Evan Scroggs, SIOR, CCIM, set himself apart from the crowd early in his real estate career. He earned prestigious industry designations and frequent recognition as a top producer in his firm. He wasn’t looking to make any career moves when John Sharpe, a board member for national real estate firm Lee & Associates, contacted him in 2021. Sharpe wanted Scroggs, an experienced commercial real estate professional in Baton Rouge, to join the company. Not only that, but he had Scroggs in mind to head up a new Lee & Associates location in Baton Rouge.

“I had ideas about company ownership, compensation structure, and the corporate culture I would want to be a part of,” Scroggs recalls. “After learning about the company model, I realized it was a perfect fit. Lee & Associates offers a set of services and opportunities that drive the entrepreneurial spirit. The more we talked, the more I wanted to be part of it.”

Scroggs took the leap in January 2023 and officially opened the firm’s Baton Rouge office. By May 2023 he added two partners and opened a Lafayette office. Though Lee & Associates is a new name to the local market, it has a strong reputation across the U.S. and in Canada.

Scroggs has enjoyed building a team and continues to add partner level brokers and talented support staff to the company. The Lee brokers bring years of experience in commercial real estate, which includes industrial, warehouse, office, retail, and land. That knowledge is critical to helping clients.

“One of the biggest challenges is the tight warehouse market for the Baton Rouge area,” Scroggs says. “It’s hard to find vacant space. A lot of the deals that are getting done are by brokers who have knowledge of space that could become available. We know the tenants that have leases expiring, those that are trying to enter the market, and those who are actively looking to expand. Tracking this data has given us a competitive advantage.”

One of the company’s biggest projects is the Rivermark 185 Industrial and Logistics Park, a 96-acre site being developed by Chad Brossett in Geismar, LA. When completed, it will consist of more than 1 million square feet of Class A, concrete tilt wall distribution and service warehouse space.

Lee & Associates, which has 1,500 professionals in 75 offices nationwide, gives every broker the opportunity for ownership in the local office, the benefit of profit sharing, and the support of a strong national brand … unique values that set the company apart from competitors. The firm also encourages brokers to pursue advanced education in their areas of specialty in order to provide the highest level of service.

“We give a pretty robust platform of services to our brokers, which allows them to be better equipped to deliver service to the client,” Scroggs says. “Service from the company to the broker translates to service from the broker to the client.”

Those relationships are crucial for success.

“You’re always working to solve problems for clients, and I love that side of the business,” Scroggs says. “Ultimately, it’s all driven by the people you know, the trust you’re able to build, and the value you’re able to deliver to them. We enjoy that process.”