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With more and more companies bringing their employees back to the office, now is an ideal time to examine the concept of where we work, or to be more specific, the best place to work. Conventional wisdom has it that offices must be designed for collaboration and creative work, as well as a cycling workforce that has adopted a hybrid schedule. This is, in fact, true in many cases. But we have gone further in the following pages, looking at the many moving parts that make up a good place to work. As you read through our selection of these offices, you will find there is a wide range of attributes, benefits and features that can go into a high-quality workplace and the company that provides it.
ABI MULTIFAMILY In the cutthroat brokerage industry, it’s uncommon to find a firm that works in a truly collaborative manner, however, at ABI Multifamily, internal teamwork and data sharing significantly contribute to the firm’s low attrition rate. “From the core of our company, we encourage full collaboration,” says John Kobierowski, the president and CEO of the Southwest-focused multifamily brokerage and advisory services firm. “We build systems that are open. We built a company headquarters [in Phoenix] and offices that are open. Glass walls are the perfect analogy for how we do business. As a result of this open culture, there is almost zero internal conflict in the company.” The company also offers flexible work arrangements, subsidized health club memberships, continuing education and professional development opportunities, organic mentorships, weekly company lunches, electric car charging stations and free parking. ABI Multifamily also encourages philanthropic efforts through company-planned volunteer days with Habitat for Humanity and St. Mary’s Food Bank, as well as other philanthropic projects. “Our team is engaged with our business, the community and each other,” states Kobierowski. Of particular note, ABI Multifamily contributes $100 from each completed transaction to the Arizona Housing Fund, which helps build more affordable supportive housing throughout Arizona. Kim Seeley, special projects manager at ABI Multifamily, commends the firm’s flat organizational structure and approachable leadership. “The greatest strength at ABI Multifamily is our company culture and workplace environment. It feels like a family. Everyone is supportive and genuinely wants each other to be successful. Individual strengths are recognized internally and valued in structuring our teams, which allows everyone to contribute to the highest level of customer service for our clients.”
B+E New hires at New York City-based investment brokerage firm B+E are asked to write out their personal mission statement, which is then shared with the company. “Stating our ‘why’ helps drive a sense of purpose across the team,” explains CEO Camille Renshaw. The firm, which specializes in national net lease real estate, has a corporate culture that is best reflected in the employee-developed core values of integrity, loyalty, teamwork, curiosity, courage, inclusivity and work ethic. “We support each other and each other’s business objectives but remain fierce competitors externally,” states Katie Berg, B+E’s director of business operations. “Employee engagement is fairly high and we took measures to make people that were isolated during the pandemic feel closer to those who were together.” In March 2020, amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, B+E provided security to its employees by setting a budget that leveraged existing cash flow to sustain the company for 12 months without having to lay off any employees or reduce salaries. The firm’s commitment to diversity is perceived in its staff: more than 50% of employees are female, 20% of employees are LGBTQ members and the majority of the technology team are people of color. In addition, half of the board of directors and half of the company investors are female. Furthermore, B+E’s board members range in age from 35 to 72-years-old and employees range in age from 23 to 58-years-old. “Every person on the team brings something unique to the table and diversity is celebrated,” states Emma Meyers, a marketing associate at B+E. The company offers a wide range of programs to the employees, such as bi-annual, full-staff three-day retreats that feature a mix of intensives, training, speakers and fun. These in-person gatherings allow employees to connect on a more personal level. Additional company perks include a 60-day in-house self-directed training program, formal mentorship with firm leadership, peer-to-peer training and team-building initiatives, such as a company book club and monthly happy hour, which offer ways for a dispersed staff to come together.
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