The road to success is never easy. This is a lesson well known by Quattro Development founders Rob Walters and Mike Liyeos. After starting a real estate development company during the Great Recession of 2008, the pair took a crash course in perseverance.
today, quattro development is a small shop developer serving chain brands across the United States. However, Quattro Development experienced many challenges early on.
Rather than seeing their failures as setbacks, Walters and Lyos attribute their current success to their ability to bounce back. They recall their most significant failures as co-founders and the steps they took to overcome misfortune and become one of the country’s leading developers.
Overcome account loss with the power of the network
in the first year of business, Rob Walters and Mike Lyos traveled to the United States to better understand the market. “His first year was just spent saving money and learning real estate across the country. Then we landed some deals with a dental group in upstate New York,” Walters said. say.
The two had the thrill of signing their first account, but it wasn’t meant to be. “Unfortunately, the financial crisis ended up bankrupting them and we were back at square one,” says Walters.
Undaunted, Walters and Lyos stepped forward to make up for lost accounts. “By that point, we had quite a network of contacts in the industry,” says Walters. “We put together a deal with Chipotle, a deal with Vitamin Shops, and a project with Aspen Dental that helped us get through a very tough time financially.”
Avoiding low-quality jobs through referrals
Rob Walters and Mike Lyos credit Quattro Development’s success to a small but smart team of eight employees. But Walters and Lyos had to learn what it takes early in their business. Build an effective and trustworthy team.
Scrutinizing local contractors proved difficult, so the two relied heavily on personal relationships to find reliable connections across the country. “Ideally, I would hire someone that I have already worked with in the past, so I have some confidence. It might be helpful,” says Walters.
The co-founders also experienced their first problem with the internal hiring process. “There have been a lot of different situations when it comes to hiring people who have something to do with us, such as friends and family,” Walters added.
Walters and Liyeos believe that instead of hiring new team members solely on their expertise, they should first hire people who fit the company culture. “When we potentially hire a new person, we ask them to come in and meet everyone in the company and get a sense of whether anyone wants to say, ‘He’s not the right person for me. says Robb. Walters says.
Quattro Development initially experienced some setbacks in outsourcing and hiring, The secret of today’s company success. Hiring both contractors and employees based on traditional referrals and networks, Quattro Development now has a strong staff. “I think we did pretty good at finding the right people,” concludes Mike Liyeos.
Tenacious fundraising even in the midst of a major recession
Rob Walters and Mike Lyos founded Quattro Development during the Great Recession. Initially, funding seemed like a non-issue. “When we started the company, we had a stock partner who funded us. It was what made me feel independent and comfortable,” says Walters.
However, the recession hit and Quattro Development was short of funds. “[The equity partner] eventually went bankrupt. We had this business planned, but we didn’t have the money,” Walters explains.
This financial failure could have dashed the co-founders’ vision, but they persevered to find back-up funding. “We consulted everyone we could to get a stake in a start-up real estate project, but we were in the middle of a massive financial crisis at the time. I named a person and met with 4 of them, but 4 weren’t interested, a 5th company was eventually interested and we did 40 projects together on the capital side. says Mike Liyeos.
Keep looking for accounts even when big deals are imminent
As Rob Walters and Mike Lyos grew the company, they strived to achieve the following: Bigger deal for quattro development. They signed a deal with grocery store Lidl for a project on the East Coast. “They were going to pay us $4 million for a property that we bought at a much lower price. It was going to be a very profitable project. It took months,” Walters explains.
But again, this project wasn’t what it was intended to be. “They literally made it through the last day of our diligence. We had to struggle to find backup options,” says Walters.
Losing Riddle as a project tenant taught Walters and Lyos an important lesson. It means “never make assumptions”. “Don’t count chickens until they hatch. Even if it looks 99% good, it doesn’t always work,” warns Rob Walters.
Patience pays off: a bright future for quattro development
Mistakes and failures are inevitable in any business, and Quattro Development is no exception. What matters is how business leaders navigate these failures. build a stronger company On the other side of adversity.
The co-founders overcame lost accounts and cash flow difficulties to create a small but mighty development company. Quattro Development’s tenacity paid off. To date, Walters and Lyos’ firm has completed more than 150 projects in 31 states, with many more underway.