Meet Our Team
Paul Bensman - CEO
Paul Bensman is a born entrepreneur. He began his business career in grade school - selling penny candy to neighborhood children. He started three successful businesses while still in college, including a tool importing business and a chain of retail stores known as Crazy Benzy’s.
As he set out to expand Crazy Benzy’s, he discovered that brokers weren’t always interested in helping small companies. Today, after 18 years in the world of commercial brokerage, he still remembers when brokers wouldn’t give him the time of day. As a result, he is known for his willingness to work with new and small businesses; offering consultation at the critical stages of start-up and expansion, in addition to advice on franchising or selling a business.
Bensman has experienced firsthand how real estate decisions impact the bottom line for a business owner. He understands that the right location, at the right price and terms, is crucial for success. After a lifetime of doing business in Metro Detroit, he has insight into not just the current state of the real estate market, but also the history and trends that will affect the market going forward.
A regular contributor to the media, Bensman has been quoted extensively in the business pages of Crain’s Detroit Business, The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News on commercial real estate, the potential of Detroit retail and the future of the market in Michigan. Throughout his career, he has coached and counseled business owners with his uncanny ability to find the right solution for each business need - especially the right location. Bensman currently works with local, regional and national clients, including Stein Mart, Save-A-Lot, and several franchises.
Haytham A. (Harry) Dikho - President
Harry Dikho’s introduction to business began when he operated a small family-run beer and wine store located in Detroit. The experience he gained there led him buy a larger liquor store in Detroit, which he ran in the '80s and '90s. As an owner/operator, he used his business skills and experience to make changes that resulted in a 40% increase in business by the second year.
One of those changes was adding video rentals. Customer demand soon led to an expanded video section, which quickly outgrew the space in the liquor store. Seizing the opportunity, Harry opened a 6,000 square foot store in St. Claire Shores, stocked it with over 10,000 videos - and "Movie Mania" was born. With operating partners, Movie Mania expanded to nine stores during the peak of the video rental boom. During this time, Harry acquired a number of the commercial properties which housed the video stores and gained valuable experience in site selection and property management.
Always in tune with consumer trends, he also opened a pager/cell phone store and later purchased a coffee store in Oakland Mall. Taking his interest in business development to the next level, he acquired his real estate license and began working with broker Paul Bensman at Locations Commercial Real Estate. Today, Harry uses his keen business sense to help business owners find optimal locations for both start-up and expansion. He currently represents Save-A-Lot grocery stores in the Metro Detroit area, and throughout Michigan.
J. David Elwood - Associate Broker
J. David joined Locations Commercial Real Estate Services after enjoying 20 plus years in the banking and real estate finance industry. He most recently, and prior to joining the ‘Locations’ team, operated as an independent consultant for construction contracting services and real estate investments. In addition, preceding his entering banking and finance, his experience includes work as a builder/remodeler, as well as member of the retail service industry.
He was titled and positioned as the V.P. and Area Sales Manager for Mortgage in Southeast MI at Fifth Third Bank and previously for Royal Bank of Scotland/Charter One; with Chase Home Loans, JPMorgan Chase and was a VP, Regional Sales Manager at National City (now PNC Bank).With a background in the construction and retail service industry, J. David began a career in mortgage banking in 1991. As the manager involved in the servicing and loan administration side of mortgages, he developed the knowledge for customer needs and follow through beyond just the closing.
J. David moved over to financing and mortgage origination and began originating in 1995. His lending specialties included, but were not limited to, specialized financing options for high net worth clients, self-employed borrowers, new construction, real estate investing loans and creative mortgage solution lending. As a National City Bank President’s Club Award Winner and Circle of Distinction Member for 13 consecutive years, J. David personally originated and funded over one-half billion dollars in mortgage loans and was always consistent with his leadership in coaching and managing the industry’s top tier of awarded sales teams. Achieving individually, along with his team achievements, with his leadership consistently ranked as the industry’s “Top 100 in the Country” in sales and as a sales team.
