A business is often only as profitable as it can be productive. But in the era of quiet quitting and employee burnout, many businesses struggle to increase — or even maintain — their team’s productivity. Rob Walters and Mike Liyeos, co-founders of the build-to-suit development company Quattro Development, know this struggle well. The duo leads a small team of eight employees and manages real estate projects across the United States.
But what sets Quattro Development apart is the duo’s unique approach to delegation and productivity. Walters and Liyeos share how they structured their business to do more in less time, as well as create a culture that equips employees with the skills to do a great job, every time.
Business leaders can’t do all of the work by themselves; they have to delegate tasks to a trusted team. Quattro Development’s mission is to become the premier build-to-suit and small shop developer in the United States. Walters and Liyeos created the one-stop shop for business real estate needs by hiring skilled employees, as well as relying on select expert contractors.
For the duo, it comes down to strategically delegating certain tasks to keep the business running. “We do whatever we can do to bring in new profitable projects and then execute on them. A lot of that is delegation to other people in the company or third-party people, like our attorneys and architects and general contractors,” Walters explained.
However, Quattro Development doesn’t hire just anyone: Walters and Liyeos hire people who take their work seriously. By hiring employees with initiative and relying on select third-party contractors, the duo makes it possible to create quality work for less effort. “It’s a different feeling than if it’s just people fulfilling a role for their paycheck and couldn’t care less. I think we try to get people to really care about the company as though it’s a family,” Walters said.
Flexible Work Arrangements
Quattro Development is headquartered in Illinois, but the company has a national footprint. Walters and Liyeos structured Quattro Development to be as flexible as possible and allow the team to work from anywhere. “Good things will come around when you’re a decent human being to other people. I think giving people flexibility is huge,” Walters explained.
By giving their team more flexibility, Walters and Liyeos believe they get the best work possible from their team, which makes the company more productive and successful overall. Quattro Development also offers flexible hours and vacation time to all employees. “We have people that work flex hours. We’re not all in the office together most days, but we all communicate every day,” Liyeos said.
In a time when many businesses struggle to embrace remote and hybrid concepts, Quattro Development is succeeding. This flexibility makes Quattro Development more productive because employees can work when it best suits them.
However, businesses need to provide clarity — including clear job responsibilities — to make the most of flexible work arrangements. “Everybody knows what their job is and they know how to manage their schedule to take as much time off as they need to enjoy their lives. We don’t make people come into the office. We just don’t have rules. Everybody knows what they’re supposed to do,” Liyeos said. “We trust our people and we respect our people.”
Agile Leadership Philosophy
In an effort to reduce bottlenecks and delays, Walters and Liyeos take an agile approach to Quattro Development that allows them to quickly jump in where they’re needed. Instead of specializing in one area, Walters and Liyeos oversee a little bit of everything.
“We have a lot of weekly calls where Mike and I are quarterbacking with the rest of our team, whether it’s our attorney and going through lease comments or purchase contract comments and telling him what we want to do, what we don’t want to do, telling our young guys what properties to go after to try to buy, hearing issues from our construction team and helping brainstorm on how to fix it,” Walters explained.
Templatized Approach to Work
Quattro Development is able to produce deals on a national scale thanks to a what they call a “templatized” approach to real estate. “We’re able to take and cut and paste our knowledge across the country without really having to know that much about the local market. Our clients typically already know the markets they want to be in so we just need to understand what are their key drivers within a market and they will usually be the same regardless of what city or state we are looking in. From there it is a matter of running through a very long checklist. If you check all the boxes, the project is highly likely to be successful,” Rob Walters said. Walters and Liyeos will also work with local contractors or attorneys to customize each deal as needed. “Armed with our default template approach to new projects we then tap subject-matter experts as needed. That could mean working with a local land-use attorney or civil engineer who might know the nuances of a particular city,” Walters added.
“We’re comfortable going anywhere and everywhere. But we try to keep the tenants the same and the building types the same,” Liyeos said. “We’re a cookie-cutter developer from that perspective, but we’ll go anywhere. I think typically development is a local game where the developer is pretty deeply involved in a certain community and they’ll do a lot of different types of projects within the same community or general area.”
Quattro Development’s Unique Approach to Productivity
Quattro Development is no stranger to hard work, but its co-founders’ unique approach to leadership has grown the company to be a real estate powerhouse.
“We’ve all worked very hard to be really good at what we do, work hard, follow through, and do the things that we say that we’re going to do,” Liyeos said. Through strategic delegation, flexible work arrangements, agile leadership, and templatized work, Walters and Liyeos have built a productive company that continues to dominate the U.S. real estate development market.
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