#12 RealityLink, LLC
Phillip J. Wilson, Neil Wilson and John C. Jamison
RealtyLink, LLC is a commercial real estate development company that specializes in restaurant and retail development. The company offers a wide range of services, including property, construction, and project management, market analysis, and retail leasing. Founded in 1998, RealtyLink is headquartered in Greenville and has regional offices in North Charleston, Birmingham, Ala., and Milwaukee, Wis. RealtyLink has developed spaces for brands such as Designer Shoe Warehouse, T.J. Maxx, Chipotle, and IHOP.
What are the keys to your company’s rapid growth?
When the economy rebounded from the recession, we were well positioned with retaining all of our employees, and there were fewer developers to compete against and we had the support of lenders.
What do you see as your company’s greatest opportunities in the future?
Assisting with retail companies that need to “right-size” their stores for the online era.
What are your biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?
The changing landscape of retail from the “Amazon effect” of internet sales, the slower growth of certain tenants, and the cautious lending environment. We have altered our development processes to concentrate on the right mix of tenants that are successfully managing online and in-store sales, focus on stronger retail trade areas, and maintain proper profit margins.
What advice can you offer someone just starting a business?
Always take care of your clients and always do what you say that you will. Never allow problems in the process become your client’s problems. There will always be a problem; take care of it as soon as possible.
What is your strategy for innovation?
We exist in a simple business to a great degree, but the key factor is executing the process better than anyone else.
Who do you consider to be your mentor/mentors in business?
The best mentors that we have had are our clients, understanding their needs and how they wanted us to satisfy these needs during the development process.
Does your company’s geographic location offer any specific advantages?
Yes, to a degree, because we have offices in Charleston, Birmingham, and Milwaukee. Also, the fact that RealtyLink has developed in more than 20 states and completed more than 500 projects separates us from a lot of competitors.
How many employees do you have and do you plan to add any in the coming year?
The Greenville office has more than 30 employees; we are continuing to hire in all departments as needed.
Have there been any entrepreneurs in your family?
Yes, all three partners grew up in families that were entrepreneurial.
How is your company legally structured?
Limited liability company with more than 100 sub-entities or project specific LLC(s).
What is the hardest thing about being a founder?
Knowing that your team members and their economic stability is largely dependent on your ability to stay profitable during the good times and bad keeps us aware to always to make the best decision for our collective interest.