The Importance of Building Client Relationships – 10 Years of Holmquist + Gardiner

Throughout 2019, Holmquist + Gardiner is celebrating its 10-year anniversary by  reflecting on its journey to become one of Seattle’s most comprehensive and admired real-estate law firms. Read our first article in the series to discover the power of a radical idea when scrawled on the napkin of a Capitol Hill bar.

To celebrate their law firm’s 10th year providing dedicated legal services to Seattle-area clients, founding partners Imants Holmquist and Hamilton Gardiner reflected on the phrase that fortified Holmquist + Gardiner’s most distinctive quality:

Relationships make the difference.

This founding value was born in 2008/2009, at a time when the housing market was in full crisis. Global investments were wiped out across the board. This period in recent memory is considered one of the worst years to start a new business — let alone a venture focused on real estate. But there was a silver lining. Starting a business during the financial crisis forged a mindset that became critical to early success of Holmquist + Gardiner. It remains a core tenant of every client interaction and legal resolution. 

Those early days are still fresh in Hamilton’s mind. “It was a little bit crazy, a little scary. In a way, [2008] felt like the sky was falling. But we knew if you can make it under those circumstances, you can make it anywhere. Our focus was to hit the ground running. Pound the pavement. Build long-term relationships that will be successful in good times and bad.” 

It paid off. Early clients responded to Holmquist + Gardiner’s focus on small business relationships. These initial connections remain the backbone of the law firm’s current client base today. “Small businesses are there to support one another,” adds Imants, “the fact that most of our clients are entrepreneurs and privately-held companies, they found our attitude appealing.”

What appeared to be an inadvisable time for two entrepreneurs to start a business, helped define how Holmquist + Gardiner supports its attorneys and clients. 

A vision in one thing, but theory must be put into practice. Holmquist + Gardiner’s conscious focus on building trusted and sustaining relationships is put into practice every day. Even as their law practice grew in size and focus, Imants and Hamilton made sure that their initial mindset and relationship-driven focus remained intact. What began as a duo with expertise in litigation and transactions has evolved to include firm-wide practice that includes construction, labor and employment law and business law with 7 in-house attorneys and associated staff members. The firm now supports clients at the highest level of Seattle’s business market.  

Ten years of continued growth and success hasn’t stymied Holmquist + Gardiner’s attention to detail. To properly execute their relationship vision, Imants and Hamilton have spent the past 4 years working with outside coaches and advisers to develop a formula to ensure every colleague exemplifies the same values practiced by the original team of two. 

According to Imants, “If it’s not getting measured, it’s not getting done.” Holmquist + Gardiner has a system in place to measure core values once they’re applied. “Because we’ve spent the time to build out the core values thus far, we can stand by our team because we have confidence in how they operate,” says Hamilton. The results build stronger, more trusted relationship with clients, while simultaneously supporting the growth and personal success of colleagues from within.

Face-to-face interactions are highly valued. The founders routinely reinforce their relationship-driven approach through weekly and monthly meetings. Whether advising a client or volunteering outside the office, it’s obvious that attorneys and staff at Holmquist + Gardiner practice what they preach. It’s why every client receives the same care and support en route to the most efficient resolution possible.  

The centerpiece of Holmquist + Gardiner remains the original friendship that set everything in motion. Imants and Hamilton met in 1999 at the University of Washington. Their strengths and personalities differ, yet they are aligned in values. Imants sums up his partnership with Hamilton, “When you grow with somebody, I believe you’re clearly at an advantage. We can tackle any difficult objective that comes are way. That’s the ultimate level of trust.”

Ten years later everything is different, yet not much has changed. 

Discover in-person what separates Holmquist + Gardiner from the competition. If you’re in need of legal advice across a range of business and real-estate sectors, contact an attorney today.