By R.J. Neary, CCIM, SIOR, CRE
Growing, improving and anticipating change. These are all signs of a thriving organization, and 2018 was another successful year at Investors Realty.
The most exciting news to share with you is that due to our growth, Investors Realty will be moving to a new office in February. We have had people doubled up in offices for months now. You may be wondering what a group of real estate professionals looks for in an office space and how we manage to agree on the details. Our team came together to discuss what we have learned over 44 years of leasing and selling buildings to our clients. We considered location, office size, building type and our ability to design an office space that meets our current and future needs. Here is a list of our top criteria:
• The location needed to be convenient for the majority of our team members with easy interstate access since our brokers and property managers move throughout the Greater Omaha area on a daily basis.
• The location also needed to be convenient to everyday amenities like a coffee shop, restaurants and services.
• The building needed to be structurally sound with “good bones.”
• We wanted the opportunity to build out office space that has fewer walls and invites more collaboration — a lot of companies talk about this, but our work requires it and our new space needs to foster it.
• We also wanted to maximize productivity and efficiency for our team members by really thinking about how they work together and what they need to be successful. Integrating collaboration, productivity and efficiency into the design of our new space will allow us to continue providing our clients with outstanding service.
While we had a preference to own, we were unable to find a building that satisfied our needs, but we were able to negotiate reasonable lease terms. Located in the former Western Electric facility at 125th and I Street, the building we chose was built by Kiewit Construction Company in 1957. It is an industrial space, which makes it somewhat of a clean slate. We look forward to creating modern, collaborative space to serve IRI’s next chapter.
Personally, I am both excited and a little sad about this move. In 1985, we moved to our current location and occupied approximately 1,800 square feet. In our new location we will occupy over 16,000 square feet. We have made a lot of memories in our current office, but we look forward to spreading out again!
At IRI, we foster a culture of continuous improvement — in people, processes and technology — in order to effectively and efficiently serve our clients. With “educated” as one of our core values, we encourage our team members to engage in professional development and further their education. This year I am proud to say we have added two Certified Commercial Investment Members (CCIMs) to our long list of real estate credentials as well as an MBA. J.P. Raynor and Kevin Stratman earned their CCIMs, and property manager Dawn Holst earned her MBA. I am proud to have 12 CCIMs , four Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIORs), three Certified Property Managers (CPMs) three JDs, and many other advanced degrees among our team members. IRI has more CCIM and SIOR designations than any firm in Nebraska. I know this shows dedication to being the best and I know first-hand that the education adds value for our clients.
Our industry continues to change at a rapid pace and it is our job to anticipate and adapt quickly and help our clients navigate the changes. We continue to see changes in environmental regulations that impact how we do business. Nearly every sale requires an environmental study. The Clean Water Act, Wetlands designations and agency laws all require a higher level of detail for brokers and much more time and involvement from engineers, attorneys and other experts in various fields. Zoning is also much more detailed and controlling. We train our team members on how to look for these issues and how to solve any problems that may emerge as a result.
At 44 years old, IRI is now older than the average age of our core group of brokers, but we are definitely not slowing down. In fact, our founders are still in the office serving clients and mentoring our next group of leaders.
This year we added one more broker — Jack Warren who has joined our Office Team — bringing us to 22, and two property managers for a total of eight. Our property management portfolio is now over five million square feet and our brokerage volume has reached $1 billion in transactions over the past five years.
I know we are lucky to get to do what we do every day helping our clients start their own new chapters, grow their businesses, adapt to changes or invest in their futures.
We look forward to seeing you in our new space and around Omaha in 2019. Wishing you and your loved ones a happy holiday season.