Jeff Stack, managing director and principal for Sares-Regis Group, says he learned most of what he needed to know about supervising people as a platoon commander and company commander for the U.S. Army in Vietnam.

“It was all about empowering your people and allowing them to do the job the best they could and getting out of the way,” Stack says. “I think we have the same attitude here.”

That attitude means employees are willing to take a risk as they strive for success. “We don't jump over someone for making a mistake,” Stack says. “We try to figure out how to avoid it next time. We empower them to make decisions and push hard to get them to accept more responsibility, and we don't recriminate against them if they make a mistake.”

GIVING BACK: Employees raise money for charity. People outside the company notice this as well. Sares-Regis employees are “responsive” and “empowered,” says Nora Miller, a managing director at AIG Global Real Estate Investment Corp., a New York firm that provides equity to Sares-Regis. “Jeff has confidence in them, and they know that.”

As a result, in an industry with high turnover, Sares-Regis is a place people want to be. Fourteen percent of its people have worked at the company for 10 years or more, 12 percent have been there six to 10 years, and 47 percent have been there one to five years. Ten percent are rehires. The Southern California firm also pays well and provides bonuses for both company and project successes.

This leads to happy employees, say people who know the firm. “It is an open, competitive, and collegial environment, and in an industry where turnover at the property level remains a big challenge, Sares-Regis has superior continuity with its resident staff—which speaks volumes about their culture,” says Doug Bibby, president of the National Multi Housing Council.

Sares-Regis Group

  • Headquarters: Irvine, Calif.
  • Employees: 317
  • Turnover Rate: 42%