Franklin Street opened its Jacksonville office in late 2009. During the first year the office was open, the business did just $600,000 in transaction volume. Last year, the Jacksonville office alone had about $47.9 million.
The office has grown from two people to more than 10. Much of the office’s growth can be attributed to Carrie Smith, who has been the managing partner of the Jacksonville office over the past seven years.
Smith was recently promoted to a managing director role so she can continue to build the company’s business and veteran real estate broker Yvonne Baker will manage both the Orlando and Jacksonville Offices.
As a mid-size commercial real estate company, Franklin Street emphasized the role of mentors who also produce in the field as a way to train and motivate associate and junior real estate brokers. However, with the office now having more than 10 employees, Smith’s split role was no longer working.
“We have certainly grown the office significantly,” said Smith. “We have gotten to a point in Jacksonville where the player/coach model doesn’t work.”
Baker, who has worked in commercial real estate for about two decades, said the time that Smith will save from managing the Jacksonville office can be put to use growing the company’s client base.
“There’s a higher use for her time and her talents,” Baker said.
Baker sees Franklin Street growing in Jacksonville. The firm hired David P. McCagg in September as a office broker. Ultimately, Franklin Street would want expand the number of people it has in every sector of commercial real estate, allowing the company to have a strong team in each office.
“We want to make sure that we have every business line represented in our offices,” Baker said.
Already, Franklin Street is seeing success. Smith referred a shopping center REIT that she does business with to a broker in Franklin Street’s Orlando office.
In Jacksonville, that could mean that Franklin Street hires an additional eight brokers as it expands its services in the industrial, office and insurance sectors of commercial real estate.
“We conceivably could be eight more in this office,” Baker said. “The dream would be to double the office this year. Reality is more likely to be five people or six people.”