Commercial real estate deals don’t get made and buildings don’t get built without connections and collaboration between different members of the industry: from developers to broker to architects. Developing strong relationships is key for promoting personal and career growth, says Larry Lance, managing principal of equity ventures for EverWest Real Estate Partners in Lakewood, Colorado, and the 2015 NAIOP Vice Chair of the National Forums Program.
The National Forums, special interest groups for NAIOP members to network and exchange ideas, has been a valuable tool for Lance to create bonds with high-level peers in the industry for more than 20 years. As vice chair, Lance seeks to increase awareness of the benefits of the Forums program with NAIOP members, explore creating new forums to meet industry needs and create additional value for Forums members.
Market Share: How did you become interested in working in the commercial real estate industry?
Lance: I was recruited by a close friend in the business who was convinced that I would be good at it. I’ve been in the business for more than 30 years and have never looked back.
Market Share: How did you first get involved with NAIOP?
Lance: I joined NAIOP in 1988 in Cleveland, Ohio, and continued with the organization when I moved out to Denver in 1997. I joined a NAIOP Forum in the first year that they were established and have now been part of the Office Developers 1 Forum for more than 20 years. I wanted to be involved with a professional trade association for our industry and NAIOP was well regarded.
Market Share: What do you see as the greatest benefit of NAIOP membership, both on the local and corporate level?
- Local and national relationship-building.
- Networking: developing good relationships with industry leaders.
- Legislative advocacy: having a seat at the table.
Market Share: How would you describe the value of participating in the National Forums program?
Lance: It’s a great opportunity to build relationships and share best practices with key people across the country.
Market Share: What are some of the most rewarding aspects of your job?
Lance: Developing young leaders. I love to provide senior-level guidance to young people and watch them grow as a result.
Market Share: What advice would you offer to someone just starting out in the industry?
Lance: Very early on, develop a mentorship with someone who you like and respect who can provide guidance for your growth and development. Most of us in the industry have grown that way – someone took us under their wing and told us, “Go do this, and come back and tell me how it went.”
Market Share: Who has been an influential teacher, mentor or model to you, and what did you learn?
Lance: Gary Rickel was an early mentor in my career. I learned good real estate skills from him but more importantly, I learned strong, ethical business behavior. We can all learn the business, but behavior is important: how do you deal with people, how do you treat people, what are your ethical standards?
Daniel Galbreath of The Galbreath Co., a large family office in Columbus, Ohio, has also had a big impact on me. He had a strong moral and ethical approach to good business.
Market Share: What are some aspects of living in Colorado that you like best?
Lance: I love the mountains, the sunshine and the clean air. There’s a very healthy behavioral environment in Colorado, not to mention a lot of friendly people.