“There’s a lot of complexity in the commercial real estate business,” says managing partner Jim Merrifield of MPV Properties, LLC.
“You need good relationships with contractors, architects, and engineers. It is a broad network that comes together to get a project going,” he says.
In order to succeed, the company hires driven people and encourages them to flourish in their respective jobs. MPV’s services include brokerage, development, and property management. The 43 employees include brokers, a property management team, marketers, an accounting team, administrative staff, and the partners.
Current projects range from the 310,000-square-foot Red Stone retail center in Indian Land, S.C., to a mixed use 36,000-square-foot urban office building in Charlotte’s South End. Recent build-to-suit properties include two for Sunbelt Rentals in Concord and Raleigh.
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MPV employees need a broad skill set. The real estate business is cyclical, and requires employees to be flexible, and ready to learn and apply new rules and regulations. Merrifield hires people who are team oriented and have leadership potential.
“Our culture is one of teamwork and supporting each other, and helping everybody to be successful,” says Merrifield. They achieve this through building relationships. Employees are invited to after-work social events at a local restaurant each month. They serve lunch each quarter at the Ascension Lutheran Soup Kitchen. They’ve planted trees with TreesCharlotte, and every year a team joins the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Melissa Keen was hired as a corporate accountant in 2011. Keen values the lack of negativity in the workplace. “If you don’t like something they will ask you how you would go about changing it. And if you suggest a change that will actually benefit the company, they will change it.” When an employee mentioned that many of the team had never seen the properties upon which they worked, the company arranged for a group tour.
She credits constant communication among the various departments with creating a pleasant work atmosphere. During the course of a transaction she often works with a partner, the partner’s administrative team, and her own department members. She sees her co-workers as mentors. “You can go to them for help, and they will give you ideas and help you think them through and do what’s best.”
“We try hard to put people in a position to be successful,” says Merrifield. “We give them the tools they need, and the autonomy to succeed. It is an environment where people can control their work. People know they are making a contribution they feel is important.”