By John Sheahan, NAI DESCO
Most businesses are only as good as their people. But in the case of commercial real estate (CRE), the importance of people rises exponentially. Which explains why at NAI DESCO, we take great strides to recruit, develop, inspire and retain the top talent in the business.
Commercial real estate (CRE) in St. Louis may be heating up. But whether markets are moving up, down or sideways, one thing a CRE firm can be sure of is that the war for talent never ends. So in this or any other market, we remain laser-focused on talent. Some of the key elements in our people strategies include:
Understand this: the best people are always in play. The NAI DESCO team is among the best in the business. But that also means, our best people are always susceptible to being poached. Nowhere does the 80:20 rule hold more certain than in CRE: 80% of the business getting done stems from just 20% of the brokers. Which also means, whether times are good or bad, revenue producers – the most successful brokers – are always in demand. Consequently, we continuously assess the satisfaction levels and therefore motivation levels of our best people: focusing on their needs so they’ll be completely aligned with our clients’ needs.
More often than not, it pays to be direct. We ask “how’s it going?” and find out whether or not the staffer has any issues that aren’t being addressed, or needs that aren’t being met. Often, simply demonstrating interest and that we care can make the difference between a happy, market- and client-focused broker and someone more open to the idea of changing firms.
Be flexible. . . Employee satisfaction – and thus resistance to poaching – can be supercharged by accommodation. We start with work/life balance, allowing our best people or recruiting prospects greater flexibility in making their own hours or working from a home office Some may want to come into the office only once or twice a week and others only when needed in-person. So long as the clients are happy, we’re happy. The point is, with today’s technologies and 24/7/365 access by smartphone, tablet or internet, top producers can still get business done wherever they need. So flexibility – a focus on clients and not office face time — becomes a powerful tool for both retention and recruitment.
. . . but in fact, yes, it is [always] about the money. We sometimes hear it said, “no, it’s not about the money”. But the truth is, in CRE, it’s almost always about the money. While flexibility, work/life balance, strong working relationships and imparting a sense of ”feeling valued” are important, ultimately, top producers expect to be well compensated. The truth is, when any of our team members are providing value to our clients, that makes these producers more valuable to us as well. So in essence, the more value our brokers create for our clients, the greater we reward them for their efforts.
Provide the tools, training and mentoring. Whether it’s a new recruit or one of our seasoned veterans, we work hard to provide our team with the best tools and training in the business. New hire or old, one of our favorite tools is two-way mentoring. This way, our grayer executives share market, relationship and negotiation strategies with our newer members who in return share their tech, social media and related insights. Note that the latter is just as critical as the former, as technology is revolutionizing CRE. Consequently, we make sure our people are well-wired with access to the right data and the latest devices and applications.
Take a chance or two. . . It’s a certainty: you will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Put another way, it’s okay to fail, and it’s likely that a certain percentage of new hires won’t work out. But the critical point is that some will, and the only way to find out which ones is to take some chances. In fact, some of our best hires have been among what we initially felt were among our riskiest.
. . .but know how to end it. Within three to six months, an attentive management team should have a good idea of whether a new hire is working out or foundering. When it’s not going to work, we like to say ‘no problem, it was worth a try, it just wasn’t a good fit’ – and part as friends. This industry has big ears and a long memory, so maintaining good relationships with employees past and present, and a good reputation for treating people fairly and with respect is essential.
Never stop. For NAI DESCO recruitment, development and retention are an always on, never off commitment. Talent is the lifeblood of our firm. We work relentlessly to keep our best people focused on our client’s needs. But at the same time, we also recognize that potentially the best broker in our firm’s history may be just about to graduate from college. The only way to ensure we are always on our game is to focus acutely and continuously on retention and recruitment. So for us, in markets good, bad or in-between: the focus on talent is never-ending.
SAINT LOUIS, MO – NAI DESCO represented parties in the following commercial real estate transactions:
• KSGMGP Development in the investment purchase of a 38,394 SF industrial building at 9779-9781 Green Park Industrial in Green Park from PanCal Green Park 219, LLC.
• Wright City Warehouses, LLC in the investment purchase of five buildings totaling 436,625 square feet of industrial space at 305 E. South First St in Wright City from Manchester Investors VIII, LLC.
• Paraquad 5240, Inc in the lease of 4,372 square feet of office space at 5200 Oakland Ave to Logan University.
Congrats to Louie’s Wine Dive on it’s new Downtown Clayton location, which opened Saturday, June 4th! Josh Hibbits of NAI DESCO represented Louie’s in the deal at 16 S. Bemiston Ave (the former Tani Sushi).
