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From being among the first companies to return to its offices in Houston last spring; to continuing its tremendous growth spurt; to developing a sense of community during a time when many have never felt more apart, NAI Partners finishes 2020 strong
Houston, TX, December 21, 2020 – NAI Partners, one of the top five largest privately held and independently owned full-service commercial real estate firms in Texas, has experienced minimal setbacks during this unprecedented year, and in many regards is thriving as it closes 2020 out more galvanized than ever in delivering on its mission of client service excellence.
“While we recognize the Houston economy still needs time to return to its previously fully-functioning self—and that certain aspects of the way business is conducted will continue to evolve—it’s encouraging to see signs that things are starting to move in the right direction,” said Jon Silberman, Managing Partner of NAI Partners and a veteran Office Tenant Rep broker. “Deal volume began increasing again in the fourth quarter of this year, and we expect to see that trend continue into 2021. We used some of the ‘downtime’ caused by the pandemic to further strengthen our ranks and bolster our business lines, enabling us to continue to be well-positioned to serve our clients both now as well as for their future needs.”
“The uncertainty caused by the pandemic prompted us to go on the offensive, a lesson we learned during the 2008 financial crisis when we were less diversified,” added Silberman. “Companies’ shifting priorities have in some regards opened up a pipeline of talent that may not have been available to us under more normal circumstances, and we have been able to significantly improve multiple areas of our business lines with the right additions to our teams.”
To that end, NAI Partners—which offers its clients a full-range of services, including Office Tenant Representation, Office Project Leasing, Industrial Tenant Representation, Industrial Project Leasing, Retail Tenant Representation, Retail Project Leasing, Landlord Services, Property Management, Investment Sales, Valuation and Advisory Services, Partners Facilities Services, Project Management, and Life Sciences solutions, among other lines of business—has experienced a substantial growth wave throughout 2020, adding more than two dozen professionals to its three locations in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.
Among those new hires are multiple executives with C-Suite-level experience, including veteran commercial real estate professional Scott Lunine, who was brought on to rapidly expand the company’s Texas Investment Sales Division and has wasted little time in doing just that, with a dozen new Associates having recently been onboarded.
Further bolstering NAI Partners’ Investment Sales efforts was the addition of the highly-regarded McCullough-Jaynes Team to the company’s Austin office. Combined, the team has more than $200 million in transactions in less than five years.
NAI Partners also added to a strength with the hiring of veteran Office Tenant Representation brokers Harry Holmes and Charlie Neuhaus, who during the course of their careers have combined for more than $2 billion in transaction value. Mr. Neuhaus and Mr. Holmes join us as Partner Shareholders in the company.
Also joining the firm this year was Kelli Walter, a former CFO and COO who now oversees the company’s Partners Capital investment fund business’ asset portfolio. Partners Capital—led by Andrew Pappas—had a memorable growth year of its own, including the following highlights:
- Rebranding from the NAI Investment Fund to Partners Capital;
- Hiring Ms. Walter from Voss Capital, where she served concurrently as both Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer;
- Divesting itself of Leghorn Service Center;
- Acquiring Trails at 620 retail center in Austin;
- Having that purchase featured as a national news story on CoStar’s home page;
- Acquiring Blanco Crossing in San Antonio; and,
- Ramping up to launch their fourth investment fund (press release forthcoming).
And all of that activity occurred in less than four months’ time, since the beginning of August. Despite the continued uncertainty in the overall economy and real estate market, Partners Capital is operating a blistering pace and getting multiple deals done in a global pandemic—one of the few shops that can stake that claim.
In a year when businesses leaned on technology more heavily than ever before, NAI Partners had already been notably ahead of the curve in adopting new tech tools—including the company-wide implementation last year of Microsoft Teams, the now-essential online communication and collaboration platform—which helped position its employees to navigate the recent uncertainty successfully and serve its clients uninterrupted. The company has also placed a relentless focus on providing tools to help its salesforce continue moving business forward, from virtual site tours and virtual office tours; workplace flexibility management solutions; meetings via Slack, Zoom, and FaceTime; and online presentations and other solutions.
