“There’s strength in numbers and strength in resources that are combined,” ENCOR president Rob Renaud told RENX. “So we see this as the beginning of something.”
“Once Landmark and ENCOR started to get to know each other a little bit better, even though we were friends in the industry for a while, we really realized that there were a lot of similarities that we wanted to capitalize on and synergies that we thought we can expose by working together and hopefully bringing that same mindset to other boutique firms that we’re friends with in the industry today,” Landmark managing partner Jacob Cowles said in the same interview.
The two companies use their platforms to drive value for tenants and occupiers by reducing occupancy costs and risk.
They have expertise in market intelligence, legal services, lease administration and audits, financial advising, consulting, strategic planning, and transaction, account, facility and project management.
How the partnership works
Landmark and ENCOR have signed an exclusive agreement dealing with revenue-sharing and other items, but the partnership isn’t a merger.
Each commercial real estate advisory services firm is retaining its own service lines and there will be no redundancies or job losses.
“Using ENCOR’s knowledge and presence throughout Ontario is a very important part of this puzzle for us and leveraging our suite of services for ENCOR’s team and clientele is a big part of this as well,” said Cowles.
“We’ve already joint-pitched and won business together, throwing in each of our individual services to service one North American client. It’s been very well received by them so far.”
Landmark has 24 employees in Montreal, five in Calgary and one in Toronto. It serves more than 500 markets and is involved in more than 300 annual transactions.
Downtown Toronto-based ENCOR has fewer employees than Landmark, but just hired Jared Collis and Jed Hershberg from Lennard Commercial Realty as senior vice-presidents and partners.
Renaud said mergers and acquisitions often result in people leaving because it’s difficult for them to deal with the way things operate differently as well as new cultures, visions and technologies.
Companies also often don’t want to rebrand, but may want to take advantage of synergies, as is the case with this partnership.
More details still to come
“We have some other things that we’ll be announcing in the months ahead that we think will help explain the nature of what we’re building together,” said Renaud.
“This is just Step 1.”
ENCOR held national meetings in Toronto on Sept. 22, with Landmark and executives from other real estate advisory firms in attendance to discuss creating further synergies and alignments.
“We’ve got a lot of stuff in the works and we’re excited to take this vision that we have for what’s possible in terms of servicing the occupier in Canada and bringing it to life, and there are a lot of other groups who are really excited about these discussions we’re having and we look forward to making it materialize,” Renaud said.
“We want to be the one platform that nationally focused occupier firms want to belong to and want to be part of and we want to have a lot of fun doing it,” Cowles added.
“You don’t necessarily need to have this huge platform as a broker.
“You can belong to something more nimble and more edgy, and I think that’s what we’re trying to build.”
Industrial, office tenants face different challenges
Many of Landmark’s clients occupy light industrial space and they’ve faced larger and more wide-scale challenges over the past few years with very low vacancy rates and rapidly increasing rents.
ENCOR has many occupier clients in the office sector, which has also been going through changes due to the increasing acceptance of work-from-home and hybrid models that have taken off during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many companies are attempting to find a balance that enables employees to have more freedom while still ensuring collaborative work is done in offices and overall productivity is maximized.
“I think what tenants want on the office side is a guide, somebody who can hold their hand and help them work through and see through all these different challenges,” said Renaud.