How did I miss it? It really is tough to admit that I overlooked my company’s 15th year anniversary in 2011. After all, having succeeded in keeping my doors open for 15 years would normally be cause for celebration. Yet it went by unnoticed… by me.

Those of you that know me well will agree that I am given to introspection. Yet, in this case, I needed to take an even closer look at 2011. So I did. And, I have to admit that last year was one of pure grit, dedicated to a work/life intensity that was even more extreme than usual. But, I suspect that I was not alone – I’ve heard many of you say that you worked harder last year than ever before. 2011 left me exhausted, yet at the same time exhilarated. After all, I had lived to fight another day, as the saying goes. And, there you have it… touting my longevity in business was an often thought of but overlooked event.

But, in retrospect, 2011 wasn’t a total bust. There were a number of notable successes, brokering leases, sales and even a sale/leaseback. One of my favorite transactions was the sale of a 40,000 SF warehouse to an owner/occupant of a growing company. I met this owner while canvassing Sabal Park, promoting a distribution building I was listing for sale or lease. Delighted to have a seasoned commercial real estate broker on his doorstep, the owner invited me into his office and described his requirement. It was a standard requirement for a warehouse investor –  that is until he mentioned his budget that was nearly impossible even with the current environment. Combine this with a very narrow geographic area and you can see how restrictive this requirement was.

We toured the market and discovered that none of the properties we visited would fit the bill. My next step was to expand the geography and if possible, the budget. I uncovered a property in Plant City, a bit further afield for this company, but the only property that met his criteria. So, after a bit of frank conversation, I was able to convince the owner to at least visit this building. Of course, there was a caveat. I had to promise to never talk about it again if he hated the property. Long story short, he loved it! And he loved the price that was well below market even for 2011. The sale closed as planned, retrofitting the interior took through the fall and then ultimately a recent move into the new building to start 2012.

2012 promises to be a year of change for me. In early 2012, my company name will be modernized to reflect the core business of brokerage and the affiliated business of development. Accordingly, I am changing the name of the company to Nancy Phaneuf Commercial Realty & Development. Please visit the updated website to see the new logo at www.npcrd.com. My current email will still work and a new email of nancyp@npcrd will also work.

Another big change was that I started 2011 year with an empty nest – the first time I have lived completely alone in over 25 years. The first few evenings were terrifying. But then I realized that there is a world of activity in the evenings, all previously unknown to me, and now totally embraced by me! Business events aside, there are dinners with friends, fires by the fire pit, sailing at Davis Island on Thursday nights, and then simply an evening to read a book or the mail without interruption. All without feeling there was something else I should be doing. What freedom!

I am enthusiastic about 2012. I am going to continue to work hard in my commercial real estate brokerage and development businesses, foster new and enduring friendships and enjoy the simplicity of every day with all that it has to offer.

So as I plan for 2012 and beyond, I wish to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart, for your business, friendship and personal insights that you shared with me.

Nancy Phaneuf