Sage Partners LLC

City: Fayetteville
Category: Category I (1-25 Employees)
Year: 2008

Tommy Van Zandt and Brian Shaw wanted to make their corporate mark on the commercial realty scene when they banded together to form Sage Partners in April 2005.

The firm specializes in real estate brokerage, development, investments and corporate services. Van Zandt and Shaw work out of Fayetteville. Mark Saviers, based in Little Rock, joined the venture a short time later. The two offices account for a combined staff of nine.

"We're proud of our team, and [they are] why we are successful," Van Zandt said.

He and Saviers are brothers-in-law and childhood friends from Fort Smith. They plied the commercial realty trade in Dallas and other out-of-state markets before returning to Arkansas.

Shaw, who grew up in Springdale, worked in Denver for Prime West Real Estate Services before returning to northwest Arkansas in 1997. The trio worked together at Irwin Saviers Partners before the launch of Sage Partners.

The company name was chosen from scores of candidates because the partners liked the ring of it, as well as the connotations of wisdom and aromatic seasoning.

"Those are characteristics we might not have but aspire to," Van Zandt said.

Corporate clientele includes familiar Fortune 500 names such as Pepsico, Nestlé and Kimberly Clark for leased office space or build-to-suit projects. The company also handles subleasing chores for vacant Wal-Mart stores.

With more than 80 years of combined experience, the staff prides itself on providing dependable, financially sound real estate solutions. Despite the dramatic slowdown in the northwest Arkansas market, Sage Partners recorded a small year-over-year gain in revenue.

The firm's reputation for candid advice, which sometimes hurts fee income, is drawing clients who gambled on real estate deals elsewhere and lost.

Personal development, volunteerism and family also are characteristics of the Sage Partners culture. "We're not just bottom-line oriented," Shaw said.

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