Family-Owned Real Estate Firm Emphasizes Service, Long-Term Relationships
Harsch Investment Properties, a family-owned real estate firm with assets of $1.2 billion including a portfolio of over 8.5 million square feet of commercial space and over 5,000 multi-family units in seven western states, is founded on the belief that customer service is the key to its long-term success.
"The company likes to hold properties for a very long time," explains Susan Cotter, the new on-site manager of the Stoneridge Business Center at Stoneridge and West Las Positas and the Altamont Business Center in Livermore. "Because they're a family business, they look at long-term relationships."
The company was founded more than 50 years ago by Harold Schnitzer, whose family founded Schnitzer Steel. The company has owned many of its properties for its duration, including 450 Sutter Street in downtown San Francisco. Harsch also owned the Claremont Resort & Spa in Berkeley for 50 years.
The company is also known for the great care they give each of their properties. The 450 Sutter Street property, a classic San Francisco office building, is in the midst of a series of restorations designed to bring back all the style and grandeur of its Art Deco lobbies and elevators.
The company's emphasis on long-term relationships is also part of what has led the company to add Cotter to their ranks. Previously, the Hacienda property had been managed by personnel at the company's Alameda office. Cotter's office in the complex allows her to take a more hands-on approach.
"They wanted to provide the services that tenants need in as timely a manner as possible," she explains. "Being on site, I'm available for leasing tours and general property issues."
She explains that those duties are quite varied.
"I run the gamut of areas of responsibility, from leasing to property management. I'm wearing all the hats."
The duties of the on-site manager, whether they involve supervising the landscaping, maintenance, or other aspects of the property, are focused on showing the property in its best light.
"I'm making sure that the property represents Harsch Investments well," she explains. Representing Harsch well is an important job and one which Cotter doesn't do alone. The company has a team of over 400 employees operating in Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Vancouver, Portland, Sacramento, San Francisco, the East Bay, Los Angeles, Denver, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City and Phoenix, making them one of the largest privately-held real estate firms in the country.
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