People spend more time at work than with their families and friends, but the work environment is often not a top consideration in a career search. Successful people recognize that a company’s culture is essential for a fulfilling career. A supportive and authentic culture benefits everyone, from the client up through the leadership.
DLC Management Corp has consistently ranked as a “Great Place To Work” for four years by independent sources that use anonymous teammate feedback in their evaluation. In 2021, DLC was also recognized as a “Best Place to Work” in the real estate industry by GlobeSt.com.
Our values and work practices reflect that we are more than a commercial real estate company; we are changemakers and community builders. We want to pull back the curtain and provide more insights into why DLC is such a great place to work.
Adam Ifshin and his father Steve Ifshin founded DLC in 1991. The duo began with no money, no investors, no properties. Expansion relied on building relationships with people. As DLC expanded, Ifshin wanted to maintain a close-knit family feel to the business. DLC committed to keeping everything in-house as much as possible and investing back into its people.
The resulting company culture is a product of its participants. Today, DLC is over 110 teammates strong. Every single person has contributed to building our value system and will continue to do so in the future.
Who is DLC?
DLC is a commercial real estate company that prioritizes its people over its assets. That is not saying that we don’t care about our assets. We do, which is why we believe it’s essential to build an incredible team to manage them effectively. All our work is people-powered. That investment pays off in how we engage with our communities and clients.
How do we live up to our values?
#1-We hire to find the right fit
Not everyone considers retail real estate for a career, but we are a diverse and engaging team. Our hiring practices focus on character and culture fit more than technical capabilities or specific work experience. Skills can be taught, and we teach our teammates everything they need to know to be successful. That’s why we hire to fit our culture. The kind of people that want to keep learning and grow professionally.
#2- We value our teammates
At DLC, you are not an employee; you are a teammate. When you join us, you receive an invitation to be part of our team.
Our teammates work across the country, so we make it a point to connect with the entire DLC team virtually and in person whenever possible. Various departments have team-building opportunities to foster meaningful relationships with colleagues. For our annual year-end celebration, all teammates fly into the corporate headquarters so we spend time getting to know each other.
The hard work of our teammates does not go unnoticed. We want every teammate to know we value their efforts and we make a point to say it. Our all-company calls often highlight teammates, while our online “Boast Booth” is a place where teammates can celebrate each other’s hard work and accomplishments.
We create a supportive environment by thinking carefully about what the team needs. This is evident in our headquarters. We designed our office as if building a home for a family. In addition to state-of-the-art technology, we have common areas for collaboration, a yoga studio, a mother’s room, and more features designed to enrich our team.
#3-We value your growth
While DLC does provide industry-leading benefits, we show our value for you in other ways. For starters, we know one reason people leave their workplace is that they don’t see pathways for growth. We fully invest in your future. Our managers’ bonuses are determined by the career development of the people who report to them.
Our first move is always to promote our talent from within. We hire entry-level talent and through our various training programs, teach them so they are ready to take the next step in their career within 12-18 months. Many department leaders started as entry-level employees.
Feedback is an important part of how we invest in your growth. We want to hear from all our teammates. Every person is invited to participate in DLC committees, from administrative assistant to executive leadership. We listen and act on the feedback to supply you with the tools you need to do your best work. For example, our mentorship program was born out of feedback from our Business Innovation Committee.
#4- We value diversity
Retail Real Estate faces a lack of diversity across the industry. The fact is 75% of senior executive roles inside the commercial real estate industry are held by older, white men. DLC has taken a stand because we want to appreciate all voices across all demographics. We want our company to reflect the reality of the world we serve. It is upon us to recruit and attract all talent.
Our values create results
Investing in our people has enabled DLC to create results for its communities under exceptional conditions. A prime example is Frederick County Square, a 227,000 SF center DLC acquired in August 2019.
Despite an anchor who terminated their lease in November 2019 and the oncoming pandemic, DLC leveraged its relationships and immediately invested into a supportive work-from-home environment, without skipping a beat our team 100% re-leased the former 60,000 SF Kmart box, with all new leases assigned during the pandemic.
Who is the right fit for us?
We understand that people may not know what Retail Real Estate is or think it’s too niche of an industry. But chances are, you DO want to work for a company where culture matters. DLC looks for people who care about investing in a team, value relationships with others, and love collaborating to solve problems. Our teammates strive to be better and make better each day.
In Part II, we’ll provide more concrete examples of how DLC lives up to our company values.