Synergy is a term used to describe a situation in which different entities cooperate advantageously – resulting in an improved final outcome.  Simply put, it means that the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.  Opportunities to achieve synergy are presented every day and in all walks of life.  People and businesses are constantly being presented with situations to interact, and it is up to them to decide whether to behave synergistically or antagonistically.  Every situation is different, and sometimes we are compelled to respond one way or another based on a variety of factors, but from my experience, making a conscious effort to work cooperatively with others will result in success; not only personal or individual success, but also levels of collective success that otherwise could not have been achieved.

In the world of real estate management and operations, it is common to find yourself scrambling to solve many different types of problems.  From property liability to tenant retention, and all of the issues in between, our days can be quite busy and overwhelming.  In the course of trying to navigate these treacherous waters, we often find ourselves interacting with and relying on various vendors to bring their specific expertise to the table, and help us to address the issues at hand.  It is very common to make direct associations between problems and the vendor who solves these problems – “if I have problem X, I call vendor Y.”  Traditionally this has always been the solution or method by which problems have been solved.

In today’s day and age, especially as technology has become infused into almost every aspect of our lives, it is important to think outside the box.  Often a problem can be best solved by cooperative work between your vendors.  When a problem arises, rather than immediately calling your default, I urge you to think more critically about the problem.  Think about the places and people this problem touches.  Think about its root.  Don’t necessarily think about the solution, but think about changing the way you do things to eliminate the problem all together.   By pushing your vendors to think critically, work cooperatively, and put their heads together – a synergistic outcome can often result.

You may have to push some of your vendors to do this.  It may be outside of their comfort zones and many may instinctively have their guards up.  “Am I being tested?”  “Is this person I am being asked to work with providing a competitive solution – might I be replaced?”  Some vendors will ultimately resist, but those that are forward thinking and have your best interests at heart will see the value and will work hard to help you realize integrated, synergistic solutions to your problems.