At 6 feet, 5 inches tall, Jim Kjolhede certainly looks like a basketball player. But after you talk with him, you realize that what he really reminds you of is a basketball coach.
It makes sense: Kjolhede coached collegiate hoops before he joined the multifamily industry, and he still displays the enthusiastic "Go get 'em!" presence of a team leader.
Such skills have proved valuable off the court for Kjolhede, who most recently worked for Archon Residential Management in Texas, where he served as COO from 2000 to 2005. In September, he left Archon to start Satteron Enterprises, a consulting firm that will help multifamily vendors gain a better understanding of the issues of apartment owners and operators. Kjolhede also hopes to do some business coaching and mentoring.
Q: After the economy, what do you see as a significant challenge for the multifamily industry in the coming year?
A: The leadership of the on-site teams and the adaptation by those teams to new roles. First, in 2006, most markets will continue to recover, and on-site teams will need to diminish or eliminate the use of concessions as a leasing tool. Secondly, thanks to technology, owners will now, if they choose, be able to hold on-site employees increasingly accountable. Web-based software enhancements, call centers, rent-setting programs, and reporting tools that tie everything together will make the actions of on-site employees extremely transparent. Conventional wisdom and "guesses" will not be accepted by institutional owners that want–and demand–benchmarking and metrics. The companies that embrace this transparency (and it can be very painful) will end up being the leaders in terms of performance and will be rightfully rewarded.
Q: What was your first job in the multifamily industry?
A: I was a property manager in Denver at a 727-unit property, where I managed all 36 employees, set rents, selected vendors, controlled expenses, and more. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Before that I was a basketball coach, and even though it might not seem like it, there are many similarities between the two jobs. Basically, you are achieving stated goals through the recruitment, education, and interaction of your "team" as well as evaluating the competition and outperforming them.
Q: How would you describe the industry in terms of career opportunities?
A: This industry provides unbelievable opportunities for anyone who wants to take the challenge. Those that have high energy, a positive attitude, and a burning desire to learn have unlimited upside in the business. Every day provides opportunities to learn and grow. The question is whether individuals choose to either take advantage of those opportunities or let them slip away.
Enterprise Community Investment (formerly Enterprise Social Investment Corp., or ESIC) has named Bruce Rothschild senior vice president and general counsel. He will manage all legal matters for the Columbia, Md.-based company and its subsidiaries. Rothschild joins Enterprise Community Investment after a 19-year career with The Rouse Co., where he was general counsel. For the last four years, Rothschild has operated his own firm, which specialized in real estate and commercial financing.
Multifamily developer and manager Trillium Residential has promoted Lesa LaRocca to vice president of operations. She will continue to direct the overall strategy and operations for Trillium Residential and now will also lead the expansion of the Trillium brand. She is an 18-year veteran of the multifamily industry.
Apartment Realty Advisors is expanding. The national multifamily brokerage and investment advisory company recently opened a new office in Austin, Texas, which will serve both Austin and San Antonio. Patton Jones will lead the office, which will also include Jeff Patterson, who focuses on secondary market investment opportunities. In Phoenix, ARA recently added a new broker: Bret Zinn. Zinn, formerly a multifamily specialist with Colliers International, brings with him more than 10 years of real estate experience. During the past three years, Zinn has been responsible for sales representing more than $360 million and 5,000 apartment units in metro Phoenix.
BRE Properties has added two new executives. Deborah Jones has returned to BRE after five years at The Irvine Apartment Communities in Irvine, Calif., to serve as vice president of associate relations and development. BRE also hired John McCulloch as vice president of construction in Southern California, where he will oversee the construction of more than 1,500 apartment units in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Previously McCulloch was a construction manager for Pulte Homes' urban infill division.
Plantation Building Corp. of Wilmington, N.C., has promoted Rusty Meador to project manager in its commercial/multifamily construction division. Meador, who joined Plantation in 2002, will oversee contract management, coordinate planning and scheduling of projects, and manage design coordination. He will be working with Steven Sherman, who recently joined Plantation as project superintendent, on the construction of the Modern Baking Co., a 24-unit residential building in Wilmington, N.C.
Eric H. Goldman has joined The Arden Group in Philadelphia as director of construction, where he will oversee the construction of the 44-story, $250 million The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia. Previously, he worked for Turner Construction.
Thomas W. Carter has joined Capstone Advisors as CFO for the San Diego-based real estate investment, development, and advisory firm. Carter, who has more than three decades of financial experience, previously was executive vice president with Legacy Bank of La Jolla, Calif.
CB Richard Ellis has promoted Robert Given to senior vice president. Given is the senior member of the company's Florida multi-housing group. Given, who has been with CB Richard Ellis since 2004, has participated in the sale and consulting assignments of more than 130 investment properties, representing more than 45,000 multifamily units, in addition to $6 billion worth of land transactions.
Cushman & Wakefield has promoted Cole Whitaker to executive director of its apartment brokerage services division in Florida. Whitaker has been selling apartments since 1983 and joined Cushman & Wakefield when the commercial property giant merged with Whitaker's company, The Apartment Group of Florida, almost five years ago.
Kellie Peterson has been promoted to regional vice president at Western National Property Management, a division of Western National Group of Irvine, Calif. She has worked for the company since 1987, when she joined Western National as a leasing consultant.
Potomac Realty Capital of Needham, Mass., has named Robert C. Keeler as chief operating officer. Keeler, formerly a vice president and director of asset management for Arbor Realty Trust and Arbor Commercial Mortgage, brings more than 25 years of experience in real estate finance and management to Potomac, which handles bridge, mezzanine, and permanent commercial real estate loans.
The Reznick Group, a public accounting firm based in Bethesda, Md., has promoted Jonette Hahn to principal in its national affordable housing practice. She has a master's in public policy as well as well as a certificate in housing development and finance from the University of Maryland. She is based in Reznick's Baltimore office.
Pacific West Management has hired Judy Savage as district manager for Southern California. She will oversee property operations for tax credit, bond-financed, and conventional apartment communities in the Inland Empire and the Coachella Valley.
Johnson Capital, a real estate investment banking and commercial mortgage banking company based in Irvine, Calif., has opened an origination office in Little Rock, Ark. It will be headed by Ted Sniegocki, who will originate HUD-insured loans for multifamily, senior housing, and health care projects.
LeasingDesk has hired Tiffany McNeil as regional sales director in the Pacific Northwest. Previously, she was the publisher and general sales manager of For Rent magazine in Phoenix.
Northland Investment Corp. has hired three new people. Sara Scarborough Graham is the company's new marketing manager and will be responsible for strategic development and execution of marketing plans, promotion of new residential developments, and general corporate brand-building initiatives. Shelly Johnson, who previously worked for JPI as a regional manager in Texas, will serve as Northland's regional manager in its multifamily division. She will handle the company's property portfolios in Arizona and Texas, specifically Austin and San Antonio. Michael Kittredge, who has been named condominium project manager, will be working in Northland's new condominium conversion program.
NNP Residential has promoted Robin Loewenberg Berger to president of the Chicago-based residential real estate firm. Berger, who previously served as executive vice president, succeeds CEO James Loewenberg, who is now chairman of NNP Residential.