What's Current

What You Need to Know: News & Essential Information

Health 2.0
Inner Views
WE BUILD BROKERS
By Edward Del Beccaro
ViewPoint
#trending
Page One
In the Spotlight
ViewPoint
Extraordinary Experiences
We Make A Difference
Sustainability
Book Club
Hidden Talents
watercooler
User Interface   Have an awesome idea for future issues or comments about this edition? Shoot us an email!
What's Current

IF THE SHOE FITS
Congratulations to our Atlanta, New York, Houston and San Antonio offices, all of which were recently named a Best Place to Work. Check, check, check and check. Let’s keep them coming!


TW-WEAR FOR TRICK OR TREATING
Like dressing up as crazy characters? Masquerade as a co-worker with official Transwestern garb, like the Transwestern T-shirt, available for $8.35 at our online store! Or accessorize with a net and pole to create an angler ensemble, based on the Transwestern Fishing Shirt, selling for $35. And in case the night turns chilly while trick or treating, bring along a snug Transwestern Yoga Jacket, priced at $60. Boo! Visit the Transwestern store here.


PAY THE PROPER PIPER
When it comes time to pay an invoice from our online store, pay attention to the payee! Our vendor is Taylor Communications, which purchased Staples Print Solutions earlier this year. Do not confuse our store vendor with Staples Advantage, our office supplier, which is unrelated to Taylor Communications. The correct address for Transwestern online store payments is Taylor Communications, P.O. Box 95015, Chicago, IL 60694.


GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME
New xRM functionality boosts efficiency by allowing users to send to internal Outlook distribution lists directly from Click Dimensions. This means you no long need to set up duplicate mailing lists in xRM that mimic those already created and maintained in Outlook (such as city groups or TYP lists). The process is simple and requires a quick, one-time setup of the desired distribution list as a “contact.” View the how-to video here (right hand side marked “new”).

To support the growing adoption of xRM and Transwestern’s aggressive technology roadmap, xRM is being upgraded to the 2016 version. A “code freeze” has been placed on the current system; this means xRM will still function as usual and team members will continue to use the system, but changes to functionality will not be implemented. The upgrade is expected to be deployed with the formal rollout of Workday in mid-2017.



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the THREAD

ANNUAL ENROLLMENT BEGINS OCT. 31

2017 Annual Enrollment takes place Oct. 31 through Nov. 11. During this period, team members must log into the Benefits portal and make their selections for the upcoming year. Detailed information will arrive in homes the last week of October. Be on the lookout!

In preparation for Annual Enrollment, make sure you’ve completed the two steps of the Premium Incentive Program. If you and your covered spouse/domestic partner complete BOTH a biometric screening and an HRA, you’ll save money on your 2017 medical premiums ($600 per year for employee only or employee + child(ren) / $1,200 per year for employee + spouse or family).

Plus, if Transwestern achieves its HRA completion goal, EVERYONE will earn two additional days off in December. This year, the company has set an aggressive goal of 93 percent, or 1,530 team members currently enrolled on a TW medical plan, for HRA completions. That means we’ll need everyone’s help to earn those days off. Be sure to use your current biometric numbers when completing your HRA.



Visit the PIP page on TranSource for more information, or contact the Benefits Hotline at 877.497.8807 or benefits@transwestern.com.



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Meet & Mingle


CORPORATE
Rob Bridges
Rob Bridges

Transwestern welcomes Rob Bridges to lead the national Management Services operations as executive managing director. Rob will develop strategic direction and implement best practices that enhance the company’s client-focused approach to property management. During a career that spans nearly three decades, Rob has overseen property portfolios at the local, regional and national level. Most recently, he was executive vice president at Stream Realty Partners overseeing the company’s office and retail property management division.



CENTRAL
Stuart Showers
Stuart Showers

Houston has elevated its research capabilities with the addition of Stuart Showers as research director. He comes from KnowledgeSource Consulting, where he was strategic alliance manager and director of sales and marketing.



NORTHEAST
Jeanette Ambrosio Gaede
Jeanette Ambrosio Gaede

Jeanette Ambrosio Gaede joined the Boson Capital Markets team as vice president, focusing on investment sales, equity placement, structured financing and strategic advisory. She was previously an assistant vice president at Colliers International, where she worked on a variety of transactions including office, industrial, multifamily/residential, parking, hotels, mixed-use and land.



