Anniversaries are the perfect occasion for taking stock of where you’ve been and where you’re going, so here’s the big picture as Berger Commercial Realty Corp. celebrates 20 years in business. Back in 1998 when we launched the company, Florida’s population was 15.2 million. Today it tops 21 million and the Florida Chamber of Commerce predicts it will approach 26 million by 2030. Signs of growth and real estate development are visible everywhere, despite concerns about transportation, sea-level rise, immigration and the next recession. After 20 years in commercial real estate, it’s become apparent to us that Florida will continue to attract investment and grow as long the sun keeps shining.
Our most important requirement when we launched the company was being able to enjoy going to work every day and building our careers with a team of likeminded people. There was a lot of work and little reward at the start, and sometimes it seemed like a big mistake, but on balance, it was fun building a strong team and watching the company grow.
It wasn’t easy allocating the resources necessary to compete with the larger, established firms, but we stuck to it and plowed the profits back into the business. We worked hard and the company continued to grow, despite the predictable challenges of getting a new business onto solid ground. We avoided cut-backs and actually grew during two recessions by staying focused on delivering value, never compromising our client-centric philosophy. After the Great Recession of 2007-2009, we were one of the few independent commercial realty firms that didn’t lose momentum. In fact, we grew and prospered.
Much has changed in the commercial real estate business since 1998, most notably the many applications of technology, new players in the market and the fact that the South Florida market has become very institutionalized. Nevertheless, client appreciation of hard work, good value and a first-class product remains the same as it always was.
Looking forward to the next 20 years, we will continue taking well-informed risks and seizing opportunities. With offices currently in Fort Lauderdale, Boynton Beach and Miramar, we envision our Palm Beach presence becoming as significant as our Fort Lauderdale office and our reach extending throughout Miami-Dade. We also see the potential for further expansion through our membership in CORFAC International, a global network of independently-owned, entrepreneurial commercial real estate brokerage firms.
Our team of 60 professionals is comprised of brokers, property managers, accounting staff and administrative personnel who work hard for our clients every day. We never have lost sight of providing value and great service, whether the commercial real estate market was up or down. The relationships we have forged over the years are the fuel that powers our business.
After two decades in South Florida’s commercial real estate market, the most important piece of wisdom we’ve learned about success is this: While it doesn’t come easy, you’re more likely to succeed if you focus on the long-term relationship and not the fee. And a little bit of luck surely helps.