Freddy Flores, Business Development Manager at Thyssenkrupp Elevator, is the recipient of BOMA/Chicago’s 2017 Affiliate Member of the Year Award.
What service does your company provide and what benefits do they offer to the commercial real estate industry?
Thyssenkrupp provides elevator maintenance, repair, modernization and installation services. We keep elevators running efficiently, reliably and safely, as we know it is of the utmost importance to you and your tenants. We offer the ability to design around the aesthetics of your unique building, provide tenant security and even help you conserve energy.
You’ve been in the elevator industry over 24 years. What are some trends you’ve seen come and go in this industry and what changes have had the greatest impact?
Technology has taken over our industry – Nowadays you tell the elevator where you are going and it takes you there without you having to press any buttons inside the elevators. The buildings are getting taller so elevators need to go higher and faster. Also, as densification trends continue and the number of people working in buildings increases, elevators will have to respond faster.
How are BOMA/Chicago events important to you and your company and what are your favorite events?
Events are extremely important to me because they allow me the opportunity to stay connected with existing and, of course, prospective clients. I have a few favorite events. From a fun perspective I enjoy the golf event. I believe the best networking event is the Annual Meeting because of the high level of executive property management personnel that attend the event. All the Emerging Leader events allow me to meet the up and coming leaders in the industry. Also, the Diversity Celebration provides the opportunity for companies to demonstrate their commitment to diversity.
What special interests and/or hobbies do you have?
I like to work out in order to de-stress from the daily work life. I also enjoy playing golf.
What would surprise our members most about you?
I am been in this industry for such a long time, considering the fact that I am fairly young. I am also very spiritual and always looking to help and connect people.
You have noted the importance of mentors in your life, and have served as a mentor to others. How important have these mentorship relationships been to you over the years and how have they helped you progress in your career?
I absolutely believe in mentoring opportunities. I have served in both roles as a mentor and mentee. Anyone who wants to grow professionally and develop and refine their skills would benefit greatly. To ensure an effective relationship, you need to determine what you want from your mentee or mentor and be transparent with your mentor or mentee about those expectations.
You left a Fortune 500 company to take on the challenge of starting a new business venture. As a small business owner, what were some of the challenges you faced and what were some of your most valuable experiences/takeaways?
Business ownership comes with pressures and challenges. As an entrepreneur you wear many hats, but as the business grows, it’s very important to identify which one of those hats need to be turned over to others so you can scale the business.
The biggest challenge was to attract and grow the customer base. Everyone knew me and trusted me but as you may not know, the elevator business is about the technicians and the field staff that backs you up to address and resolve issues.
Staying focused, long workdays and managing your time and finances are key.
In addition to your involvement in BOMA/Chicago, you also serve as the Chair on the Advisory Board for the Children’s Hospital University of Illinois and you are a Board member of San Miguel School Chicago. What advice would you give to others who want to get involved and help others in our community but are unsure where to start?
Always be passionate and share your time and talents to better a life in the community. Always look for a need and be creative in finding a solution. If you are in sales and want to learn about marketing or finance, you can join a board and take on those tasks or be part of that committee. This allows you to learn more about these areas in a practical environment
The rewards of giving your gifts, time and sometimes, your finances, are countless and very gratifying.