The Thibauts are preparing for another real estate market Trends, new generation


Some people learn to organize, analyze, and look to the future while earning college degrees, developing their book-based learning later in tough market environments away from school. And a few people are still learning it on the family farm – well done, one of the most complex and data-dependent environments, from dirt to market in America.

However, none of these stories have much practical value, especially in a family business, without the simple willingness of people to work like hell, in this case for years, together.

That’s why the Thibaut team – Randy and his son Justin, owners of LSI Companies – will be showcasing not one but two fancy models or maps, if you will, laying out the months and years ahead at their spring real estate Market event. trends.

“The Thrill of the Chase,” as they titled it, will go live Wednesday, March 16 from 4-7:30 p.m. at the Caloosa Sound Convention Center in downtown Fort Myers.

A map of the upcoming market terrain is professional, the public map on display on March 16.



But the other, illuminating everything they do on a daily basis, is personal, a father-son success story. This has never happened before at Market Trends, and it is unlikely to happen again.

The company Randy founded over two decades ago is now safely in Justin’s hands, in a transition as carefully planned as a moon mission, but perhaps much smoother. They will continue to work together, but now with Randy as Principal Broker and Justin as President and CEO of LSI Companies.

“With soaring demand and fierce competition, 2022 will be all about stock hunting in Southwest Florida,” they announced of the event, outlining both business realities and currently in play in the region and the state. This is what they will focus on when Randy talks about the development of land sales and the new home market while Justin analyzes the commercial market. Randy Thibaut (left) and his son Justin prepare for the future in the Idaho Rockies.

As before, longtime residential expert Denny Grimes, Founder and Chairman of Denny Grimes & Co., will join the Thibauts to present analysis of residential real estate for the year ahead.

Market Trends traditionally shares insights and forecasts based on data created by LSI’s team of seasoned analysts with more than 1,000 participating professionals, joined by construction industry associations from Collier, Lee, Charlotte and Desoto.

This is a one-of-a-kind biannual presentation of solid information with consequences that probably cannot be measured over time. Corporate know-how, for example, has probably saved businesses and even livelihoods for many people, on occasion – homebuilders, developers, landowners and investors – people who have profited from hard data translated into tools that can be used when buying, selling or renting a commercial property through the good times or even the bad times that periodically hit the market.

But the transition from father to son of the titles, responsibilities and reins of the LSI companies, which Randy founded more than two decades ago, is a textbook, classic example of how to do it right if you don’t want to. problems on the road, says Denise Federer.

A business coach at the head of the Tampa-based Federer Performance Management Group, she has a doctorate in cognitive-behavioral psychology and decades of expertise in what she calls “the unique dynamics of family and restricted shareholding”.

Randy read about her and went to talk to her about transitioning years ago, she says, when he started cheering on her son.

“Randy should be given huge credit – he had to be the one laying the groundwork,” she recalled. “A lot of people think they can do it on their own. But there are so many conversations that aren’t easy to do.

“And Justin had to be patient. He also deserves huge credit.

Longtime business partner and family friend Ron Inge, who was once president of LSI and has known Randy since his early days and Justin since his teenage years – Justin is 37, now, with a wife and daughter – offers “the 30,000- foot big picture, as I see it. He founded and still leads a consulting group, Inge and Associates, which works with LSI and others in the region.

“They have very different tempers, but they also have similarities – they’re both ‘Make It Happen’ people, not ‘How do I stop that from happening’ people,” he says of of the Thibauts.

“Justin went to the University of Florida and graduated from their construction management school and then went to work for the nuclear power and petroleum industries.”

As Ms. Federer says, “Justin didn’t have to do that, it wasn’t his only option.”

Then, at some point in the middle of the last decade, says Mr. Inge, “Randy and I talked, what are our next steps? How to sustain this company, which should be a successor? Justin wasn’t in the photo, but his name popped up and it was like a light bulb suddenly went on.

It was fine for old men, but Justin had his own mind and direction.

“It may have taken a bit of coaching or coercion for him to think about that,” Inge adds wryly.

So Justin, having grown up around the business, came back and got into it, just to see if he would like it.

“Often the next generation of a family business isn’t looked upon with much benevolence — people think, ‘You get this just because you’re the owner’s child,’” Inge notes.

But in this case, nothing could be further from the truth, he adds.

“Justin has been working and working his cock. One difference I see in them: Randy is a bit more of a risk-taker. Justin will also take a risk, but he’s more skittish than his dad. And I see that as strengths, not weaknesses, in both.

For Justin, jumping in and making the first big deal in 2016 was the litmus test.

“I did my first real estate deal on a complicated land deal based on rezoning, still one of the most complicated I’ve been involved in. He could have collapsed several times throughout the process. When we got to the finish line, the thrill I felt solidified it.

He realized, “That’s what I was supposed to do.” And now, when asked what his 18-year-old self might say to his current self, he doesn’t hesitate. “What took you so long?”

The process wasn’t quick or particularly easy for Randy either.

“The hardest part of this transition for me happened over two years ago when I made the final decision to take the next steps – to let go of the business I started, which is become a big part of my identity.”

LSI Companies, the parent company of LSI Solutions, LSI Commercial and Development Solutions, started in 2000. Randy had two employees and an office about the size of a large tractor cab. Justin was a 15-year-old high school student.

It’s an apt analogy, the tractor cab, since Randy grew up on a large hog and dairy farm in Ohio, and once “seriously considered farming a calling – and I still have that in my heart “.

Today, LSI Companies has 25 employees and a 10,000 square foot headquarters in South Fort Myers. And like any good farmer in nearly every American farming community, Randy made a significant contribution to the people around him, to his community, an approach to life that his son took as well.

He co-founded Builder’s Care, a nonprofit arm of the Lee BIA that provides free emergency construction assistance to needy and deserving elderly or disabled homeowners and families who cannot pay. Builder’s Care is more than just a polite nod. They used donations, grants, and donated labor and materials to invest nearly $5 million in the benevolence effort over time, an LSI spokeswoman said. Justin is now Vice President of Builder’s Care.

Randy learned about buying and selling land from his grandfather, he explains – land brokerage, rights and development – and has watched his son expand in recent years into commercial real estate, including l valuation and market research.

It’s been four generations of Thibaut.

Randy’s grandpa and dad are gone now, but the old man put things into perspective for Randy: “My dad always said, the only difference between you now and when you worked on the farm is that instead of throwing pork shit, you’re throwing bullshit.

It’s funny, but it’s not true. No, unless the “bullshit” is the ability to study the road ahead, analyze it, choose a goal, and take the most reasonable steps to get there, both for you and your customers. . ¦

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