It has been a remarkable 27 years in business for Blair Blanchard Stapleton Limited partners Drew Blair, Gary Stapleton, and Dave Blanchard. As the Hamilton-based brokerage makes a significant announcement – bringing on seasoned Sales Representatives Paul Mariutti and John MacNamara as partners – the partners reflect fondly on where they started in our commercial real estate journey.
The firm’s launch wasn’t without its challenges – during the first few months after it opened in July 1995, economic uncertainty as a result of the Quebec Referendum brought Canada to a standstill, nationwide. The Referendum, which would allow the Province of Quebec to be recognized as a sovereign, left property owners and investors unsure of what this could mean, and business was slow until the Referendum results were tallied.
“At the time, we had no clue this would happen,” said Drew Blair, who is also the Broker of Record. “When October rolled around, we were just waiting to see what the outcome would be.”
Eventually, after a narrow vote to strike down the Referendum – 50.58% voted “no” – business began to accelerate, and Blair Blanchard Stapleton Limited never looked back.
“We took a firm that was initially one administrator, and we basically had my father and one other sales representative at the time,” said Blair. “We struck out in a world that was predominantly controlled by a couple of local firms. Within a short period of time – three or four years – we overshadowed them.”
Right from the beginning, the partners made clear the type of work ethic they expected from their agents and employees.
“We never wanted to take on people who we felt did not have a reputation that we expected,” Blair said. “We weren’t set up to train people at the time. We focused on providing the very best service for our clients and built solid foundational relationships, we followed RECO’s rules and basically, we always hired the most experienced people we could find.”
Blair said it’s clear how far Blair Blanchard Stapleton Limited has come since its launch, and he attributes this to understanding finances and adapting to the latest technology.
“Gary and I always believed in keeping up with technology to the amount we can afford,” he said. “When we started it was the days of the first cell phones. Our listings were done on triplicate form carbon paper and fax machines were the thing.”
Today, the brokerage is fully versed in all facets of the ever-changing technology landscape like marketing listings online and e-signature platforms; the latter an advancement that supports getting a deal done swiftly and with ease. Blair Blanchard Stapleton Limited continues to keep a pulse on progressive real estate technology in an effort to stay at the forefront of the commercial market.
The most important factor in Blair Blanchard Stapleton Limited’s success? Hiring well-versed agents with stellar market knowledge who want to complete deals that satisfy all parties and contribute to Hamilton’s rapidly expanding economy.
“We are all very experienced. The market has gradually become more difficult. You might not know it from the past two years, but understanding commercial real estate presents its own set of challenges you may not see in residential real estate. From industrial buildings to commercial buildings to land values and all the environmental aspects of it, it all plays a factor.”
Today, Blair Blanchard Stapleton Limited is proud of growing to 18 experienced real estate agents in the Greater Hamilton region. The firm has also begun to welcome a younger generation of sales representatives, with John Blanchard having joined in 2014, and Alexandra Blair joining in June – a move Blair hopes will bring a new perspective and approach to the brokerage and local Hamilton Commercial Real Estate community.
Blair Blanchard Stapleton Limited has offices located in Ancaster, Downtown Hamilton, and Burlington, with agents specializing in all areas of commercial real estate, including retail, office, industrial, commercial, and residential appraisal, land development, and much more – something Blair is proud of.
“We’ve had a lot of growth over 27 years and we look forward to continuing this trajectory.”