Tell us about the company.
Led by CEO Richard D. Whitney, CCIM, SIOR, CPM, GC, Whitney Commercial Real Estate (WCRE) is the only firm in Western North Carolina offering wholly-owned, in-house services of brokerage, management, and construction. We help our clients buy, sell, lease, manage, and improve their commercial real estate, whether they are buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants, or investors. In Ridgefield Business Center since 2001, Whitney CRE’s roots originate in family real estate businesses starting in the 1940s.
What is your company’s vision? How do you reflect it in your daily work?
We take pride in our services being equal to or better than that provided by franchise firms, even those in the largest markets. With that goal in mind every day, the result is the team developing the best marketing plans and activities, as well as internal procedural systems that allow us to run like a well-oiled machine. Part of our vision is to truly be the identifiably comprehensive resource for all one’s commercial real estate needs.
What is your company’s relationship with the community?
Our company, like many others, contains a mix of Asheville natives, North Carolina natives, long-time residents, and some recent transplants. Two of our brokers are from a family that goes back several generations. Combined, the team has well over 300 years of Asheville living experience! We are involved in our community in various ways, from engagement in professional organizations to the types of individual pursuits that the region is known for, such as the outdoors, and the food and art scenes. Being a part of the local scene helps us keep a finger on the pulse of what is going on in WNC.
What experience do you strive to create for your customers?
To us, “hospitality” means we have taken proper care to create an environment and business process that reinforces the trust clients place in our teams as we take care of their needs. Coincidentally, in commercial real estate the term ALSO means Hotels, Motels, B&Bs… either way, the word evokes good service.
Our goal, always, is that our clients experience the best professionalism throughout the CRE process that a firm can offer. We are industrious, we are forthright, and each broker, division leader, and staff member works very diligently with each client’s needs in mind. In real estate, new business is just one component of building a trusted brand: referrals and repeat business are also critical. We want every single customer to be able to note something of value in their relationship with us.
Through your experiences, what have you learned about customer service?
We’ve learned that customers are customers not only when they sign-on to do business with us, but also when they are still prospects, as well as after a transaction is complete. We want our clients for life. If we maintain our high standards for service in general, and in our marketing and outreach, as well as in our consistent and thorough procedural process, we make a lot of friends along the way. Life is better when you have friends, isn’t it?
What’s been your company’s most innovative idea?
Sometimes innovation is reflected in a dedication to progress. One of our approaches to business is making sure we maintain a high percentage of accreditation, which keeps us sharp, and also attracts attention. Over 75% of our brokers are either CCIM’s (Certified Commercial Investment Members), or on the CCIM training track. Two brokers are also SIOR’s (Society of Industrial and Office Realtors), which only has 3,100 members globally. Richard and Cheri Whitney are each General Contractors for our licensed as “Unlimited” construction division. Richard is one of the only Certified Property Managers (CPM) in the region, and we are also the only firm in WNC to hold the Accredited Management Organization (AMO) designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). Our dedicated support staff is also ever-evolving. These pursuits have helped us to be recognized by national partners as a go-to resource in the region, and by CoStar (the nation’s leading commercial real estate analytic and marketing company) as a 2018 “Power Broker”.
We believe our relationship with the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is a valuable one – congratulations on your recent Chamber of the Year award!