MIAMI—How do you work with tenants that speakdifferent languages? How do avoid offending other cultures in themidst of commercial real estate deals?

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In part two of this exclusive interview, we caught up withJimmy Cushman, a property manager forHalpern Enterprises, to get his take on these andother issues. You can still read part one: Building RelationshipsWith Immigrant Business Owners.

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GlobeSt.com: Is it challenging toexplain things when the business owner is having troubleunderstanding what you are saying?

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Cushman: It's important to developa feel for whether they are truly understanding you or not, even ifthey are saying 'yes' or 'I know' again and again. And it's veryimportant that they understand everything involved in being a partof our center. For example, we find it is really important toexplain the rules for signage. We would never want one of ourtenants to pay for a sign and then find out it can't stay up.

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Again, the personal connection is everything. Ifbusiness owners see that you are taking the time to understandtheir culture and to make sure they are comfortable, that helpsthings go more smoothly.

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GlobeSt.com: Are there certainsituations where you have to make sure someoneisn't taking what you are saying the wrongway?

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Cushman: Yes. As an example, Imight be explaining fire codes and the need for a clearly definedemergency exit, but the owner may think I am implying that thestore isn't safe. So you have to get your point across clearlywithout the owner becoming defensive due to a misunderstanding.

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GlobeSt.com: How does this way ofworking with your tenants fit in with HalpernEnterprises' overall business?

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Cushman: BernardHalpern, who started the business, was an immigranthimself, moving to the US from Poland in the '30s at the age of 16.He instilled in his children, who now run what is still a familybusiness, the need for hard work, integrity and fairness.

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This approach runs throughout our company, and fitswell with how we aim to build a respectful and productiverelationship with all of our tenants, regardless of theirbackground. We are only as successful as our tenants. And we wantto help them to become very successful.

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