Jeff Dubin - Associate
Jeff first became a business owner in 1981, when he purchased Motor City Prescription drugstore at the age of 22. After selling that business, he opened Surplus City (Army/ Navy camping) stores in Berkley, Westland and Keego Harbor, and was a charter member of the Berkley DDA and a member of the Chamber of Commerce.
After running those three stores for 13 years, he purchased Metropolitan Uniform, Michigan’s largest public safety uniform and equipment supplier, in 1996. Jeff blended the two businesses together to form one entity with four locations. He actively worked with all levels of City, State and Federal Government, particularly during contract negotiation and the bidding process. During this period he also developed, built and managed properties including: retail strip centers, office and warehouse buildings. In addition, he renovated a historic building in downtown Detroit, and owned and operated parking lots in the city.
Jeff was born and raised in Metro Detroit, and his years of experience as a business owner and commercial property developer have given him a deep understanding of the market and first-hand knowledge of what business owners need when leasing, buying or selling real estate.
“In business, I believe everything must be a two-way street. It’s always give and take – and at the end, all parties prosper together.”
Joesph Barbera - Vice President, Business Brokerage
Joe Barbera has owned and operated numerous businesses of his own including fine jewelry stores, restaurants, pizzerias and more. Leveraging his experience as a successful business owner, he is known for outstanding client service, 24/7 availability, high-tech marketing techniques and personal touches. He is a skilled negotiator who has his clients' best interest at heart.
Clients choose to work with Joe for his full service firm, ethics, experience and expertise. Joe has consistently shown the ability to satisfy clients in the buying and selling of their businesses. His strong base of loyal repeat customers is the reason Joe has been so successful for over twenty years in this incredibly competitive sales environment. Joe's extensive knowledge of Michigan's business market is unparalleled. His clients have consistently sought his advice and trusted his judgment on many multi-million dollar deals.
Joe is fluent in both English and Italian languages.
Nadir Jiddou - Associate
Nadir took to business ownership early in life. He’s worked in the restaurant business since he was 15, and began his career as a restaurant owner while still in college. After his sophomore year at Wayne State University, he borrowed $5,000 from his father and purchased his first Cottage Inn Pizza with three other partners. He paid his father back in just a few months, and went on to own a total of five Cottage Inn Pizza Franchises and one Gator’s Cajun Cooking. He still owns two pizzerias and the Gator’s.
Nadir began his real estate career in 2008; initially focusing on residential property, and acquiring several investment properties of his own. In early 2016, he started selling commercial real estate and says, “I feel like I’ve been doing this my whole life.” His specialty is selling existing businesses and he has a gift for putting deals together with a positive result for both the buyer and the seller. It’s a natural fit for Nadir, who has always used his business expertise and experience to help family and friends with their business decisions.
Nadir has lived in the Metro Detroit area since he was a child, and he and his wife are raising their four children here. He knows the local market well and, as the owner of multiple businesses and investment properties, he puts his real-world experience to work for his clients. Whether you are looking to sell your business, buy a business, or find the ideal site for your business, Nadir will guide you through the process and help you achieve your goals.
Armen Nazarian - Vice President, Business Brokerage
Armen has lived and worked in the Metro Detroit area his entire life. When it comes to business brokerage, he’s the real deal.
He opened his first business in 1988. As an owner of multiple Dry Cleaners and Tanning Salons, he has acquired the knowledge necessary to become your business broker of choice. Armen gives each of his buyers and sellers the loyalty, professionalism and personal care that is required to complete a business sale.
His lifelong passion for real estate and business culminated when he became a full time business broker in 2007. Armen loves what he does and it shows. He has consistently been one of the top producing agents in the State of Michigan.
Armen Nazarian is committed to helping Buyers and Sellers buy and sell businesses in a fair, honest and professional manner while striving to keep the transaction as confidential as possible. He has many years of experience selling business and commercial real estate throughout the State of Michigan.
