Leveraging their extensive experience in commercial real estate and property management, Tim Meissner and Jerry Jacquet formed their own company in 1992. Today, Meissner Jacquet Investment Management Services has 32 employees who deliver a full range of services designed to help retail, office and industrial property owners maximize the value of their assets.
Meissner Jacquet is San Diego's third largest commercial property management company and the largest independent commercial property management company in the county. The company's prestigious roster of clients includes RREEF Funds, AEW Capital Management, the Port of San Diego, Lennar Properties, Bank of America, Transamerica Life and Citicorp.
During a recent interview, Meissner and Jacquet - with the help of a few of their co-workers - discussed some of the unique attributes their firm possesses. In addition, Meissner and Jacquet provided insights into trends happening in today's commercial property management industry and shared tips for retaining and attracting good tenants.
On entrepreneurial experience and consistent leadership
Among the key characteristics that distinguish their firm from other property management firms is Meissner Jacquet's 26-plus years of entrepreneurial experience in commercial real estate in San Diego.
"We conduct real estate land use changes for clients, help them reposition real estate assets and manage redevelopment projects," Meissner said. "We also help clients expand the size of real estate projects and improve their tenant mixes."
According to Meissner, the firm's solid and extensive relationships with clients, San Diego civic leaders, and capital sources also give it an edge over the competition. Another unique advantage of the firm is its years of consistent leadership.
"The same individuals have run Meissner Jacquet for the past 13 years," Jacquet said. "This has allowed us to instill consistent values and work ethics - it's not like someone new is coming in every five years and changing everything."
Providing better service through better people
Both Meissner and Jacquet believe what truly sets their firm apart from other property management companies is the people they employ and their approach to their jobs. The way Jacquet sees it, most property management companies are made up of people who are trained to simply take directions.
"We don't run around with plungers in our pockets," he said. "We're much more sophisticated than that. What we've tried to do is hire people who are independent thinkers, who are smart, who can communicate effectively and who can get the job done."
In order to help attract and retain the highest caliber of staff, the firm is committed to maintaining a supportive work environment.
"It's critical to us to protect our internal work environment," Meissner said. "We foster a culture that's friendly and supportive, and we promote learning at all levels. We constantly strive to improve our work environment."
The buzz from employees
Proof that Meissner Jacquet has succeeded in creating a positive work environment can be seen in the comments of several employees who shared their views of what life is like at the firm.
"I've always enjoyed working with Tim and Jerry," said Mary Wilson, the company's accounting department manager. "You don't feel like you're below them, or like they're your bosses - you're all on one tier. The way they do business is always well thought out, and everyone is taken into consideration in all decisions they make for the company."
Beth Selbe, an assistant real estate manager who has been with the firm for five years, agreed with many of Wilson's sentiments.
"I've never worked in a place where everyone gets along so well," she said. "It's very friendly and family-oriented. Any time I've had to take time off for a family issue, I've never been questioned - in fact, it's encouraged."
For Meissner Jacquet Vice President Cori Armstrong, the level of professionalism of the firm's employees is a big plus.
"There are many senior-level people here who have 20-plus years of experience," she explained. "When we make decisions operationally, it's always by committee instead of just one mind. It's a team-oriented approach that works well."
"Technology has made a huge impact on the operation of properties and the work environment within management firms," Meissner said. "Accounting and data processing have become extremely advanced and sophisticated. Other examples of the role technology is playing in property management include sophisticated software packages for HVAC, security and communications that track property performance and adjust building environments on a daily basis."
Meissner also mentioned the need for firms to seek out or train individuals who are technology-savvy and also have a strong understanding of real estate and real estate procedures.
A third property management trend noted by Meissner Jacquet is an increasing emphasis on lease administration among firms in order to establish a solid foundation for accounting data management.
Many different factors come into play when it comes to helping property managers retain tenants. But Jacquet stressed that keeping tenants happy really boils down to practicing a few simple things.
"A management company needs to be professional, responsive and solution-based," he said. "The property manager needs to set the tone and reflect the owner's attitude and interest in the daily operation of the asset."
Meissner added that it's important to always be polite and professional, and to be sure to follow-up on all work that's been done.
For more information about Meissner Jacquet, go to www.meissnerjacquet.com.