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Builders President Builds on Business Legacy

The Wichita Eagle
April 28, 2011

Mike Garvey understands the family legacy at Builders Inc.

“Most companies fail between the first and second generation,” said Garvey, the grandson of legendary Wichita developer Willard Garvey.

“Very few of them make it to the fourth generation, where we are now. This company is not going to fail on my watch. I’ve got 33 years to retirement, and the fifth generation is my goal.”

That’s what drove the 33-year-old president of one of Wichita’s leading real estate management firms to hit the books.

Garvey has added the Certified Commercial Investment Member designation to his master’s degree in business administration.

He’s also pursuing the Institute of Real Estate Management’s top designation in property management.

Kansas CCIM president Daryl Crotts said his group’s designation is the master’s degree in commercial investment; the IREM designation the master’s in property management.

This week is Certified Commercial Investment Member Week in Wichita, with events surrounding a visit from Ken Vidar, author of the real estate seminar “Creative Solutions.”

Bloodlines aren’t enough to perpetuate a legacy of business success, Garvey said.

“I always knew this is something I wanted to achieve,” he said. “Because I need to be better at my job. This education allows me to bring some credibility to what I do, but it also helps me understand more about real estate investing and managing people. That’s the biggest piece of my job.”

Garvey takes two big lessons away from the education experience: be aggressive searching out deals and be right when analyzing financial statements.

“There’s a lot of money on the sidelines, so in order to find a good deal you have to be first in line to look at something,” he said.

“Real estate people like to do deals with each other, so this allows me to network with people so we know each other better.”

Builders Inc. specializes in apartments, commercial leasing and property management. It owns and manages more than 500,000 square feet of retail and office space in Wichita, along with a strip center in Oklahoma City and several Taco Bell locations in Kansas and Missouri.

Its Builders Property Management Group has offices in Wichita and Denver.

The educational process has been a “long road,” Garvey said, with more work ahead with IREM.

But the shared expertise is worth it, he said.

“It’s nice to hear from someone in Alabama or Tennessee or Texas who has a family company like ours and they’re trying to make it better,” he said.

That’s the goal of all CCIM designees, Crotts said: better their businesses.

“Mike wants to leave the family business in better condition than he received it, in the type of properties, value and income producing value of the properties,” he said.

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