Let Armen Nazarian help you in your quest to buy or sell a business.
Paul Habba - Business Broker
Paul Habba joined Locations Commercial Real Estate and Services with years of experience as a successful business broker. Paul graduated from Walsh College with a degree in Finance and prides himself on honesty and hard work. He is committed to guiding buyers and sellers through the sale or purchase of a business in a professional and confidential manner.
Paul comes from a family of entrepreneurs and gravitated toward the restaurant business at a young age. His goal was to own a restaurant –and he achieved that goal by the age of 21! His extensive entrepreneurial background includes owning and operating his own franchise Mexican fast-casual restaurant and independent pizzerias, and also managing several other restaurants for over 15 years. Paul played a role in many successful business transactions, including the sale of tanning salons, dry cleaners, coffee shops, hair salons, medical-related businesses, restaurants, bars, liquor stores, and all types of businesses - both independent and franchised.
Paul was born and raised in the Metro Detroit area. As new parents, Paul and his wife, Rita, are looking forward to raising a family here. As a young professional, he understands the importance of technology in today’s marketing landscape, and he plans to increase his use of digital marketing in order to offer an even higher level of service to his clients. Let Paul Habba help you take the next step in buying or selling your business!
Pharoah Turner - Associate
A lifetime resident of the Metro Detroit area, Pharoah began his real estate career over 10 years ago. His negotiation skills, marketing expertise and financial management experience make him uniquely qualified to bring top level service to his clients.
A Rhodes Scholar - with numerous sales and marketing certifications - Pharoah has extensive experience with marketing strategies, trend analysis and account acquisition. In addition to real estate sales and investments, his career spans 18 years as a Senior Management and Business Development/Strategy professional, directing diligence and integration activities for multiple global corporate organizations in excess of $10M, including consecutive years as a top performing Strategic Account Manager.
A professional fighter, he donates time to assist and deter youth from violence. He is also a proud volunteer at Vista Maria Social Services Organization.
Pharoah’s philosophy reflects his determination and drive.
“Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time because the toughest opponent is one who never gives up.”
Justin G. Yelda - Associate
Justin literally grew up in the world of business. Prior to his entry into the commercial real estate field, Justin worked in family-owned retail stores for 10 years, serving as the property manager for seven years. His hands-on experience in all elements of daily business operation trained him to be very precise in all aspects of his work. Being raised in an environment of successful entrepreneurs and small business owners gave Justin a head-start in the business world and honed his people skills, his attention to detail and his focus on providing consistent and quality service.
Justin was born and raised in the Metro Detroit area and is active in the community; taking part in assisting and promoting local events for organizations including: CASA (Chaldean-American Student Association), Rebuilding Together and St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Diocese. He is a proud member of the ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) and also the AFPD (Associated Food & Petroleum Dealers).
Justin focuses on providing unparalleled service, dedication and loyalty to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction. Self-motivation and determination drive him to always put his clients’ needs first. He strives to build long-term relationships with every client, large or small.
George Garmo - Associate
A background in both commercial real estate and accounting has given George a deep understanding of all aspects of business. His experience includes: real estate transactions, cash flow analysis, budgeting and forecasting analysis, income tax and estate planning, real estate and capital evaluation, business management and public relations, negotiation on behalf of clients for purchasing or selling assets and advising on tax matters.
As C.E.O. of Garmo & Co. P. C., George works with a wide range of business clients including: food industry, wholesale and retail, hospitality, small manufacturing, financial institutions, country clubs and professional service providers such as attorneys and physicians.
George has facilitated the purchase of investment properties and provided consulting for clients acquiring real estate, purchasing a new business or expanding an existing business.
Working with his clients’ attorneys and financial planners, he also provides estate planning to protect the assets and minimize tax liabilities for each business. His extensive experience in helping businesses prosper is invaluable to his commercial real estate clients.