At almost at the same time (March 2010) Toromont needed a new facility for its power systems division, and a fellow SIOR member, David Blois of Stonehaven Realty Management in Burlington, Ontario, decided it was then the right time to sell a Brampton,
Ontario, property that was 60,000 square feet on eight acres. I helped sell the property for $6 million and again, it was a mutual SIOR
respect and understanding between Blois and myself that contributed to having this deal come together smoothly.
There is mutual respect for fellow SIORs, and this no doubt assists greatly in concluding these major real estate transactions. I
used to do a lot of work with the Whirlpool Corporation of Benton Harbor, Michigan, which only liked to deal with SIORs. That is
also true of other companies as well; they won’t have a realtor work on their assignments unless the realtor is an SIOR.
Over the last 10 years, I receive two to four calls annually from an SIOR member based elsewhere about helping one of their
clients find some kind of real estate in the Toronto area. Recently, I did an assignment with the Los Angeles office of The Studley
Group. A Los Angeles SIOR member, whom I had met two years ago at a conference, referred Studley. It was a good assignment; I
found the right industrial building for one of Studley’s clients. I keep up my contacts.
When I first became president of the SIOR Central Canadian Chapter, I took on the responsibility of the group’s annual golf
tournament, and I have been chairman of the event for the last six years. The golf outing allows me to communicate with major
developers and brokers and with the local industrial real estate community.
I’m not ready to give up the chairmanship, but if someone said to me, “You’ve done this long enough and we want someone
else to do it,” I would reluctantly retire from the voluntary position. But, I’m not sure anyone wants me to go. Since I took over the
tournament, we’ve had nothing but great weather. So, I’ve said, “Until the weather goes bad, I’m going to remain chairman.”
The golf outings, SIOR conventions, and meetings of some of the other organizations to which I belong are my most important
networking vehicles to get leads and other business activity. As, I noted, it’s very difficult in a one-man shop to get leads, so to get
my name out there, I do my best to attend all events.