In the month that marks the one-year anniversary of the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, the commercial buildings industry moves ahead – albeit slowly – intent on finding the most efficient and effective facilities solutions to their companies’ business needs and goals. Two terms sum up the situation: the economy and consumer confidence.As a result, the business of “buildings” is evolving dramatically, requiring that buildings professionals look beyond excuses or blame to reinvent their operations and adopt new business models that reflect changing market dynamics. Over one year ago, Los Angeles-based CEL & Associates Inc. (www.celassociates.com), a leading consulting firm to the real estate industry, indicated the following – as true today as it was then – in its Strategic Advantage newsletter:“The real estate game is really very simple. You hire and leverage the best talent, maximize your available resources, develop leasing and recurring relationships with your clients, create value and opportunities that others fail to recognize, and harness your knowledge into a competitive advantage. In the real estate game, players are rewarded for vision, creativity, leadership, commitment to excellence, and empowering others to exceed their potential. Winners are those who ‘get there first’ and who build teams of professionals who are willing to change and place the company’s priorities ahead of personal gain. Size is not a determinant of success … results are.”Results are clearly top-of-mind with those companies cited in Buildings’ annual report, “Who’s Who in the Buildings Market.” This year’s top 25 Buildings’ Professionals of the Year – selected by our editorial team, based on a multitude of statistics, company information, and industry talk – reflect companies that have adopted a clear vision, engage their entrepreneurial talent in seeking customer-oriented solutions, and, above all, are leaders. A return to our Buildings Census format for a listing of major players in five categories by type of firm – development/ownership/ management, third-party management, corporate real estate, institutional ownership, and government ownership – celebrates the level of activity and involvement of those buildings professionals that embrace the values and commitment necessary to succeed.Real estate organizations must channel their energy and focus toward five equally important priorities to succeed, according to CEL in its latest report, “Riding the Waves to Success”:Determination and commitment to the achievement of the company vision and long-term strategic objective.Possession of an embraced set of core values (and an organization’s intensity of conviction to fulfilling these beliefs) and guiding principles.Unyielding in the quest for knowledge, the best talent, and integrated business processes.Ability to navigate the transformation and velocity of change as new markets, new services, new solutions, and new products replace successes of prior years.Recognition of a greater dependence on people – talent, relationships, networks, alliances, etc. – above money.Is your company seeking one-of-a-kind solutions and strategies? Leadership – from each of you, based on the priorities noted above – could make a real difference in your organizations’ futures.Linda K. Monroe ([email protected]) is editorial director at Buildings magazine. Additional research for the Who’s Who in the Buildings Market 2002 was provided by Robin Suttell, contributing editor, and Leah B. Garris, editorial coordinator.The 2003 Who's Who is coming in September!