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Has the Downturn Impacted Turnover at Your Firm?

It seems a good amount of firms may not be feeling the pinch of an economic slowdown as bad as others. Many respondents to last week’s Quick Poll replied “Not at all” (42%)—that’ a solid amount to be sure. However, a number of respondents say their firms are feeling some hurt—35% chose “Tremendously” as an answer—while 24% picked “Looking for a Job. Don’t Bug Me.” Shannon Hondl, senior vice president of acquisitions and development for Irvine, CA-based Birtcher Development & Investments, said his company has so far weathered the economic doldrums, but he attributes that to a sort of jack-of-all-trades philosophy practiced by Birtcher.

We don’t over hire. Employees tend to come here and stay here. I started my career in real estate with this firm. We just don’t bring in a lot of people, even when things are going strong. Here, it’s like once you’re in, your in.

Also, we’re not like a typical development company where people have specific roles. We have a senior vice president of construction who is really is an entitlement guy. Our CEO does property management sometimes. Everybody’s got multiple roles. It’s a utility type organization.

It’s the firms that have specific people doing only specific things that are getting hurt. People are looking around trying to justify keeping people on staff with a smaller pipeline.

One specific developer I frequently meet with from Denver told me they’re trying to find deals to keep people employed. They just want to get enough to cover their overhead. And I know a lot of companies we work with, construction companies and brokerages in particular, are really getting hurt.

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