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We Are the Sum of Our Relationships

We Are the Sum of Our Relationships

By: Jonathan Basofin, Principal

When I introduce Cloverleaf to someone new, they are often surprised by the small size of our staff relative to the amount of properties we own and investor funds we manage (our team is comprised of six full-time and two part-time employees). I readily point out that while we have a fantastic, efficient staff, we greatly depend on a network of best-in-class service providers to support us. In my fifteen years at Cloverleaf, coupled with my past life working at law firms and as a musician, I have learned that one of the most important attributes shared by successful small enterprises is having strong relationships with the right people to call for help.

When it comes to maintaining and adding value to our properties, Cloverleaf’s “secret sauce” is the urgency we bring to leasing and property management. Every day, our staff works hard to be responsive to tenant needs, going above and beyond what a typical commercial landlord would do, while aggressively seeking quality occupants for vacancies. While we bring constant focus to these goals, they are only accomplished by associating with talented outside professionals who match that energy with due responsiveness. We endeavor to align ourselves with the best local roofers, HVAC companies, landscapers, general contractors, etc. And while Cloverleaf’s staff is integrally involved in our leasing efforts (and we handle all lease renewal negotiations internally), we almost always also hire local leasing representation. We value these brokers’ market knowledge, ideas, and access to prospective tenants. To help ensure these professionals match our urgency, we are similarly quick when it comes to compensating them, typically paying any bill within days of receipt.

The same goes for Cloverleaf’s relationships with lawyers, accountants, investment sale brokers, environmental consultants, and insurance brokers. We pride ourselves on associating with high-quality, creative, ethical professionals who understand our objectives and provide counsel accordingly. For example, earlier this year we were under contract to acquire a property and were facing challenges with elements of our due diligence. Ultimately, we faced the choice of proceeding with, or walking from, the deal. The decision was gut-wrenching: good acquisitions are hard to find, there is no such thing as a “perfect” property, and Cloverleaf enjoys a well-earned reputation for being a predictable buyer; however, we cannot acquire an asset without sufficient comfort. We ultimately chose to abandon the property, a decision that – in retrospect – feels simple. At the time, though, we could not have reached our conclusion without the advice and collaboration of certain outside professionals, namely our attorney and environmental consultant. They understood what is most important to Cloverleaf and its investors and helped us make a choice that was consistent with those objectives.

I could list out the many professionals with whom we are fortunate to work, but the list would be too long for this newsletter. If you need a referral or would like to discuss further, please contact me at jeb@cleafgroup.com or 847-272-3300. Similarly, if you have anyone you particularly like working with, please let me know. Our relationships have been central to our success over the last 42 years and will be key to our progress moving forward.