I was given the topic of “Why Collaboration is Critical in the Commercial Real Estate World” and I really had no idea where to start. Yes I know that collaboration is a positive thing – I love when my peers willingly give me their notes for financial accounting that they spent all semester slaving over while I binge watched Keeping Up With the Kardashians – but collaboration specifically in the CRE world? No clue.
An email was sent out asking if anyone would be able to meet in the conference room at 2:30pm in order to help me with this blog. To my surprise, both owners of Shindico (Sandy and Robert Shindleman) joined, along with seven other members of the leasing and marketing teams. There’s a perfect example of collaboration. End of blog.
Of course I’m kidding and know I have to go into a little more depth for you. The meeting was just a “quick ten minute brainstorming session,” so of course it lasted for two hours. And although I got carpal tunnel from the notes I was furiously writing, I realized that I was getting a lot of good material from this meeting.
So why is collaboration critical in the CRE world? One of the leasing agents, Reno Augellone, used a great analogy of building a bridge. It’s easy to follow because everyone knows how bridges are built. Kidding let’s not use that.
Okay I’m really going to get to the point now, and I’m going to focus on the collaboration that happens within Shindico specifically. Without successful collaboration, commercial real estate wouldn’t exist. In me asking for help, I realized that the people who showed up really didn’t have anything in it for themselves, and were helping me purely because that’s how we operate here – we help people succeed, and in the process, we too succeed. My team wants me to be successful in my internship and therefore they will do everything in their power to see that happen – including dropping everything and coming to my rescue.
The meeting was so successful that it almost seemed like a planned experiment. Everyone was collaborating with each other to come up with ideas for me to use, and explaining to me a bit about Shindico’s mission statement "Succeeding by Helping Others Succeed" and how it encourages collaboration. For example, Shindico has an open door policy so they can freely share ideas in order to maximize results. I sit outside the offices and personally witness how effective this policy is. In fact, the leasing team has an open-concept office so they can share information and collaborate with each other at all times.
The way in which Shindico operates would quickly fall apart without collaboration. If someone decided to be a lone wolf and work in a bubble without collaborating with other experts in our office, their client would undoubtedly not be getting the superior service they deserve (i.e. perspectives from multiple leasing agents, the expertise of accountants, and the legal services we offer). Shindico has worked hard to develop a team which is made up of talented individuals who have specialized skills in one area, but a general understanding and knowledge of all areas of our development and leasing processes. Without the integral collaboration of talents and skills among these team members – we would not be doing everything we can to ensure the success of our clients or ourselves.
John Pearson, an affiliated broker at Shindico, explained that the industry is ever-evolving and changing. While years ago it may have worked for a CRE firm to employ one person to lease retail, office, and industrial without any accounting or property management support – the bar has now risen. Our clients are diversifying and growing, and demanding more from us daily. They are developers, retailers, investors, office-users, and manufacturers (to name a few). Our developments are increasingly mixed-use, multi-tenanted, and often start from a wide open field and transformed – through hard-work, commitment, skill, and of course, the collaboration efforts of the talented people at Shindico – into the vital, attractive, and functional developments we are proud to call our own.
In the wise words of Sandy Shindleman, “our mission statement only works if first it works internally.”