The new office for Rets Associates, a Newport Beach, California-based national real estate executive search firm, fits in with the company’s strategy to have people on the ground in cities with lots of companies, plenty of jobs and large populations. The new hub in Dallas will serve major cities throughout Texas and will be the company’s eighth office outside of Newport Beach in the United States, joining offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Silicon Valley, California; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; and Phoenix, Arizona.
“If you take a statistical analysis of the markets we are in and not in, our one hole was Texas with two of the top metropolitan statistical areas being in the state,” Kent Elliott, a principal with the firm, said in an interview, referring to the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Houston. “We believe in having boots on the ground.”
The expansion into Texas was driven by clients based in California also growing their presence in the Lone Star State, he said. That migration from the West Coast to Texas is part of a larger trend with real estate brokerage firm CBRE being one of the latest Fortune 500 companies to move its corporate headquarters from California to Texas.
“Our clients were a major factor in what drove our interest and desire in having a physical on the ground office in Dallas,” Elliott said. “The construction and activity, especially in industrial and multifamily real estate, and clients establishing a presence in the state were important.”
Elliott declined to disclose the names of most of the firm’s clients besides national real estate investment trusts, private equity firms and companies such as JRJ Construction in Weatherford and Sparrow Partners in Austin among its client list in Texas.
Jana Turner, another principal at the firm, said Dallas-Fort Worth has a proven resilience with five consecutive months of job growth and “a post-pandemic employment rate that outpaces most of the country.” Those market dynamics helped make the expansion to Dallas and Texas the natural next step in the company’s continued growth, she said.
To date, the nearly 19-year-old company has placed more than 3,000 candidates in key real estate executive positions. Rets Associates hired Chase Fryhover to serve as director in Dallas. Fryhover has more than a decade of recruiting experience including nearly eight years tied to recruiting for commercial real estate positions.
Fryhover is currently working from his home in Dallas-Fort Worth and Rets Associates has not yet opened a physical office. The company expects to set up a shared office space before opening a permanent office at some point in the future.
“Chase has a solid background in the Dallas-Fort Worth region with experience at several prominent national firms, including CBRE and Aerotek,” Elliott added. “His breadth of knowledge across a variety of industries and broad network of potential candidates in the Dallas market are tremendous assets for our company and align well with our expansion plans.”
Fryhover has been tasked with focusing on recruiting entry to mid-level positions in the Dallas region. He said he expects a growing demand for strategic hires in the months ahead, playing in line with typical hiring patterns in the real estate industry.
Elliott and Fryhover said the pandemic has led to a slowdown of the hiring of high-level positions in development and acquisitions, but there’s been a focus on mid-level roles in leasing and construction management. The executives said they expect the new year to bring a “bull market” with companies seeking to hire for all types of positions. This year could prove to be an interesting one for the real estate industry with the expected return of the economy, including the real estate market, dependent on pandemic impacts.
Deloitte, which recently published the firm’s 2021 commercial real estate outlook, said economists expect growth to be somewhat constrained until “a vaccine and/or treatment will allow normal economic activity to begin to resume in mid-2021.” The future of some of those roles companies seek to fill could also see a change-up as a result of the pandemic, with Deloitte’s outlook, aided with a survey of 200 senior-level real estate executives, saying only one-third of respondents agree or strongly agree they have the resources or skills required to operate a digitally transformed business needed in the pandemic.
“The critical decisions and investments leaders make now could come to fruition over the next 12 months,” according to Deloitte’s outlook. “They should strive to be digital — optimizing business, operating, and customer models for a digital environment. Rapid digital transformation will likely be needed to build operational resilience, maintain a strong financial position, develop and retain talent, and create an enabling culture.”
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With a proprietary database of more than 50,000 experienced candidates, RETS Associates helps industry leaders find powerful executive positions, while also helping global, national, and regional real estate companies strategically recruit and hire both permanent and interim employees.