Eric Goodman, the president and CEO of Form G, has a degree in Landscape Architecture with a specialization in Fine Art. His creative side has played an important role throughout his career and it gave him the vision to start Form G.
“I come from a long line of entrepreneurs,” he explains, so he also knows that business requires a pragmatic approach as well. After graduation, he built his business skills as a project manager in a design firm before landing a job in a real estate development company.
Forming solid ground
His school and work experience led him to start Sweet T, LLC a real estate development firm that gave him the solid foundation he needed to fully realize his dreams and create Form G.
In addition to real estate development, Form G provides solutions for commercial and residential real estate planning, design, and construction projects. To complement his strengths, he hired a talented group of people with expertise in construction, development, and real estate management, including Steven Shaffer.
Steven is the principle broker and partner of Form G Commercial Advisors, a partner company of Form G Companies he created that focuses on commercial real estate. With services that range from the leasing and sales of existing buildings and land to the planning, design, development and construction of purpose-built projects, Form G Commercial Advisors offers one-stop shopping for its clients.
Eric says he was attracted by Steven’s skill set, especially his expertise in financial matters, but it was his personality that sealed the deal. The two are friends as well as partners and they both recognize that their individual skills make Form G stronger as a whole.
“This young man has done some amazing things,” Eric says of his partner. That’s an opinion shared in the industry–Steven was nominated for the national “30 Under 30” list of real estate professionals a few years ago.
Building a solid foundation
Personal relationships are important to both Eric and Steven. And they must be built on trust, whether it’s Form G’s clients, employees or advisors. One example, they say, is their attorney Reza Rabiee of the Middleton Reutlinger law firm.
“We’ve worked with Reza for two years now,” says Eric. “He’s a total professional and has been a real asset to Form G.” The two say Reza, who helps Form G with lease and purchase negotiations, has been great to work with and allowed them to focus on helping their customers achieve their goals as quickly as possible.
Constructing the right framework
“Our clients don’t have to wait because we keep the projects in-house and we own them from start to finish,” explains Eric.
He’s even developed his own approach that he calls the “E3” method: Envision, Entitlement, Execute. “The envision phase helps clients conceptually design a project with ideas to help expedite the process, minimize the risk and stay within budget,” he notes. They’re able to move more quickly through the approval and development stages with smart planning on the front end.
“If you come with Form G, you don’t have to deal with third-party vendors,” emphasizes Eric. “You’ll be building sooner rather than later.”
Developing the next phase
Ideally, the two agree they’d both prefer to be out pursuing real estate development opportunities. In particular, Steven says his goal is to “tee up more work for property construction of retail centers.” They’ve already had success with purpose-built locations for national companies such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Sprint and AT&T.
“We’re finding that some of our recent builds are gaining local and national exposure,” says Eric. He wants to pursue the opportunities this exposure has created, but both he and Steven say they also want to focus on their own corporate development.
“We’ve grown from four employees to seven over the last year, and our office is literally bursting at the seams,” Steven says. Last year they bought and redesigned a former eye doctor’s office built in 1976. For the future, they’d like to buy and repurpose a downtown office. Because of their work with national companies, the two say they’re looking at three cities, but their ties to Louisville and Jeffersonville will remain strong.
What they don’t plan to do is focus on how big they can be. “We don’t speculate,” says Steven. “We will grow as we need to.”
What’s important, says Eric, is to build the business with other talented employees who share their vision of Form G. “This is the work we want to be doing. It’s not about the money, it’s about loving what you do and being excited to come into work every day.”