Dear Hartman Team Members,
It is my hope that each of you thoroughly enjoyed your Thanksgiving weekend surrounded by loved ones celebrating all the great blessings showered upon us this year. 2021 has been an incredible year for our company as we have reached many of our stretch goals. Our leasing team has moved with incredible velocity, leasing up our properties, and setting a new annual company record for new square footage leased with nearly 900,000 square feet and counting.
The year-to-date occupancy at the end of October was 82.57% and as you all recall, we began 2021 at 79.03% and we will get very close to 84% by year end. Looking back on the combined efforts from each of you, the continued return of office workers, and the considerable number of new businesses that have relocated to our great state, it is a momentous accomplishment to end the year this way. Congratulations to you all!
As we make our final efforts to push ourselves before the Christmas holiday, let us keep our sights set high. We must continue ratcheting up our portfolio occupancy, find innovative ways to improve our business processes and be an attractive prospect to new investors. And just as important, we must continue to raise the bar of complete customer satisfaction by consistently providing our white-glove service. Our commitment to the customer is what landed us a truly stellar NPS (Net Promoter Score) from our tenants this year, and we must maintain that trajectory because every tenant is sacred.
The forward strides we are making toward the new year are very encouraging to me. I was delighted with the outcome of our recent vision mapping session together. We have advanced technology such as our custom ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software to look forward to, improved amenities at our properties to boost our management capabilities, and fresh marketing initiatives to grow our brand awareness on the way.
We are confident that our Capital Markets Group will do exceedingly well next year. Our combined retail and institutional fundraising efforts are expected to produce a record-breaking equity raise for new real estate acquisitions, developments in our funds, and one-off joint venture opportunities. The team has budgeted to attend a total of 47 conferences in 2022 and is expected to raise over 50 million.
As I reflect on the triumphant and award-winning year that has gone by, in 2021 we have welcomed over 75 new employees, and the construction team has utilized over $6.3M for capital improvements across our properties. Hundreds of make ready spaces were completed, including the newly finished BIZSUITES offerings that we rolled out at eight of our office properties. FINCOM onboarded a new litigation counsel and received over $1.2M in refund checks, which is a reduction value of $50M. They truly have treated Hartman dollars as their own.
To conclude, as we find ourselves swept into the joy and celebration of the Holiday season, remember to reflect on the true meaning of the season, Jesus Christ. Our Savior fed the hungry, comforted the lonely, visited the sick, and showed kindness to all. I invite you this holiday season to find some way you can be more Christ-like.
John 1:4-5 “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”