2007 Affiliate of the Year Thomas Glavin
Thomas Glavin, President of Glavin Security Specialists, was named the very first BOMA/Chicago Affiliate of the Year in 2007. Tom also serves on the BOMA/Chicago Board of Directors.
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What was your first paying job? Actually being a locksmith was one of my first paying jobs. I sometimes tell people that the job I had before becoming a locksmith was paperboy. It’s a joke but not that far from the truth!
What services does your company provide and what benefits do they provide to the commercial real estate industry? When my wife and I bought the business in 1978 we were a locksmith company. However, over time we have evolved and now provide Property Access Protection. Our core services include: high security key systems, door systems including doors, door frames, door closers and hinges, electronic access control systems and security cameras. In addition, we provide training, advisory services and cost avoidance strategies.
What are some trends in your industry that interests/impacts commercial real estate the most? In the past year our company has begun developing a series of books and other training programs for property management professionals that we have named “I Speak Locksmith!” The first book in the series is titled “Locksmith Terminology for Property Management Professionals.” Our target audience for this book includes Tenant Coordinators and Assistant Property Managers who often are quarterbacking the communications between all of the stakeholders during projects. This is not a “how-to book”, it is a “what are we talking about book.” This book is meant to help the reader understand the purpose, speak the language, engage as an active share holder and respect the work. Our intention is to help individuals on your team become better subject matter experts in our world so that they can better serve your tenants.
What are some of the challenges facing your industry? If you are in business long enough you will have to face the commoditization of your products and services, your company and ultimately your own skills. Business owners in many industries continually talk about “moving beyond the commodity”, so this is not a situation that is unique to our industry or us. Any strategy or tactic we utilize must center on creating a better customer experience. Enhancing or creating a better customer experience is driven by our creativity and ability to innovate. The need for innovation within our businesses goes beyond just innovative products that manufacturers are developing. Innovation today must include the innovation of our own business model and service offerings.
How are BOMA/Chicago events important to your company? Our creativity and ability to innovate is deeply rooted in an intimate understanding and empathy of our customer’s world. BOMA events are not about selling for us. They are about building long term relationships by understanding how we can add value to our customer’s business.
What is your favorite BOMA/Chicago event and why? My favorite is the TOBY / Gold Circle Award Gala. I think it’s important that we continually recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of teams and individuals. At the risk of sounding quaint, I think being recognized for a job well done is still important.
What would you share with other professionals who are interested in joining BOMA/Chicago? By being actively engaged and accountable in BOMA/Chicago you will spend a lot of time learning how to become a better value to commercial office buildings. It will definitely help you raise the level of your game.
What would surprise our members most about you? My wife and I bought my father’s business when I was 21 years old. Our first day in business was my wife Pat’s 20th birthday.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? As long as I’m traveling with people I like, I would be happy going anywhere.