“Pretty much everything we help our clients with, we’ve done personally,” says Knepper, who — like Tanner — is a lifelong Chippewa Valley resident.
During a recent conversation in Trillium’s office, Tanner recalled a phone call from a residential real estate agent wondering why a commercial property was priced the way it was. Tanner began asking questions: What do the leases look like? What about the property taxes? What’s happening nearby that might be impacting the property’s price?
“That’s when a lot of the Realtors who are not specialized in commercial real estate just say, ‘Hold on: I don’t want to deal with finding out who the property manager is, finding out who does the profit and loss statements, the operating statements’ — all those things that investors want to look at,” Tanner said. “That’s what we do, what we breathe every day.”
Because of their expertise in commercial real estate, the Trillium team knows how to explain the financial picture for buyers looking for properties to locate their businesses as well as those looking to invest in real estate as a business. They frequently work with clients making what are known as “1031 exchanges,” in which investors who sell real estate can defer capital gains taxes by reinvesting in other properties. The market for such transactions is hot right now, Tanner said.
They can also assist business owners who might want to move into new buildings but don’t want to own them, helping forge relationships between the business owners and investors who want to buy and lease properties. The Trillium team also has off-market connections, including access to databases of properties for sale that aren’t publicly listed, that allow them to act discreetly to connect buyers, sellers, and investors.
“You don’t always want to have a big sign in front of your place,” Knepper says of local business owners looking to expand or relocate. “We pair the people. We have investors who want to invest in local businesses.”
In short, because of their vast experience and dedication, the Trillium team can serve as a one-stop shop for commercial real estate matters. They buy and sell everything from medical buildings to retail properties for clients ranging from mom-and-pop shops to national franchises.
“It’s an exciting time to be part of commercial development in the Eau Claire area!” Filipczak says. “Focusing on the environmental impact, infrastructure, along with the economic and social impact is essential for a community’s success.”
The team’s rich experience also means they know the region — and its real estate market — inside and out. “Our expertise gives us a pretty good idea of where it’s been and where it’s going,” Knepper says.
Ultimately, working in commercial real estate is all about building connections in the community, he says. This can mean helping clients see their dreams come true by buying or leasing a building, he says, or by helping them close a chapter of their lives and reinvest in something new.
When asked why he enjoys this work Tanner says, ““For me, it’s the thrill of not knowing day to day what’s going to transpire. It is the ultimate triumphant and humbling experience. Helping people with their goals and dreams is what keeps it so amazing.”
Whether it’s buying, selling, leasing, or managing, “Everything that we do, we’ve done personally.”