Building Relationships through Real Estate
Tim Mathile, Amy Westheime, and John Westheimer
Photo by Wes Battoclette
In the world of property development, contracting, and leasing, regulations are a necessity.
For John and Amy Westheimer, the father-and-daughter team behind Cincinnati Commercial Contracting (CCC), all of the policies, codes, and laws that direct their organization’s daily activities are trumped by a more essential guideline: the Golden Rule.
“It’s very important to us that people are treated the way that we would want to be treated,” says John, CCC’s founder and owner. “That’s the bottom line.”
As the Cincinnati-based construction management and real estate company celebrates its 35th anniversary, the conscientious approach that has fueled its growth continues to earn the organization a strong following of repeat clients. As the Westheimers point out, however, those individuals aren’t just clients — they’re friends.
The Nuts and Bolts
Founded in 1979, the company has grown from one employee (John) to a multi-faceted organization with a team of 25 full-time employees and an ongoing roster of projects throughout the Tristate.
The organization, which began as a leasing company, now includes two additional areas of activity: development and contracting. The company coordinates 15 leasing properties each year, as well as 15 to 20 construction projects. They also execute a variety of development projects, coordinating the building of facilities such as shopping centers and industrial complexes.
Noting the company’s wide-ranging catalogue of projects, John says, “We’re involved in everything from larger jobs — up to $15 million — to very small ones. ... We’ll hang your picture for you,” he laughs.
With approximately 500,000 square feet of space to lease, CCC’s properties house everything from national chains (Subway restaurants, for instance) to smaller, locally owned shops. “A lot of these organizations are family businesses,” John says. “People are supporting their families through the use of our space. ... And that’s a responsibility that we don’t take lightly.
Connected (personally and professionally)
Amy, who leads CCC’s leasing activities, points out that their property managers, who are available 24 hours a day, are focused on “solving problems quickly.” This dedication to immediate client care is an extension of the company’s core principles.
“Our tenant relationships are just that: relationships,” she says. “And we really do respect and value those relationships. ... We know most of our tenants by name. We know their families. And we know how their businesses work.
“We want to go beyond the normal role of ‘landlord.’ It really is important to us that our customers feel connected to us and understand that they can call us for any sort of need.” John adds, “That’s just how we operate. It’s how we’ve always operated.”
Reflecting on the organization’s early days, he says, “When you’re young and starting a business, you’re not necessarily planning on forming friendships with all of your clients. But then, when you’re working with people for a long (and you’re sometimes spending more time with those clients than you are with your own family)... the clients become a part of your family!”
John admits that cultivating these close customer relationships is not only invigorating on a personal level, but professionally beneficial as well. He estimates that much of the company’s new business comes out of the large network of referrals and positive word of mouth created by existing customers.
John says, “When our current clients want to expand their business, they already know where to turn.” Amy adds, “When you give your customers good service, they’re more likely to come to you with new needs. We do a lot of repeat business with clients that we build for and lease to.”
John maintains that a large portion of the value that CCC provides its clients is rooted in trust and peace of mind. Leaving the minutiae of property management to the professionals, he says, liberates clients to simply focus on the operation of their respective businesses.
“They can do what they do best, because they know this is what we do best,” he says. “By using our skills, we can help them grow and increase their profits. ... We can help add value to their businesses— and to their lives.”
The Westheimers emphasize that these relationships truly depend on two factors: excellent customer service and quality output. Consistently delivering an exceptional client experience is the driving force within their organization.
“Every member of our team is just a really good person with a really great attitude,” says Amy. “They naturally understand that the customer relationship is valuable and that each individual client deserves to be treated that way.”
“Golden Rule,” says John. “Simple as that.”
Cincinnati Commercial Contracting is located at 4760 Red Bank Expressway, Suite 226, Cincinnati, OH 45227. You can reach them at 513.561.6633. Visit their website at www.cccontracting.com.