One of the things I enjoy most about being a commercial real estate broker is the opportunity to work closely with the leaders of a variety of businesses. Real estate matters for most small to medium sized firms are more often than not handled by the owners or some senior executive of the firm. Working with these people means that, to a certain degree, you are privy to their strategic plans
Over the years I’ve gotten to know a few of these people quite well and I’ve been with them through the good times and bad times. In good times that means helping them secure larger offices or warehouses. In bad times it means helping them to deal with excess space through renegotiation of contracts or subleasing space.
In the case of Ease Technologies, the relationship goes all the back to when we both attended
Wilde Lake High School in the early seventies.
Recently I helped Ease secure a space for a growing part of their business. We actually started working on the assignment about two and a half years ago, right about the time the economy hit bottom. Though this particular part of their business looked promising they were reluctant to enter into a long term lease agreement in that business climate. They instructed us to find them a short term deal. After the first short term deal expired, we negotiated for another, then another....
Over that time, the HoCo loco economy began its slow climb out of the recessionary doldrums and the fortunes at Ease began to improve as well. The landlord was also doing better. In fact, it had come to the point where our short term deals were no longer that attractive for them. They had other companies who were interested in leasing the Ease space for a longer period. They told us no more mini deals.
So Ease stepped up.
It would be inaccurate to say that this was an easy decision, even for the company named Ease. Like most of the businesses we work with, they are not yet comfortable that the recovery fully taken hold or that the business unit housed in this space will continue to handle the volume of work it has now. Growing a successful business however, means that you can’t always play it safe. There are times when the business leader is required to take a leap of faith based on what they know and what they believe will occur in the future. Everyday, in offices all around HoCo, those types of decisions are being made and that is what will get things rolling around here again.
You can read this month's column here.