An American Entrepreneurial Success
In 1912, St. Louis native Otto Aschinger borrowed a book on electricity from the library. After reading it, he hired two electricians to rewire a house for him. He observed their work, making a note of everything they did.
Based on this remarkably straightforward education, he founded Aschinger Electric, which continues to thrive four generations later. Specializing in the design and installation of electrical systems, The Engineering News-Record named them one of America’s top 600 specialty contractors in 2018.
Aschinger Electric has been in the family for four generations. O. Francis Aschinger (Otto’s son) guided the company until his death in 1978. Then, his wife, Zdena, and their three sons took over the business’s ownership and operation. Zdena passed away in 2011, but her sons Eric (president), Jack, and Keith Aschinger guided the company well into the new millennium.
While still heavily involved in the business, they recruited Eric’s daughter, Emily Martin, to take over the position of president in 2015.
A Diverse Business Portfolio
In 1981, the Aschinger family used an Industrial Revenue Bond to buy 4.85 acres and build their own building at 877 Horan Drive in Fenton. The family’s two main businesses have always occupied just over half the building: Aschinger Electric and its sister company, Aschinger Communications. They’ve filled the rest of the building with a variety of tenants over the years.
At first, it made sense to keep property management in-house. However, as the core business continued to expand, property management became a distraction. Eric says, “Our comptroller was just swamped.”
With only a few tenants, it didn’t make sense to bring in a full-time property manager, but they needed someone to collect monthly rent, pay the various bills on the property, find and manage contractors for ongoing maintenance, and fill spaces as they became available.
One tenant in particular, Williams Office Machines, was getting ready to move out after twenty years. Luckily, Eric knew a family member in the real estate business: his distant cousin (second cousin, once removed!), Will Aschinger of Hilliker Corporation.
Extending the Family Business
When Eric called on Will to manage their property in Fenton and its tenants, Will was eager to help. One of his existing clients, LTG Lighting, was looking for space similar to the one Williams Office Machines was vacating. Since the two companies work in the same industry, there was an opportunity for them to forge a mutually beneficial relationship.
Later, Will was able to fill a vacant space with Maggie’s Lunchbox, a restaurant where Aschinger Electric employees (among many others) can enjoy their breakfast and lunch menu.
Now, Hilliker’s Director of Property Management, Donna Williams, deals with the day-to-day tasks of owning the property. Eric has been pleased with the results, saying, “Hilliker has done a great job.”
About his cousin, Eric says, “Will and his team stay on top of our needs, and we’re happy to keep things in the family.”
What Are Your Property Management Needs?
If you are running a business while serving tenants, consider bringing in Hilliker’s property management expertise to simplify your life and increase your effectiveness.
Our brokers can help you find new tenants, structure mutually beneficial lease agreements, and manage your day-to-day task list. If you need Hilliker Corporation’s Property Management expertise, book an appointment with us today!