October 15, 2018
In this edition of The Hiring Squad, Kent Elliott, principal at RETS Associates (RETS), a leading national real estate recruiting firm, connects with Brett Albrecht, president at Kraemer Land Company, a fully integrated real estate firm with more than 50 years of hands-on, cycle-tested experience in acquiring, developing, leasing, managing and financing real estate. The two discuss how a relationship with a trusted recruiting partner resulted in a 30-day assignment that evolved into a 15-year career home.
Kent Elliott (KE): You’re a true Southern California market veteran, with 30 years of real estate industry expertise. Can you tell me about your professional background and how you got started?
Brett Albrecht (BA): After graduating from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona with a bachelor’s degree in finance, I started my real estate career working at The Koll Company as senior manager of operations, creating cash flow proformas and financial models of commercial and multifamily properties. From there, I spent five years as vice president of asset management at The Abbey Company and was involved in the leasing, acquisition, disposition and procurement of debt/equity valued at more than $1 billion. In 2002, I started my own firm called Spyglass Commercial, Inc. and on the side, I worked on small consulting assignments, which led me to Kraemer Land Company. Over the years, I have also been an active member of various real estate associations, including NAIOP, BOMA and BIA.
KE: What an impressive journey. How did a 30-day assignment at Kraemer Land Company evolve into a 15-year career?
BA: While at The Koll Company, I met and worked with Jana Turner, who is now a principal at RETS. Over the years, Jana and I have remained in close contact and continued to work together. I was also a candidate of RETS as they helped me find small consulting assignments, which were usually a couple of hours to a couple of days of work. Then in 2004, I received a call from RETS about a 30-day project with Kraemer Land Company. While this assignment was much larger than my usual consulting scope, RETS and I decided to meet with the board of directors for lunch.
I quickly realized that Kraemer Land Company is a unique family office with a huge real estate portfolio and a leadership team comprised of kind and genuine individuals. I immediately accepted the assignment. As it continued to grow I became more invested in the company. Eventually, the project evolved into a full-time position as president, which I’ve had the honor of filling for the past 15 years. Since then, I’ve worked closely with the team to grow the firm into a full-service land development company, with a commitment to providing exceptional results through institutional quality operations, sound investments and an entrepreneurial mindset. Today, we manage five divisions and have 56 different projects throughout California.
KE: What value does your relationship with a recruiting partner bring to your career?
BA: To me, life is all about relationships, especially in the corporate world. There’s plenty of recruiters out there, but personally, I enjoy working with people I know and trust. That’s why I partnered with RETS to help me find the right talent for Kraemer Land Company. Their vast knowledge, experience and relationships in the real estate industry and deep understanding of my expectations, has allowed us to quickly and effectively staff several positions from asset managers and property managers, to project level accounting positions. My relationship with RETS goes back 25 years and is something I truly value – both from a candidate and client side. They have not only helped guide me throughout my career but have also been a huge influence on my character.
KE: What advice would you give real estate professionals who are looking for a long-term career home where they can continue to grow their skills?
BA: First and foremost, consider partnering with a trusted and intuitive recruiting partner to help you find opportunities that best fit your qualifications and career goals. For individuals looking to enter the real estate industry, think of this as a career, not a job. Be sure to build lasting and meaningful relationships and create a network of people you trust to help guide you and advocate for you throughout your career.