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The golden rule in real estate? It all comes down to location and configuration. But Cominar stands out by adding another important component to its recipe for success: individuals. For its President, Michel Dallaire, making its employees partners in the success of the company is a crucial strategy used throughout the growth of the company.
“We don’t look at our tenants as tenants, they’re customers that we need to serve. That’s why our staff is all internal with very little outsourcing. It’s the only way to stay close to people,” says Michel Dallaire, president of this real estate investment trust (REIT) that specializes in office buildings and commercial and industrial properties.
He inherited his vision from his father Jules, who started bringing him along on construction site visits as soon as he reached his teens. Painting, plumbing, carpentry… young Michel cut his teeth on all the trades. He rejoined the company in 1986 after studying engineering, working in building management, development, operations and finance. No aspect of Cominar escaped his attentions.
Almost unknown to the public, Cominar is everywhere in the market, with close to 500 buildings and 35 million sq. ft. in Quebec, Ontario, the Atlantic Provinces and Western Canada.
Each time, the people involved counted as much as the bricks and mortar. “When we buy a business in another market, it is critical to be able to rely on local expertise,” says Dallaire.
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