Commercial real estate executive Chris Jackson was named president of Dallas-based Stream Realty Partners in January. The company leases and/or manages more than 250 million square feet of commercial space and has about a dozen offices across the country and 900 employees.
Did your business continuity plan work, or were there surprises?
Transitioning our staff, our clients, and our buildings to a remote working environment and then to shelter in place was not something we expected to be doing this year. However, we were watching closely as critical events unfolded and started mobilizing—preparing the move to remote, elevating our communication plan, and planning for several scenarios. Thankfully, we have a can-do team that was decisive and quick to act. It could not have gone better.
What are the short-term ramifications for your specific industry?
Tenants are evaluating cost-cutting options, including rent relief. Landlords are preparing for a tidal wave of rent relief requests and putting together a plan to bifurcate tenants that are being opportunistic from those that have real distress. Ultimately, we are all going to need to work together to get through this. It’s to be determined on what the ramifications are beyond solving today’s challenge. However, lessons learned will dictate that real estate will be used, owned, and operated differently, going forward.
Have you found silver linings in these difficult times?
Being forced to slow down as a company (not at first) and a family. The entire world is in this together. We can all relate. We can all empathize. It’s a great time to focus on relationships and to listen to others. We will each have our own story and be impacted in different ways, but we can get through this if we stay together as families, friends, companies, and communities.
How are you maintaining your company culture?
We know that our people are worried about the future, and we leverage technology like Microsoft Teams and video messaging to stay connected, check-in, and ensure them that we are in this together and that they are our priority. But, it’s not as much about preserving culture. A crisis like this reveals the depth and strength of your culture. The love, care, and compassion that are the foundation of any great company rise to the top during a crisis like this. You quickly learn if the foundation of your culture isn’t built on the big three.