Updated January 29 at 9:29pm

Relationships spur growth after industry setbacks

By Richard Asinof
Contributing Writer
Robert E. Nickerson, president of commercial real estate firm Stone Tower Properties, appreciates the designation of one of the fastest-growing companies in Rhode Island, but adds a caveat. “Honestly, we are a fast-growing company because we are being compared to our previous year, which was a disaster for us, when [everything] hit the fan from an economic point of view,” he said. More

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FASTEST GROWING & INNOVATIVE COMPANIES

Relationships spur growth after industry setbacks

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Robert E. Nickerson, president of commercial real estate firm Stone Tower Properties, appreciates the designation of one of the fastest-growing companies in Rhode Island, but adds a caveat. “Honestly, we are a fast-growing company because we are being compared to our previous year, which was a disaster for us, when [everything] hit the fan from an economic point of view,” he said.

The impressive rebound, Nickerson continued, was the result of the fact that he and his partner Jack Braverman have more than 70 years of combined experience. “In this very finite market,” Nickerson said, “we could reach into our bag of tricks and reach out to various clients, investors and prospects and turn some ideas into actualities, into sales.”

Nickerson said that he and Braverman were “the proverbial blind squirrels,” with an ability to find the acorn.

The business, Braverman said, is all about relationships and referrals. “We were able to pull rabbits out of the hat,” he said, talking about the firm’s rapid growth in the last year. Braverman characterized Stone Tower Properties as “the last guys standing versus the young firms that don’t have the relationships we have developed.”

Nickerson talked about helping a recent client, an entrepreneur, lease 4,000 square feet of commercial space. “They anticipate needing 40,000 square feet in the next few years and hiring more than 100 people,” he said. “It’s an encouraging note.”

The real estate market is now improving in Boston, according to Nickerson. He and Braverman anticipate getting a bump from that market activity. •CEO (or equivalent):

Robert E. Knickerson

2011 REVENUE: $468,125

2009 REVENUE: $140,618

3-YEAR GROWTH: 233%

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