See all of October’s new hires here.

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InnerViews

We Build Brokers

By Edward Del Beccaro
Senior Managing Director
East Bay / Silicon Valley

One of Transwestern’s strengths is its dedication to professional development. Initiatives like the Summer Associates program show the company’s commitment to nurturing knowledge and skills among the industry’s next generation of leaders. Our Walnut Creek, East Bay and Silicon Valley offices have borrowed a page from the Navy training manual to create a unique approach to broker-candidate training that we like to call, “The Gauntlet.”

“Only a few commercial real estate companies choose to invest much time or resources training inexperienced applicants to become productive brokers.”

Since the Great Recession, only a few commercial real estate companies choose to invest much time or resources training inexperienced applicants to become productive brokers. There is a basic attrition problem: Probably half, if not more, of the inexperienced hires at a real estate firm will leave the business before becoming brokers. It’s easier, therefore, to hire individuals who have been stuck on the bottom rungs at other firms long enough to learn the ropes and the market, and then offer those survivors a chance to take on more responsibility by changing employers.

This model may save training dollars, but it does little to build company allegiance. And in our commission-dominated industry, a lack of camaraderie can degenerate into a self-serving atmosphere in which co-workers are sometimes perceived as a threat to personal advancement and profitability.

What I’ve found to be a better recruitment and retention method is identifying applicants with a strong aptitude for the business, and then training them to work as members of a highly effective, mutually supportive team. Once they become brokers, these producers are reluctant to depart from that team, thereby reducing attrition rates and long-term training costs. This system, proven effective by the armed forces, is the essence of the intern training program in our three offices.

Ship-Shape Teams
How does the Navy quickly prepare inexperienced men and women in the 18- to 24-year-old age group to safely handle multimillion-dollar equipment, effectively respond to life-and-death crises, and avoid touching off international conflicts in the process?

I learned the answer to that question firsthand on a 10-day passage from Pearl Harbor to San Diego aboard the U.S.S. Rushmore, the ship where my daughter, Seaman Lillian Del Beccaro, carried out a portion of her naval service in 2013. One of about 20 parents onboard, I had the run of the ship (under escort) and used my time to learn how the Navy shapes recruits into highly capable sailors and marines in a span of months rather than years.

Here are the points I took away, and how we’ve adapted those measures to our intern program:

Accelerate attrition. In boot camp, the Navy weeds out as many weak or uncommitted people as possible from its ranks before investing in more advanced training. If a recruit or employee is going to quit, it is better to lose them sooner rather than later.

“What I’ve found to be a better recruitment and retention method is identifying applicants with a strong aptitude for the business, and then training them to work as members of a highly effective, mutually supportive team.”

We run applicants through a series of difficult interviews, assigning homework they must complete before proceeding from one meeting to the next. Tasks range from manipulating an Excel sheet to zoning and property research, and interviewing city economic development directors to identify economic drivers. Finally, the candidate must interview people at other real estate firms and compare the culture of each in a report. Few candidates persist through this 30-day interview process, which is the point, and those that do have learned to complete tasks that will be required of them if they get the job.

Teach through responsibility. Soon after learning a particular job, a seaman performs that task under accountable supervision. A more experienced crewman is at hand to step in and avoid disaster, but the newbie is allowed to try, fail, and try again as part of the learning experience.

Our Transwestern interns, once hired, learn real estate vocabulary, formulas, research tools and the intricacies of the market in formal classes and by working alongside other team members day to day.

Learn through teaching. Teaching broadens the instructor’s understanding. In the Navy, the seaman providing accountable supervision may be only slightly more experienced or senior in rank to their trainee, and is learning by teaching.

After 60 to 90 days at Transwestern, our recruits – now called “runners” – have earned their real estate license and begin teaching some of the research skills they’ve learned to other interns. In addition to working as runners for multiple service lines and attending classes, these new team members verify lists and tenant records for brokers and learn to make effective sales calls. After 90 days on the job, runners are eligible for promotion to junior runner broker, when they will work to develop new business and even take the lead on small deals.

Rise through the ranks. Finally, after five months with the firm, successful candidates in our offices become associate brokers, working as an apprentice under a senior broker who will help the associate build their business and ultimately become an independent contractor or partner, earning commissions. Thus the senior brokers teach, strengthening relationships within the team in the process.