Louie’s offers a fun & diverse menu, and generous policy of offering to open any bottle on the menu with a two glass commitment from the diners. The bottle is then listed on a chalkboard, giving everyone else the opportunity to try something new! To learn more about Louie’s and check out their menu visit their website: http://louieswinedive.com/
NAI DESCO represented parties in the following commercial real estate transactions:
• LC Investment, Inc. in the lease of 1,799 square feet of retail space at 14784 Manchester Rd in Ballwin to Dr. Bethany Barnes doing business as Live Well Be Well. Noel Fehr of NAI DESCO represented the Landlord.
• GMC Investment Company in the lease of 2,000 SF of industrial space at 759 Spirit of St. Louis Blvd in Chesterfield to The Reilly Group. Bob Staniforth of NAI DESCO represented the Landlord.
• GMC Investment Company in the lease of 2,000 SF of industrial space at 757 Spirit of St. Louis Blvd in Chesterfield to MO Restaurant Solutions, LLC. Bob Staniforth of NAI DESCO represented the Landlord.
NAI DESCO is pleased to present our first market overview videos. Each video is approx. 1 min and 45 seconds long – just the right length to fill you in on the latest commercial real estate trends.
Click here to watch our industry experts discuss the state of St. Louis’ industrial, retail and office/development markets in the first quarter of 2016.
And stay tuned for more videos each quarter.
NEW YORK, NY – May 3, 2016 – NAI Global, a leading global commercial real estate services firm with more than 375 brokerage offices and over 6,700 professionals located throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific, today announced that C-III Realty Services, an institutional commercial real estate capital markets firm, has been combined with the operations of NAI Global.
Through this combination, C-III Realty Services will become NAI Global Capital Markets and will include a growing team of 25 capital markets professionals in New York, Dallas and Nashville, who will work very closely with NAI Global’s 6,700 professionals around the globe.
“By combining C-III Realty Services’ experienced institutional capital markets team with NAI Global’s deep local market expertise and coverage, we have made NAI Global a far more powerful, seamless commercial real estate services provider able to meet the needs of the country’s largest institutional owners of commercial real estate,” said Geoffrey Woodward, Chairman of NAI Global.
“This combination is another step in our long-standing strategic objective to scale NAI Global and enhance our stature as an industry leader,” said Jay Olshonsky, SIOR, FRICS, and President of NAI Global. “We are now even more strongly positioned to compete head-on in both size and full-service capabilities with the largest firms in commercial real estate services.”
Inclusive of C-III Realty Services, NAI Global will have completed more than 2,000 investment sales transactions, totaling approximately $16 billion, over the last 5 years.
About NAI Global
Founded in 1978, NAI Global is a leading global commercial real estate services firm with more than 375 brokerage offices and over 6,700 professionals located throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific. The firm manages over 380 million square feet of property on behalf of its
clients, globally. The NAI Global Capital Markets Group serves the largest institutional owners of and investors in commercial real estate.
NAI Global provides a complete range of corporate and institutional real estate services, including brokerage and leasing, property and facilities management, real estate investment and capital market services, due diligence, global supply chain and logistics consulting and related advisory services.
To learn more, visit www.naiglobal.com.
Download Press Release here.
People say, “But if the euro breaks, it will be painful.” What they miss is that its existence is even more painful. Of course, ending a 16-year (and running) fantasyturned-nightmare will be painful. But making it a 20- or 25-year fantasy will only make it a larger problem, and assure more years of deepening anguish. If you believe in markets at all, you want the euro to fail, and fail soon!
In addition to the complete ineffectiveness of the Maastricht Treaty’s fiscal constraints, when in the early 2000s Germany and Scandinavian countries introduced major market reforms that massively improved their competitiveness relative to other Euroland members, the euro’s fixed exchange rate regime was rendered hopeless. In the eyes of Europe’s almost uniformly left-leaning bureaucrats, the real villain is Germany for adopting the serious market reforms that improved its competitiveness. Damn those Germans for giving into market pressures to be competitive! In a flexible exchange rate system, fundamental German market reforms would have resulted in a 20-40% increase in the value of the Deutsche Mark versus other currencies. But as Euroland exchange rates remained fixed at their original terms of trade, Germany’s currency could not appreciate. Instead Germany benefitted both from fundamental market reforms and an artificially low exchange rate. This excessively cheap German exchange rate handicapped nations with currencies that could not depreciate. To put a simple face on matters, it made Volkswagens too cheap for Greeks, and made Greek vacations too expensive for Germans. This caused money to flow from Greece to Germany (and in general from the south to the north), with no need for this money to flow back. Thus, unlike the case of U.S. dollars flowing
to China (i.e., we buy shoes, etc. made in China) as a trade deficit, necessarily returning to the U.S. (i.e., China buys U.S. bonds) as a capital surplus, once euros arrive in Germany they do not flow back to Greece, as the euro can be invested anywhere in Euroland. Read full white paper here.
