The Guild Company in The Tulsa World newspaper
By DANA SIMON Tulsa World Staff Writer
November 5, 2001
The Guild Company controls more than 1 million square feet of exclusive leasing or management.
Knowing just about everyone in town doesn't hurt in the world of commercial estate. Business savvy also helps.
Rick Guild, president of The Guild Company, says that during his 18 years in Tulsa's property management and leasing industry, he has met and done business with a substantial number of people, many of whom have become his tenants.
The Guild Company controls more than 1 million square feet of exclusive leasing or management space, primarily in Tulsa's office market sector.
"I'll tell you what's wonderful about this business. It's that I choose my clients -- those who I like being around," Guild said. "There's a rapport. I become close friends with them. I have a personal relationship with them."
Guild noted that "90 percent of my business is by referral."
During his career, Guild has been involved in real estate leasing and sales deals valued at more than $400 million.
Today, his company manages or leases some of Tulsa's highest profile Class A office buildings.
One is First Place Tower, a 624,374-square-foot two-structure complex at Fifth Street and Boston Avenue owned by Inverest Inc. The taller of the buildings, which were built in two phases from 1956 to 1973, has 41 stories. Tenants -- the complex is 100 percent leased -- comprise a who's-who roster in Tulsa's legal and professional world.
The Guild Company also leases office space in the Autumn Oaks Office Complex at 6846 S. Canton Ave. Owned by Capital Assets, the seven-story modern structure with a granite lobby is ideally located and is 93 percent leased, with more than 117,590 square feet of space.
Another high-profile structure is Mapco Plaza at 1717 S. Boulder Ave. The 10-story building with a striking triangular top features an abundance of parking. It formerly was owned by Mapco Inc., which was acquired by Williams Cos. Inc. The building, which is undergoing a name change, is owned by Council Oak Building Management LLC. One of the newest tenants is Gary Sparks, an architectural firm.
Guild also leases and manages One Memorial Place at 7633 E. 63rd St. At 83 percent occupancy, the five-story building has an inviting skylighted entry.
Bridgeport III at 6450 S. Lewis Ave. also is leased and managed by The Guild Company. Located at a popular site near Southern Hills Country Club, the three-story building boasts 100 percent occupancy and its principal tenant is Arthur Andersen LLP, an accounting firm.
"These buildings are all owned by excellent landlords," Guild said. "They're fun to work with, and they really appreciate their tenants."
Guild, a business graduate of Oklahoma State University, said what has helped him the most is that all of his clients "are successful businesses. We have great customer relationships. In turn, if people want you to be successful, usually you will be."
Guild recalled that as a youngster, he respectfully watched his father, Howard, travel door to door as a Kerr Glass fruit jar salesman. The son said that when he went out on his own, he wanted to deal in a product that was worth more than $2, the price for a case of jars.
He joined Xerox immediately out of college, then met some of the movers and shakers in commercial real estate. One of his mentors was George Lippe, the former president of Trammell Crow.
"He is the reason I have had some success in this business," Guild said.
After working for Property Company of America for several years, Guild formed his own firm. Many of the buildings he now handles are those he had been involved with in the sales arena.
"I spend half my time representing landlords and half my time representing tenants," he said.
Guild works closely with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Federal Express Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Nextel Communications, the Jones Givens law firm and McLeodUSA.
He said one of his keys to success is keeping an extensive database of more than 3,000 tenants, who he proactively calls "when I know their leases have expired."
The Guild Company has a great track record.
"Since I have a relationship with the decision makers and a knowledge of when the lease expires, I've got a good chance of representing that tenant when their lease expires," he said.
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