Our team-building training is delivering promising results: Former intern Kyle Snyder specializes in medical real estate and took part in a $47 million sale that earned Northern California Transwestern’s Deal of the Year award. The San Francisco Business Times recognized Matthew Hatfield, who has completed more than 50 deals, as a Commercial Real Estate Rising Star. Other interns-turned-brokers have closed multimillion-dollar deals, made inroads with new clients, and produced research that made headlines in the local press.

And as in the military, teams that complete the training share a strong bond. We’ve had zero attrition in nearly two years, and are proud of the growing list of brokers who earned their stripes in our Transwestern program.




Edward Del Beccaro

Edward Del Beccaro
Senior Managing Director

500 Ygnacio Valley Road, Suite 100
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

+1 925.357.2019
Edward.DelBeccaro@transwestern.com

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ViewPoint
Larry Heard
Larry Heard
“We’ve diversified our services lines to weather what we know is going to be a cyclical business.”

Transwestern’s multiple business lines fortify the firm to weather real estate cycles, CEO Larry Heard told a gathering of the nation’s commercial real estate professionals during ALM Media’s RealShare National Investment & Finance conference Oct. 5 - 6 in New York City. More than 300 investors, REITs, banks, private equity firms, asset management firms and other institutions participated in the conference, in which Transwestern provided much of the thought leadership.

During a one-on-one discussion with interviewer Michael Desiato, vice president of ALM’s Real Estate Media Group, Larry recounted Transwestern’s response to the 1980s oil crisis: “At the time we did basically one thing, which was development,” Larry said, describing those early years. “We diversified our business into a more dynamic company. We’ve diversified geographically, and we’ve diversified our services lines to weather what we know is going to be a cyclical business.”

Steve Pumper
Steve Pumper
“Although the fundamentals are very strong in many markets, it seems that people are becoming a little more risk-averse.”

Steve Pumper, leader of TW’s Capital Markets group, moderated the event’s lead-off discussion: Institutional Investor Insights: Where We Are Today and Where We’re Going, reporting a growing sense in the market that the real estate cycle is nearing a peak. And Lindsay Ornstein, partner in Tenant Advisory Services, helped to shape a discussion of the increasingly sophisticated business of commercial real estate and property data analysis.

Lindsay Ornstein
Lindsay Ornstein
“It used to be that having data distinguished you. Now it’s about what that data means.”

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TYP


TW HIDDEN TALENT REVEALED ON THE VOICE



If you watched NBC’s "The Voice" on Oct. 3, you witnessed Transwestern’s own Whitney Sim and her sister, Shannon Bates, flooring all four judges in a Blind Audition with their duet of the Fleetwood Mac song, “Landslide.”

Cameras captured the judges’ delight as the captivating performance behind them transitioned to harmony, revealing that they were listening to two performers, soon prompting the entire panel to turn their chairs around and vie for an opportunity to coach the duo in further episodes.

“That was so beautiful!” Alicia Keys beamed. “You are everywhere – that’s where I see you, and I would love to help you get everywhere.”

Miley Cyrus raved over the team’s harmony, and country music performer Blake Shelton observed that the sisters chose a Dixie Chicks version of “Landslide,” praising their talent and prospects for shared success: “It’s that thing that you can have, I truly believe, only with siblings,” he said. “I would be proud to be you guys’ coach.”

But Keys made the winning pitch to represent Whitney and Shannon. “The world needs the two of you. We need to see you,” Keys said. “I know that us together would be so incredibly, crazy powerful. So let’s bust down those stereotypes and break down those walls together, forging through major sisterhood. I would love to be your coach. You two are like a beautiful example of what I want to continue to create.”

Whitney, a member of the Management Services team at Westech 360 in Austin, Texas, credits her mother, who sang with her own siblings, for encouraging the sisters to develop their talent. “She recognized we could sing when we were little and encouraged us to get better,” Whitney said, adding that with such similar voices, they picked up their signature harmonies naturally. “My sister and I are really close and we’ve pretty much done everything together, including singing.”

Whitney and Shannon have performed together at churches, weddings, coffee shops and bars including the House of Blues in Houston. While the duo was eliminated from "The Voice" on Oct. 24, their performance of “Landslide” is available on iTunes, and their amazing run is sure to increase their following.


