Harry Drought: Local Property Manager Thrives

by | Nov 9, 2015 | Business Profile

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From retail to iconic landmarks Drought Properties is the connection

Grab a bite to eat at an area eatery, go shopping in the neighborhood, or pop in for a convenient office visit with a local businessman or professional, and if you’re in ‘09, there’s a pretty good chance there’s a Drought Properties connection. Say what? Yep, since 1995, Harry Drought, Sr.’s home-grown commercial real estate and property management company has been in the business of providing an essential link between numerous individuals, corporations and others to many exceptional, and often familiar, trade-related properties.

So after 20 years of offering an unequaled expertise coupled with an innate commitment to service where critical leasing, acquisition and management issues are concerned, especially regarding our ZIP code’s commercial footprint, you just might say that Drought Properties is very well connected indeed. Drought Properties certainly enjoys a 78209 pedigree.

Harry’s stepfather was none other than Alamo Heights’ pioneering Realtor, Guy Chipman. In 1974 a young Harry joined the Chipman firm as a residential sales agent, and because of his extensive area knowledge — not to mention a laudable work ethic — quickly became a million-dollar producer. By 1979 he was solely handling Chipman’s entire single-family management portfolio, which soon grew to include additional apartments and retail properties. Two decades later, the now vice president of property management, who had substantially expanded Chipman’s original commercial portfolio, remembers “being faced with my stepfather’s eminent retirement and the subsequent sale of his company.”

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Deciding to purchase the account list, Harry, with Guy’s blessing, struck out on his own and, in 1995, formed what is now Drought Properties. Setting up shop at 7700 Broadway in 78209 (and it is still at that location), Harry began the fledgling company with eight employees and a modest managed portfolio consisting of several million dollars in assets. Today Drought Properties teems with 48 full-time and 10 part-time highly professional co-workers, including brokers and sales agents, property managers, leasing agents and even maintenance personnel, all dedicated to serving a diverse client list with more than $200 million in real estate value – much of that value anchored in the Alamo Heights area.

Wow! Drought Properties still oversees some single-family housing, but the majority of its management focus, as Harry relates, “is multifamily, retail, ministorage, warehouse and office properties.” And a drive around the neighborhood will undoubtedly take you past much of this area acreage, including such iconic properties as the venerable 50/50 Broadway bar and restaurant, the Arcadia Grove retail center, the Rebar nightspot and the office complex at 2818 Nacogdoches Road. Beyond property management, Drought Properties also assists clients through the sometimes complicated sales and acquisition processes.

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A year ago, Harry’s nephew, Henry (representing the next generation of Droughts within the company), joined the firm as its vice-president of commercial real estate and investments and ably oversees these areas. Since coming on board, Henry has added emphasis to these departments while producing an impressive $14 million in sales volume. And while sales are important, the company is equally proud of its ability to facilitate the purchase of commercial real estate, then aid with the leasing agreements as well. As Henry clarifies, “We can and do handle almost any aspect related to the buying and selling of commercial real estate – within Alamo Heights and well beyond.”

Drought Properties is a member in good standing with the San Antonio Board of Realtors, the Texas Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors, the San Antonio Apartment Association and the Institute of Real Estate Management. And while its qualifications are certainly impressive, when queried on what sets his company apart from others in the field, Harry asserts,

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“We are always very attentive to our clients’ requirements. Being a smaller, locally based company, service is paramount, and when we’re needed, a quick response is essential and doable because we’re here. Just give us a call, and you’ll get a real person, probably a Drought, and not a recording.”

In other words, it’s ever so easy to make that Drought Properties connection!
BY ERNIE ALTGELT
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ELIZABETH WARBURTON

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