An Anniversary...of sorts

It's story time here at NeuerSpace, something a little different...and I am thinking about Valentine's Day 2002.  It's ten years ago, and it seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago all at the same time.  We were working on large tenant rep assignment, approximately 180,000 sf.  It was the largest project that I had worked on at that point in my young career.  I wasn't doing much (nothing important),but learning as much as I could and loving every minute of it. 

Then something strange happened.  Our client was purchased by a larger company.  The acquiring company was a Fortune 50 company with lots of relationships within the brokerage community.  We were told we would have an opportunity to present our qualifications and work product to date and that we might be able to keep the assignment.  However, it didn't seem likely as the real estate director wasn't a big fan of our then firm.

I didn't attend the presentation, but when my partner, Joe Sarno, returned to the office, he informed me that we needed to put together a binder with all the work product to date.  We needed to send a hard copy of every survey, every RFP, every response, every analysis, every matrix, every everything to the real estate director via FedEx for next morning delivery as he was leaving for a long weekend and wanted to review it while he considered our fate. Not keeping this assignment would have been catastophic.

We immediately started working on compiling everything, checking all of the data for accuracy, printing and binding.  Our partner in New York was taking his time getting back to us with his comments to the critical piece, a matrix comparing all of the opportunities still being considered.  Joe left around 6:30pm to take his wife out for Valentine's day and gave me specific instructions.  Get the matrix done, make sure it's perfect, get everything in the binder and get it to FedEx.  Easy, right?

Well, our New York partner gave me his final comments at 6:45pm at which point he left to take his wife to dinner.  Luckily, I was single and had nowhere to go. 

I called FedEx to see when the pick up was in our building.  They told me it was 7:00pm.  I wasn't going to make it.  There was a box with an 8:00pm pick up time about 10 minutes away.  I thought I could make it.  When I was still making changes at 7:45pm, I called FedEx again.  My only other option was to drive to Newark Airport and deliver the package there by 9:00pm.

I finished the package at 8:15pm, drove to the airport, dropped off the package at 8:45pm and felt like a hero.  I kept the receipt so I could show Joe in the morning that I had accomplished my task.  Stay with's where the story gets interesting.

The next morning, disaster struck.  Joe got a call from the real estate director at 10:30.  Where's the package?  I pulled out my receipt, called FedEx and was promptly told that due to a storm, the package was delayed. What storm?  She explained that all FedEx packages travel through Memphis and that a storm there was the reason for the delay.  I could have walked the package from Newark to New York City and gotten it there in time.  Maybe I should have.

The nice lady assured me that the package would be there shortly and to just be patient.  She was kidding, right?  Luckily for me, the package was handed to the real estate director as he was walking out of his office at 2:00pm. 

In this case, it was truly "all's well that ends well".  We were chosen to finish that project and because Joe did a great job, we became one of their preferred providers.  In the last ten years, we have completed over 25 deals for that client, all over the country. Looking back, it's an account that has taught me as much as any other account we have.  That night, ten years ago, I officially became a part of the account team...and I guess I am glad I was single at the time.