IF YOU’VE GOT IT, FLAUNT IT
Several months ago we launched this Connection feature to share all the great skills our team members possess OUTSIDE the commercial real estate world. So here’s your chance for shameless promotion. Do you have a hidden talent? Isn’t it about time you shared it with your Transwestern family? Send an email to National Marketing. Then, take a moment to bask in the spotlight.

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We Make A Difference

Central

  

In the August issue of The Connection, you may have read about efforts to raise money to support Dunbar Learning Center, an underserved Dallas public school. Since then, 600 backpacks have been ordered for the students; Staples supplied them at cost and provided free shipping. Additionally, enough school supplies were sent to Dunbar to carry the students through the start of the academic year.

Volunteers are still working toward an initial, $6,000 goal. After that, the team hopes to raise $25,000 to replace the asphalt playground as well as an additional $1,000 for each of the 36 classrooms that will carry them through the year. To get involved, contact Theresa Goldman.




MIDWEST



Volunteers from Balke Brown Transwestern worked alongside others from the community to distribute school supplies to local children at “Beyond the Backpack,” hosted by Beyond Housing in August. 3,000 children from Normandy Collaborative School District left with backpacks filled with necessities for the upcoming school year, and were able to take advantage of free haircuts, physicals, dental checkups, vaccinations and other services in a day of fun.


Northeast



A group from the Boston office finished 84th out of 491 teams in the 200-mile Ragnar Reach the Beach relay Sept. 15-16 in New Hampshire. The event, which raises awareness and funds to combat Type I diabetes, requires teams to run continuously on a route from the Bretton Woods ski slopes to Hampton Beach State Park. The team finished in 28 hours, a shared accomplishment by runners Patrick Glynn, Jared Kinch, Perry Beal, Katie Ritter and Erin Connolly from Boston; Jonathan Tootell and Chase Gordon from the NYC office; and a few add-ons from other companies. The 11-person crew raised $6,000 for JDRF, a global organization that funds diabetes research.


SOUTHWEST

Karen Clarke, Heather Brooke, Cori Helms, Danielle Brown, Nica Alfonso, Alyssa Miles, Chris Atwood, Raymond Rico, Larry Martinez and Lauren Kendall cleared debris, pulled weeds and repaired neighborhood infrastructure in a Denver neighborhood during a recent project hosted by Extreme Community Makeover and NAIOP.


Do you volunteer or give back to your community? We want to know! Email your involvement to Stefanie Lewis, and you might be featured on TranSource or in The Connection!

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Extraordinary Experiences

Transwestern’s people, transactions and culture are frequently highlighted in the trade and business press. This new section in The Connection captures some of our best coverage from the past month. We hope you enjoy!




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Extraordinary Experiences

SURVIVAL SERVICE

 

The team at Eldridge Oaks in Houston eased its clients’ seasonal stress by including budget survival kits along with its budget binders. Kits included everything from pens, chocolate, protein bars and Tylenol to calm-inducing stress balls, Play-Doh and Texas-flag shot glasses. The fun and unexpected twist lightened a normally tedious task and set the team apart from other property managers. The approach made an impression on clients, who commented: “That was so thoughtful of you, it made my week!” and “Silly is good – we need a little fun during budget season!”



HELP FROM ABOVE

The Transwestern Experience training’s reminder that “everyone is our customer” stayed with Mike Kuhnen, building engineer at 1801 Main in Houston. Shortly after completing the training, Mike was working on the roof and noticed the nearby Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart had several open seams in its roof. Mike took time to photograph the damage and alert the cathedral, enabling the church to make repairs and prevent harm to the building’s ornate interior.



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Sustainability

RECAPPING GREENBUILD 2016

Greenbuild International Conference and Expo

Daniel Hartsig and Dave Hubka traveled from their home base in Milwaukee to the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Los Angeles to demonstrate their work with sustainable building. Dan’s panel discussed ways to reduce water consumption in buildings, a timely topic during California’s multi-year drought. Dan highlighted DROP®, a program Transwestern developed with Kohler to measure water usage similar to the way ENERGY STAR® tracks energy consumption. Dave, a WELL faculty member and writer for the WELL AP exam, provided a deeper understanding of the WELL program.



