The Awards of the Greater Washington Commercial Association of Realtors

December 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Mindy Saffer, principal at commercial real estate firm West, Lane & Schlager, was awarded a Greater Washington Commercial Association of Realtors (GWCAR) Rising Star Award in 2005. Presented to a promising, up-and-coming realtor on an annual basis, the Rising Star Award is one of several honors offered by GWCAR.

Every spring, GWCAR announces the winners of its performance-based awards at the Annual Commercial Awards Dinner, which is attended by real estate professionals across the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. The key categories recognized by GWCAR include the top firms and individuals in sales, leasing, finance, and development, as well as the President Award and the Broker of the Year. These last two awards were first added in 2008.

GWCAR recognizes several “Best in the Industry” firms in a variety of categories. GWCAR lists the best developer, landlord, and contractor of the year. In addition, GWCAR recognizes the best architecture and law firms of the year, the best moving company, the best furniture vendor, and the best overall development project.

In recognition of the accomplishments of individual agents, GWCAR lists the top performers by sector and by region. Sales and leasing agents are divided into Maryland, Virginia, D.C., and regional categories, with 10 individuals honored in each group. Drawing attention to noteworthy transactions, GWCAR also lists the year’s top sales, leasing, and finance transactions in each region.

To find out more about the GWCAR awards, visit www.gwcar.org.

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West, Lane & Schlager Realty: A Tenant-Focused Perspective

October 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

As a real estate company that exclusively represents tenants, West, Lane & Schlager maintains a tenant-focused business model. Principal Mindy Saffer, who has worked at the firm since 1999, chalked up the recent success of tenant-focused brokerage firms to the prior disinclination of some individuals to sign long-term commercial leases in 2008 and 2009, which made them more willing to make a commitment in the next year’s market. West, Lane & Schlager’s revenue grew more than 40 percent from 2009 to 2010, and the figures were directly related to its tenant-based model.

Furthermore, West, Lane & Schlager’s approach to tenant representation focuses on several steps that, when executed together strategically, provide clients with the best real estate solution. These steps were designed to meet tenants’ needs and surpass their expectations. First, the firm utilizes a strategic planning model known as the VISION Process, which provides an objective approach to real estate possibilities like lease renewals, comparisons between leases and purchases, and building acquisitions. The next phase defines which talented real estate broker will handle the tenant’s case with regard to geographic and economic needs. Next, the company participates in a market review and evaluation of all possible building options for the tenant, which takes recent industry trends into consideration. The professionals at West, Lane & Schlager then compare options in a financial analysis, which is developed through innovative financial modeling software technology and presents figures such as monthly and annual expenses, operating expenses, present value, and other categories.

The real estate firm provides a lease and sale comparison report that includes the most accurate market information regarding historical lease and sale transactions. The next step involves a letter of intent, which is drafted to include important conditions and then released to the preferred building’s owner. After the letter of intent is reviewed, the tenant is privy to a legal document review in which brokers survey the language and characteristics of the lease or purchase agreement. Lastly, tenants who give their business to West, Lane & Schlager benefit from the firm’s ability to monitor future costs like unnecessary annual statements that go against the lease.

The American Lung Association

May 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

by Mindy Weiss Saffer

I proudly contribute to the American Lung Association, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of lung health issues through a wide variety of advocacy and research efforts.

Recognized for its contribution to ensuring the respiratory wellbeing of all Americans, the American Lung Association champions numerous clean air and anti-smoking initiatives, spearheads the fight against childhood asthma, and provides support for influenza treatment and prevention. Focusing a great deal of its resources on finding cures for chronic lung diseases, the American Lung Association strives to eradicate the many chronic and acute respiratory ailments responsible for taking the lives of millions of Americans each year.

Established in 1904, the American Lung Association played a key role in the development of a cure for tuberculosis, a fatal illness that was largely untreatable in the early 20th century. By 1954, a vaccine for tuberculosis was readily available to all those in need, the disease no longer considered a threat to public health. Moving on to expand its influence, the American Lung Association undertook the task of targeting smoking as a major health risk, leading an anti-smoking campaign that eventually spurred the federal government to ban smoking on airplanes.

Today, the American Lung Association continues to employ its influence, collaborating with health officials and policymakers to develop laws that ban smoking in the workplace, as well as in public venues such as restaurants and bars. Additionally, the American Lung Association utilizes its position to prevent tobacco companies from targeting children through advertising, an issue garnering a large amount of recent attention from the national media. To learn more about the American Lung Association, or to support its commendable work, visit www.lungusa.org.

Overview of the University of Maryland Alumni Association

November 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

by Mindy W. Saffer

I hold a lifetime membership with the University of Maryland Alumni Association. In 1986, I graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Textile Marketing, and since that time I have built an active career in commercial real estate leasing. Despite my busy professional life, I remain committed to my alma mater. The Life Member Program at the University of Maryland Alumni Association earns participants a spot on the Eric S. & Frann G. Francis Lifetime Member Wall, located in the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center. A lifetime membership costs $850 for an individual or $950 for a couple, and payments can be made in five yearly installments. Membership dues are tax deductible and go to support the work of the Alumni Center and the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund. The University of Maryland Alumni Association maintains a number of annual awards, recognizing the accomplishments of former students. For instance, the Association’s International Alumnus Award recognizes an alumna/us who was born outside of the United States or who lives abroad and has distinguished him or herself for leadership. Other awards offered by the Association include the Humanitarian Award, the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award for individuals under 35, the President’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of professional excellence, and the Tyser Gottwals Award for service to the University. Members of the University of Maryland Alumni Association also have access to the M Club, the athletic facilities of the University. They participate in numerous clubs and professional development groups, and they belong to clubs representing the University’s various disciplines of study. Additionally, members have access to exotic travel packages at discounted prices. More information can be obtained at alumni.umd.edu.

Christ House

October 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

A dedicated philanthropist, Mindy W. Saffer, provides regular support for Christ House, a health care facility for homeless individuals throughout Washington, D.C. For more than 25 years, Christ House has helped countless individuals receive the medical attention that they desperately need. One of the first facilities of its kind in the country, Christ House provides the homeless with medical care, 24 hours a day regardless of insurance or ability to pay. Since its inception, the facility has admitted more than 4,000 individuals and serves on average 300 patients each year. After opening a number of health care ministries throughout the Washington, D.C. area, Allen and Janelle Goetcheus paired with a local church pastor to establish a new, larger facility with the help of an anonymous benefactor. This new building, which became known as Christ House, was soon adopted as part of the Health Care for Homeless Project, serving as an around-the-clock respite facility. Dedicated to providing a superior level of service for its patients, Christ House keeps case managers and substance abuse professionals on its staff. Case managers work with individuals to form a long-term treatment plan, based on history and individual means. The case management team offers emotional support and valuable classes, such as HIV/AIDS prevention education. Established by a Certified Addictions Counselor, Christ House’s New Day Treatment Program runs a 12-week, intensive in-house drug and alcohol recovery program. By empowering patients to overcome their substance abuse problems, Christ House offers them hope for the future. Christ House maintains contacts with local, long-term programs for those individuals who need more time for recovery.