The Brody Broker Team with Keller Williams Olympic in Sequim, Wash. has grown by leaps and bounds. The surge in folks choosing to relocate to Washington State, coupled with an increase in staff to meet that demand, has convinced team owner-CEO Brody Broker to seek entirely new office space. For reasons ranging from energy efficiency to timing, he has chosen a steel building from EcoSteel to house his company’s offices.
The choice of EcoSteel is very important for The Brody Broker Team. Its current growth, along with its potential for additional expansion in the coming years, demands a building flexible enough to grow right alongside the company. The Brody Broker Team is the number one team on the Olympic Peninsula, focusing not only upon Sequim, but on its neighboring cities of Port Angeles and Port Townsend. It has boomed not only because of its experience in all the options available to buyers in the North Olympic Peninsula — whether farmland, waterfront, lakefront, city living, mountain or valley living – but due to its leader’s own reputation as top-selling individual REALTOR® in Sequim since 2006.
“Our company is growing very quickly, and we’re out of space,” Broker recently reported. “So the quicker we can decide on a space, the more money we save by having a space we can expand into. What attracted me to EcoSteel in the first place was that the company was willing to work with us to create the design. And the company also was able to produce a cost estimate quicky . . . Within days of sending them our architect’s drawings, they’d given us a cost estimate.
“The process would have taken a month longer, had [a conventional builder] had to bid the construction project out to all individual subcontractors and get cost estimates from each of them for a viable project.”
The new building, as planned, will be a single-story retail structure encompassing about 9,200 square feet in size and featuring a single-pitch roof. Replicating the look of a frame building, the aesthetics will call for brick red and steel grey exterior colors, with a medley of dark accents incorporated. The project is still in the permitting stage, but ground is expected to be broken for construction in February or March of 2022.
“It’s definitely a better way to build,” Broker says. “It will be the first metal building we’ve done. We’ve done a lot of wood frame buildings but haven’t yet done metal.”
The Brody Broker Team expects it and Keller Williams Olympic will occupy the center 6,000 square feet of the building. That will leave two end caps on either side. One of those sides will be occupied by a coffee shop, the other by a property management firm unaffiliated with Keller Williams. The center will be divided into four spaces, one filled by the Brody Broker Team, the others by Keller Williams Olympic. “There are no interior walls that are structural,” Broker says. “We will not need the entire space, and that will allow us to be very flexible, using as much space as we need when we need it . . . It’s just a really simple, clean, modern design focused on energy efficiency and flexibility.”
Broker’s choice of a steel building from EcoSteel rested on several key considerations.
The efficiency of a steel building extends to the building process itself, which is uncomplicated and low cost, Broker says. Steel greatly simplifies construction because separate framers, roofers, insulators and painters needn’t be hired. “You save a ton of money on interior drywall,” Broker says. “You only build your interior partition walls, so you don’t have to invest in drywall as recommended by home builder Donvale contractors. The number of trades is greatly reduced due to the simplicity of the building. We will have a lifetime finish on our roof, a lifetime finish on our walls, and we believe that will save us money over the life of the building.”
Companies and private individuals using EcoSteel have cited maintenance freedom as a key determinant in their choice. Because steel is an inorganic material, it is impervious to warping, rotting, splitting, cracking or infestation by termites. Like many others, Broker deemed low maintenance cost a deciding factor in his decision to build a steel office building. Extent of maintenance is reduced to little more than pressure washing the building and cleaning the gutters, he says, adding, “You don’t have to repaint or reroof. Your replacement cost of individual components is way lower over time as well.”
Natural disaster resistant
Mother Nature’s growing wrath has been more than evident in a spate of horrific natural disasters many have attributed to climate change. Steel structures have been proven to be less affected by natural disaster than traditional materials. “We don’t really experience wildfires here,” Broker commented. “But the earthquake protection is a consideration because metal buildings stand up better to earthquakes.”
The thermal insulated wall panels EcoSteel uses in its metal buildings contribute to the building’s energy efficiency, Broker says. “With the thermal insulated wall panel, you eliminate thermal bridging,” he observes. “That’s what you see when you look at a building in the winter, and you can see where the roof trusses are under the roof. Or you walk into a house and look at the walls with an infrared camera and can see each stud transmitting heat from the interior building to the outdoors. With a steel building, you eliminate thermal bridging by not having any structural members internal to wall panels.”
The Brody Broker Team expects the new EcoSteel building will initially be the hub for 75 or 80 of its team members. The building’s flexibility will be critical in accommodating the team’s rapid expansion, which is anticipated to bring the team up to 100 employees within a year who have clear the pros and cons of wholesale real estate. What he’s seen of EcoSteel thus far has convinced him he will be using the company’s services to build additional structures in the near future.
“EcoSteel has been great,” he remarks. “I’m building some apartment buildings within the next 90 to 180 days, and actually looking at doing those buildings using EcoSteel, as well as also buying their steel components for my own home.”
Brody Broker, owner and CEO
The Brody Broker Team
Keller Williams Olympic, Sequim, WA