The Seeley Company
Specialty: Industrial Broker
Recent deal: More than doubled staff in five years.
After being promoted to executive vice president of The Seeley Co. in 1985, Jay Haskell vowed to increase the firm’s size from 30 brokers to 100.
It took five years. “By 1990, we were at just over 100,” said Haskell, who has become president of Seeley. “I wanted to increase that by another 30, but we decided to keep that balance for a while.”
The company maintained the 100-broker level even throughout the real estate slump of the early 1990s. Now, with real estate booming once more, Haskell is prepared for more growth.
No matter how big the company gets, Haskell believes success lies in the attention to details. It’s all about going the extra mile sometimes literally, he said.
Case in point: a frantic 54-hour business trip earlier this month that took him from L.A. to Seoul, South Korea and back. The last-minute trip was needed to help a new associate close a deal to manage and lease a 250,000-square-foot business park in Orange County.
“I was either sleeping, eating, or sitting on a plane or a bus for all but a few hours of that entire trip,” said Haskell. “I might not be a broker day-to-day anymore but I still have chances to get my hands around a deal.”
Most of his job now consists of overseeing the company’s operations, budgets and wooing Seeley’s larger clients. It’s a role that Haskell never anticipated upon leaving the Army as a first lieutenant in 1971.
Without a job, he took a position at Grubb & Ellis as an industrial broker. He rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a district manager, before leaving in 1982 to take a broker position with Seeley.
Haskell graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor of science degree in 1968. He is now married, has two children, and lives in Palos Verdes.
Joe Bel Bruno