Josh Hibbits represented Vestech Securities, Inc. in the lease of 2,261 square feet of office space at 11475-11477 Olde Cabin Road in Creve Coeur from Golfview Members, LLC.
Carl Conceller represented William L. Frein & Mildred A. Frein Revocable Living Trust in the investment sale of a 6,960 square foot retail building at 11750-60 Manchester Road in Des Peres to Granite City Hotel & Resorts, LLC.
Bob Staniforth represented Stancor I, LLC in the lease of 3,500 square foot retail building at 10831 Manchester Road in Kirkwood to Lou Fusz Toyota.
Noel Fehr represented LC Investments in the lease of 1,141 square feet of retail space at 8621 Mexico Road in O’Fallon, Missouri to Hosam and Nada Elgazar.
CLAYTON, MO. – Commercial real estate firm NAI DESCO is relocating its headquarters within Clayton to greatly expanded offices on the top (19th) floor of the 101 S. Hanley Building. In conjunction with the move, the firm is also launching a third-party asset management division headed by newly recruited industry veteran Mary Ellen Saenz.
“We have been growing across all business lines as a rebounding commercial real estate market fuels client demand for facilities that will help make their companies more efficient and productive,” said NAIDESCO president and CEO Toby Martin. “We simply outgrew our current location – even before factoring the new asset management operation into our space needs equation.”
Currently, NAIDESCO employs 30 people in 7,300 square feet at 8235 Forsyth Blvd. Its new headquarters at 101 S. Hanley, with 15,000 square feet, is more than twice as large.
Third-Party Asset Management Portfolio Opens with 750,000SF
Initially, under the leadership of Saenz, NAIDESCO will service a third-party commercial portfolio of 750,000 square feet – a seamless complement to the 8 million square foot portfolio managed by a sister company, The DESCO Group.
Prior to joining NAIDESCO, Saenz was vice president of asset management and customer service for Duke Realty where upon her departure she oversaw seven million square feet of commercial space. Before joining NAIDESCO last July (2015), Martin was the St. Louis Business Unit Leader for Duke and a member of its Management Committee.
“We believe the new headquarters will enhance our efforts to attract best-of-class brokers, property managers and support staff as we continue to focus on growing our team,” Martin added.
Cited on the “Largest Commercial Real Estate Firm” list published in January 2016 by the St. Louis Business Journal, NAIDESCO was formed in 2000 as a partnership of The DESCO Group and principals of NAIDESCO. Mark Schnuck serves as chairman of NAIDESCO and president and CEO of The DESCO Group. In 2011, NAIDESCO acquired the St. Louis brokerage division of Coldwell Banker Commercial.
All NAI DESCO contact information, including for the firm’s office in Illinois, will remain the same.
The DESCO Group, which primarily engages in real estate development in the Central, Mid-South, Southwest and Southeast U.S., will continue to be based at 25 N. Brentwood Boulevard in Clayton.
NAI DESCO is the local affiliate of NAI Global, a worldwide real estate network with 400 offices spanning the globe. Since 1978, NAI Global’s clients have built their businesses on the power of the expanding network. NAI Global’s extensive services include multi-site acquisitions and dispositions, sublease, tenant representation, property management, lease administration and audit, investment services, due diligence and related consulting and advisory services.
NAI Global, the world’s largest, most powerful network of owner-operated commercial real estate firms, earned the fourth spot in the 2016 Lipsey Survey of Top 25 Commercial Real Estate Brands. The survey was conducted among 100,000 commercial real estate professionals using a combination of ballot voting, phone interviews and focus groups to evaluate innovation, responsiveness and quality of service. NAI Global is the only commercial real estate network of independently owned and operated firms represented among the top five.
“We are thrilled that our success and growth is recognized by our peers and reflected in this years Lipsey ranking,” said Jay Olshonsky, FRICS, SIOR, President, NAI Global. “The power of the NAI Global network has never been stronger, with 170+ Member firms who work together to drive business and create opportunities for their clients worldwide. This represents the exceptional service that only a network of owner-operated brokerages can deliver.”
The survey is conducted by The Lipsey Company, a leading training and consulting firm specializing in the commercial real estate industry. The results of Lipsey’s 2016 Commercial Real Estate Brand Survey can be found at https://lipseyco.com/brand-survey.