LEED® REGISTRATION DEADLINE

All LEED® v2009 projects must be registered by Oct. 31, 2016, if:

All projects not registered by this date will only be allowed to complete certification using the more stringent LEED® v4. Reach out to your properties to ensure that this important deadline is not missed. Contact Dorothy Schwarz with additional questions.



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Trending

Welcome aboard to our newest member of the Transwestern Twitterverse: Transaction Sciences!

Follow them at @TransactionSci  




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TYP
ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO, THREE POTATO, FOUR

 

Undeterred by the thousands of eyes before them, Atlanta TYP pitched in to take on a mountain of potatoes at the Atlanta Community Food Bank in August. Starting from hefty bins, volunteers sorted spuds for quality and repacked them in more manageably sized bags for distribution to food pantries throughout the state. “We packaged over 10,000 potatoes in just a few hours,” said Senior Associate Thomas Savage. “This provided over 8,000 meals to hungry families in Georgia.”

STRIKE AGAINST HOMELESSNESS

With a 96 percent turnout and some downright impressive bowling skills, TYP Minneapolis raised $1,800 for Aeon! Aeon provides affordable housing to the formerly homeless, including seniors, youth, recovering addicts and families. Before the impoverished can even begin to think about finding a job or getting back on their feet, they need to first figure out where they’re going to sleep tonight. By providing these people with homes they now have the wherewithal to build their lives back up. See the photos here.

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Watercooler

NICE TO SEE YOU!



Brokers in several Transwestern offices are bridging the miles to share leads and opportunities in inter-office teleconferences. Robert Bagguley, market leader in San Francisco, initiated the first session Aug. 31 between team members in San Francisco and Chicago, and an Oct. 12 conference between his group and brokers in Dallas. The program is based on videoconferences between TW and BNP Paribas Real Estate. In those meetings, video reduced confusion over who was speaking, which had been a challenge in voice-only calls between groups who had not met previously.

The Aug. 31 call produced several connections on clients’ behalf, including a potential investment sale, a leasing assignment and a redevelopment opportunity. “It makes a big difference to see each other,” Rob said. “It’s a very cost-effective way of networking without incurring travel time and expense.”

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Health 2.0

HOWARD HARING: WORK OUT LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT



Howard Haring made a healthy lifestyle a priority in order to regain his former fitness level. What he didn’t know then was that he was preparing himself to overcome not one, but two life-threatening illnesses. Read his story.



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Health 2.0

Spotlight Deal: SOUTHWEST



Financial services company USAA preleased all 157,472 SF of Vista Corporate Center, an office building at 13805 IH-10 West in San Antonio. Russell Noll represented 15000 IH-10 Ltd., the property owner/developer.

CENTRAL


Clover Telecom Asset Management, LLC (Coppell, TX) – 127,189 SF tenant advisory services transaction at Point West 120 located at 120 Dividend Road (Bill de la Chappelle, Brett Owens, Emily Rankin).

MID-ATLANTIC


Sacramento Square, LLC (Alexandria, VA) – 216-unit disposition of Sacramento Square Apartments located at 5401 Claymont Drive to Insight Property Group for $37.75M (Dean Sigmon, Robin Williams, Dennis Flynn).

MIDWEST


BDO USA (Minneapolis) – 20,049 SF tenant advisory services transaction at U.S. Bancorp Center located at 800 Nicollet Mall (Larry Serota, Phil Utigard, Mike Salmen, Will McDonald).

NORTHEAST


Casebia Therapeutics (Cambridge, MA) – 32,688 SF sublease at 610 Main Street from Pfizer for 15 years, 4 months (Jon Varholak, Eric Smith).


Eurazeo North America, Inc. (New York) – 6,200 SF tenant advisory services transaction at 745 Fifth Ave. for 62 months (Lindsay Ornstein, David Stockel, Chase Gordon).

Southeast


State Farm (Madison, AL) – 81,963 SF disposition of Plaza Centre located at 300 Hughes Road for $4.75M (Fred Victor). ​

SouthWest

Southwest
Clarion Partners (Houston) – 83,030 SF industrial lease with Air Liquide at Port 225 located at 3011 Hwy 225 (Brian Gammill, Darryl Noon). ​

West

West
750 Brannan Street LLC (San Francisco) – 24,173 SF lease with city and county of San Francisco at 750 Brannan St. (Markus Shayeb). ​

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