What’s Next is pleased to interview Julie Chase, the founder and principal of San Francisco- and Washington, D.C.-based Chase Communications, a real estate and healthcare communications firm that was recently acquired by LEVICK. Julie now heads LEVICK’s dynamic new real estate practice. She has two-and-a-half decades of experience in helping real estate- and healthcare-related organizations achieve their business and communications objectives.
Julie, welcome to LEVICK. Why us and why now?
Over the years, I was approached by a number of firms, both large and medium-sized. But the timing and the “fit” were never right. With offices in New York, Chicago, and Toronto and its expertise in business intelligence and corporate and crisis communications, LEVICK offers the perfect complement to Chase Communications. It’s exactly what I was looking for: a firm that was larger but not too large and run by someone whose energy and entrepreneurial vision I’ve long admired.
Above all, I wanted to merge with a firm that would continue the solid support of both my clients and my employees. Ultimately this is a relationship business. Richard and his team are thoughtful and strategic—with their eye on what’s coming next. They want to grow personally and professionally. And so do my clients and employees. Combined, our teams can provide clients with 360-degree service that addresses all of their marketing and communications needs, from business intelligence and strategic planning to reputation management and crisis recovery.
What triggered your career-long interest in real estate marketing and communications? And why have you also developed an expertise in healthcare communications?
There’s a strong nexus between real estate and politics. Politics has always been infused in real estate development and always will be. That’s true in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., and any other market you can name. To succeed in real estate, you have to have your finger on the pulse of local, regional, and national politics. Important commercial real estate developments define a city. For a development to realize its potential it demands as much communications and marketing as it does bricks and mortar.
I’ve also been very passionate about architecture. I love to write about architecture, its history, its different styles, and the role it plays in the cultural life of a city. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of making the aesthetic of commercial and residential architecture a central part of our communications campaigns on behalf of a client.
I care deeply about healthcare because of some family history and because I believe the U.S. has an enormous challenge in making healthcare more affordable and accessible. Moreover, it is exciting to support the new discoveries that both improve and save lives. It’s a complex business and I enjoy the challenge of breaking it down into understandable parts for different audiences and constituents.
You’re an expert in planning and executing communications campaigns across the Bay Area, if not all of California. What do you see as the growth opportunities out there?
It’s not one market. It’s many markets rolled into one. The cost and availability of real estate, which is so precious and expensive in Northern California, in many ways is the common thread out there. Real estate in the D.C. market is heading in that same direction. The skills I learned in helping developments get off the ground in the Bay Area can certainly be put to good use in D.C., especially with the additional services offered by Richard and his team.
In my experience, early communications planning helps to warm up the conversation about certain commercial and residential projects. It also tamps down the antagonism. Otherwise NIMBY concerns tend to dominate the debate.
Having Richard and his team available to brainstorm and think outside the box will be of enormous value to our clients. LEVICK has deep expertise in cyber communications and enhancing a client’s online presence. Both my real estate and healthcare clients will benefit from that expertise.