ever experienced, it’s a challenge.

Mike Lombardo: You know it was just everything together. I mean their professionalism, you know how they were able to bring everybody together just made a big difference for us.

We’ve since used them several times since then because of that.

Fair to say that he:

  • saved you time
  • he got you more money than you were expecting
  • and took away a lot of the headache

Not The Only Giordano Experience...

Q - Interviewer:  So you’ve done more than one claim with him and you’ve been happy with all of them. And would you recommend him to anybody else in the industry?

Mike Lombardo: Yes.

We had you know another flood that was about a million two, 21 units damaged and you know again, we brought John in.

We had a fire in another building and we had some wind damage from hurricane and again, we hired John and both of those claims were about a million dollars. And again, we had no issues.

Our associations pay John so we made sure he’s there to make sure that we’re protected. And that’s the key.Mr. Mike Lombardo

Your experience with insurance companies?

You know the goal is to get  every dime what we were you know entitled to get through our policy.

And that’s all we ask for.

We’re not asking for anything more or anything less. We’re just asking for what’s fair.

Interviewer: I agree. I’ve never been in your situation so I’m kind of brainwashed, for lack of a better term, when I watch the ads on television. You’re in good hands and those guys are out to help you. But after listening to John and other people like you, it sounds like that’s not always true. Have you had that same experience?

Mike Lombardo: It’s not always true. I mean they look to tell you the least that they can and I can say it’s not constant, it’s not you know everybody.

But when you get into large clients, they look to pay you know minimal and you got to fight.

And a lot of times you  don’t know the insurance policy
  • I don’t know what the associations are entitled to under the policies. But John knows. Anthony knows.
  • They know what’s in the policy.
  • They review the policy.
  • They look at the policy and they know.

So, if you’re entitled to X for whatever X maybe, he may sure that you get X, whereas maybe an adjuster for the insurance company isn’t going to bring that to your attention.

Our associations pay John so we made sure he’s there to make sure that we’re protected. And that’s the key.

Interviewer: So, he’s really acting as your advocate then?

Mike Lombardo: Yeah. That’s where it is.

Dealing with a municipality
Water damage to a school during a storm , and how to get that school opened fast