Best Large Company: Cresa Washington DC

2017 WBJ Best Places To Work

June 22, 2017

Washington Business Journal
Article by Caitlin Burke

Click here to see original article.

The corporate real estate world is known as a high-stakes industry with nothing short of a pressure cooker work environment. But Cresa Washington D.C. Managing Principal Gene Sachs has been working to change that in his office for nearly three decades.

Sachs says Cresa prides itself on fostering a nurturing and collaborative environment where everyone works together instead of in silos, something Sachs says sets the firm apart in an industry often described as cutthroat.

“Historically, if we have a big revenue producer that doesn’t play nicely in our sandbox, then he or she has been asked to leave,” Sachs says. “We recognize how much time people spend in the office and it’s got to be a place where they like to come and enjoy it.”

Sachs has seen the tenant representation firm evolve from a single office to three in D.C., Bethesda and Tysons Corner that bring in a collective $20 million in annual revenue.

But the growth over time has come with some challenges. It was easier to get face time with other employees back when the company was just a single office, says Sachs, so Cresa now makes a financial commitment to make sure employees stay engaged with each other. The company spends about $100,000 a year on happy hours, lunches out and in-office massages for its employees. It also touts flexible work schedules, 20 to 26 paid days off a year and six weeks of paid maternity and paternity leave. And it doesn’t hurt that the real estate company works to maintain state-of-the-art offices that feature collaborative work spaces.

“We work hard to create an environment that everyone can prosper in,” Sachs says.

Sachs says that part of becoming a Best Place to Work is sharing a company’s prosperity. In 2016, the company donated $75,000 and more than 100 hours of volunteer hours to local charities. Employees are encouraged to get involved in the community and the company pays employees to spend a work day volunteering. Cresa is also involved with several charities companywide, such as D.C. Scores, a nonprofit that provides after-school care and summer camp programming for D.C. students. Every summer, employees spend time with each other and log volunteer time by trading in laptops for aprons to serve up burgers at an end of summer barbeque for the program.

The partnership was born out of employee interest in 2010. The company surveyed employees and selected D.C. Scores as a charity partner. Cresa continues its partnership with the nonprofit throughout the year, including organizing internal fundraisers with a goal of raising $10,000 yearly for D.C. Score’s summer camps.

For Sachs, engaging in community service pays back in employee satisfaction.

“It brings your company a lot closer,” he says. “When everybody is focused on one goal and the goal is achieved, there’s a great sense of accomplishment.”