By John T. Phair, President & CEO of Holladay Properties
Welcome to the Holladay Properties blog.
Communication channels have evolved. Some time ago — I guess it was three decades or so — I wrote a weekly newsletter that was distributed by “snail mail” to 300 or so savings and loan executives (remember them?) every Friday. Printing was a chore, mailing took time, and keeping it fresh and interesting was a weekly challenge. But I loved doing it — and would never have a week where I didn’t get a few phone calls in response to my prose. Email was not around at that time. Verbal communication was “in.”
This was Communication 101. Now I am writing the opening blog for the Holladay Properties blog — but the principles are still the same. It needs to be worth reading, informative and reasonably fresh. We are developers — managers — builders. We rely a great deal on other people’s capital and on our ability to remake ourselves for the fourth or fifth time in my Holladay Properties career — and that’s only one-half of Holladay Properties’ 60+ years.
What’s different now?
Every aspect of our business was, at one time, “long term” in nature. Leases, loans and mortgages, relationships, management contracts, news sources — even basics like copy machine contracts, telephone systems and paper products. No more.
Our business, like all others, and I really mean all others, is now conditioned on speed — the ability to adjust and absorb information as quickly as you can, even though none of us can absorb it all — because it comes in such large quantities these days. The products of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Intel and the like have forever changed the way we all do business. Is it for the better? For most people — yes. For those who struggle to adjust, it is especially difficult.
What’s different now? The speed of change. It can be exhilarating but there is no reversing it. Technology is here to stay — and to be harnessed and used. But let’s not forget — no matter what the speed of change, a few basics have survived:
- Customers (people) appreciate good, personal service more than ever
- A lie is still a lie and will kill a deal, project, friendship faster than anything
- A good laugh is worth more than a few basis points
- Good old fashioned respect for each other is critical
- Finally, location, location, location is still number one in the real estate business
We are a very proud bunch at Holladay Properties. But we sure understand that we haven’t kept up in all areas, and we work at that each and every day. We’ll welcome comments, criticisms, suggestions and new ideas; so please blog away and let’s have some good old fashioned conversation, just like 30 years ago, when the interaction was what it was all about — even if it took weeks instead of minutes.