“NAI Partners has always been deliberate in our use of technology to serve our clients,” said Travis Rodgers, Executive Vice President, NAI Partners. “Across the organization we undertook strategic collaborative efforts all throughout 2020 to identify and evaluate additional digital platforms to ensure our sales professionals have the tools they need to continue meeting our clients’ needs. We were ready for the coronavirus pandemic, and we’ll be ready for the next Black Swan event.”
Added Mr. Rodgers, “We continue to be well-positioned to help our clients and new customers with their office, industrial and retail needs, and have encouraged our clients to use this time as an opportunity to evaluate their real estate strategies as part of their overall business plans.”
And in spite of a global pandemic upending the business world as we know it, NAI Partners made a concerted effort to fully engage its workforce both inside and outside the office, helping ensure the tenets of its robust company culture remained at the forefront of the firm’s service delivery. During the time the company worked remotely together, leadership fueled responsibility during the uncertainty by ensuring that all members of the staff had the tools they needed to succeed, and were constantly kept in the loop on how the company was moving forward and what needed to be done in order to continue working toward our collective goals and objectives.
“After we successfully returned to the office—and we were among the very first in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio to come back last May—we felt even more emboldened about making sure our employees were imbued with a sense of togetherness during a time when many have never felt more apart. We knew that working together, in-person, was critical to the collaboration necessary to best serve our clients. And we were able to keep many of our beloved traditions intact by making adjustments to previous company cultural get-togethers, including socially distant happy hours; lunches; and the way we honor our quarterly top performers,” said Mr. Rodgers.
He added, “We also instituted new traditions, including several contests allowing participants to showcase their thoughtfulness and creativity, and in lieu of a traditional holiday party, we instead brainstormed a wildly popular ‘12 Days of Christmas’ theme in which the staff received a new surprise every day leading up to the holiday break. I’m proud of the way our team worked together throughout this year, and we head into 2021 more unified than ever before.”
For additional information, please contact Larry Koestler, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications, at 713.629.0500.
About NAI Partners
NAI Partners is one of the top 5 largest privately held and independently owned commercial real estate services firms in the state of Texas. NAI Partners was founded and is headquartered in Houston and has offices in San Antonio and Austin; offers the geographic expertise to complete real estate transactions throughout the state; and can leverage the power of the NAI Global network to arrange deals in any location around the world. NAI Partners employs more than 150 real estate professionals, and arranges more transactions than any of its competitors, completing over 700 commercial lease and sale arrangements every year. NAI Partners is a full-service firm offering client leasing and sales solutions in the areas of Office Tenant Representation, Office Project Leasing, Industrial Tenant Representation, Industrial Project Leasing, Retail Tenant Representation, Retail Project Leasing, Landlord Services, Property Management, Investment Sales, Valuation and Advisory Services, Partners Facilities Services (PFS), and Project Management, among other lines of business. The company also has an investment fund platform called Partners Capital, and a development vehicle called Partners Development, both of which are wholly owned subsidiaries of NAI Partners. NAI Partners is the top Houston-based full-service commercial real estate firm on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America; the 5th-largest Houston-Area Commercial Real Estate Brokerage and #1 Mover of Square Feet among leasing and sales brokerages in Houston per the Houston Business Journal; the only commercial real estate firm on the Houston Business Journal’s Mid-Market 50 list; a top 12 largest San Antonio Commercial Real Estate Brokerage per the San Antonio Business Journal; and a top 20 Property Management Firm by square feet under management in Houston per the Houston Business Journal. NAI Partners has been named a Best Place to Work by the Houston Chronicle, Houston Business Journal and Austin Business Journal; and is among the University of Houston’s Cougar 100 Fastest-Growing Companies.