Barclay Street Real Estate Ltd.

Unique company culture transcends Alberta’s commercial real estate market

As a locally-owned full service commercial real estate brokerage firm, Barclay Street Real Estate Ltd. has become a well-respected figure in the Alberta market.

With over 35 years of experience, the company has established offices in Calgary and Edmonton, and built an impressive track record in many areas of commercial real estate including investment sales, retail and office leasing, industrial sales and leasing, and property management.

Barclay Street in Alberta

The owner of Barclay Street, David Wallach, told The Canadian Business Journal, “If you look at our position in the Alberta market, we are probably the largest locally-owned boutique real estate company but we compete against many big national and international companies. This position offers us a unique edge and has helped us become one of the top commercial real estate firms in Calgary. In an industry that operates 24/7, many of our competitors are big entities where vital decisions are made in other cities or countries. However, we are a nimble company where all decisions are made locally and on the spot so we can meet our clients’ needs in a timely manner. Also, being local makes us experts in our own market so we are not trying to be all things to all people.

“Barclay Street provides a service, not a tangible product, so we are in the people business. We are judged based on our ability to deliver quality services, not on the quantity of a product. We don’t own buildings but we offer services to help those who own and use the buildings. We are in this business because we care and we want to see our clients succeed. We care about our clients, our employees and their families. That is a core part of our company culture and our motto. We don’t end relationships with our clients once the deal is signed; we continue our relationships for years to come. The Alberta commercial real estate market is currently very strong, so Barclay Street is at a point of exceptional growth. To support this growth we are re-launching our new office in Edmonton and we’re in the process of hiring additional staff for our Calgary office.”

Property Management Division

In 2007, Barclay Street entered into the property management segment and currently manages approximately 1.5 million square feet of commercial property in Calgary and Edmonton. “Five years ago, we bought a local firm that specialized in the property management from its retiring owner. We  bought it as a platform to spearhead our entry into the property management segment. Since 2007, we have increased the size of this portfolio fourfold. This segment represents between 20 to 25 per cent of Barclay’s annual gross income today, and our market share continues to expand. To accommodate this growth, we have built a team of experienced real estate professionals that is dedicated exclusively to property management,” says Wallach.

Unique Business Culture

As a top-ranking, privately-owned real estate brokerage, Barclay Street offers its employees and clients a uniquely open and productive company culture.

Barclay Street’s flat organizational structure is atypical to the industry and enables its team to make methodical and timely decisions. All employees are incorporated in the brainstorming and decision-making processes that effect the operations and success of the business.

“We owe a great deal of our success to our company culture and this is what we strive to focus on. We hire people for their character, rather than focusing only on their past results. We have a thorough screening process to get the right people for the right positions so we can make the best decisions for the growth of our company and team. We ensure our team members are passionate about the success of our clients and enjoy the pursuit of our client’s best interests. Due to our screening process and open culture, we maintain a high employee retention level. Some people started with us 17, 20, even 25 years ago. They stayed with us to this day because of our core values — the values that allowed them to grow personally and professionally. Our culture includes respect for clients, employees, their families and our community while creating a well-rounded and wholesome environment we can prosper in.”

Barclay Street does not follow trends in the industry with its open culture, client-relation methodology or business model. However, Barclay Street is obviously doing something right considering it has attracted several buyout offers from competitors but has no plans of deviating from its course of expansion or compromising on its core values.

“We lead by example, operate with a hands-on approach, make our own decisions and follow our own path. The combination of these approaches keeps us highly motivated and efficient, always ensuring that our clients receive the highest level of professionalism and service,” concludes Wallach.