At the end of each calendar year, I like to reflect on where I was 12 months prior and compare it to where I am today. Amid the holiday season, I like to take stock: looking back at what I did well and what I did less well so that I can improve next year.
When it comes to SquareFoot, I think similarly, but in slightly different terms. That is less about my own contributions and more a chance to celebrate the amazing accomplishments our team spearheaded over the last year.
It always starts with the people. We doubled the size of our company in 2019, finishing with about 60 employees. We have a number of open roles still to fill, too. What I’m most pleased with is that as we’ve grown, we haven’t lost sight of our core values and morals in assessing candidates and harnessing their talents. No lowering the bar to raise the numbers here! We have more employees aboard to help steer this ship, and to tell our story to our current and future clients. To help guide us, earlier this year we hired VPs for both our Sales and People departments.
Last month, we appointed our first president, Michael Colacino, to drive our business forward. I had approached Michael as I was fundraising, and seeking strategic advisers to chip in, and, together, we realized we share a vision for the future of the commercial real estate industry. So we began to brainstorm what a more formal role might look like. That same month, we announced our Series B financing round, which will help propel us to new heights.
In 2019, our brokers completed over 200 deals. I’ve proudly watched some of the junior team members take on more responsibility and execute sizable deals that ranged from traditional offerings to more creative solutions. In February, we acquired PivotDesk to help companies fill unused desks, and then, in June, we launched our latest initiative, FLEX by SquareFoot. These additional business units secure SquareFoot at the forefront of innovation when it comes to flexible options for office space.
I’d be remiss not to point out that we moved offices, too, in April. As with most businesses, you learn so much more from doing the process yourself and experiencing the ups and downs that sometimes accompany an office move. We know what our clients are dealing with and going through because we have managed recent moves ourselves. We moved just nine blocks north from where we were, but it’s a credit to our team for arranging everything that needed to be done and getting us to our new headquarters. (I haven’t forgotten about the many volunteers who put together our office chairs when they first arrived!)
On the tech side, we introduced a mobile app, which gives our clients unique and easy-to-use technology to communicate with their team members and ours as we move through an office search. We continue to simplify the process and remove barriers to make our clients’ lives easier. The marketing team unveiled our second out-of-home campaign, draping SquareFoot ads all over NYC phone booths and bus stops. It’s among my favorite form of getting our brand recognized because it echoes the service we provide – thinking about space in a well-designed, compelling way to make an impact.
Charitable giving is also near and dear to my heart, and I’m thrilled that this year we participated in a couple of key areas. Our team spent time with Knock Knock Give a Sock on several occasions to support those in need. Winter season brings canned food and coat drives here at the office. And I slept outside with 100 other real estate folks to help raise money for Covenant House, which provides housing and supportive services to youth facing homelessness.
This fall I was honored to be given the Global Proptech award for “Top Executive” at MIPIM NYC. It goes without saying, I’m nothing without the team around me and I’m thrilled that our team’s hard work has paid off in attention and accolade. Still, we have so much more in mind for the next 12 months. I’m excited to spend some time with family and friends over the holiday before returning to work in the new year; recharged and ready to tackle the next set of goals… we’re just getting started!