In a way, Drew Goldman's new job is a homecoming. As a college student, he interned with a multifamily company, a commercial brokerage, and a developer, giving him a strong background in real estate.

But after degrees in business from the University of Texas at Austin (bachelor's) and Emory University in Atlanta (MBA), Goldman turned to finance, working for GE Commercial Finance and JP Morgan Securities, among others.

Late in 2005, he combined the two–real estate and finance–to become vice president of business development for Lane Management, the property management business of Atlanta-based Lane Co.

Q: What appealed to you about this job?

A: The opportunity to leverage my financial and business development experience into a career in commercial real estate. Lane Co. is a progressive firm in the multifamily industry with a vision for consistent future growth and a refreshing view on hiring diverse new talent, such as an industry newcomer like me.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish in your new role?

A: My primary focus right now is to grow Lane's fee management business. This involves establishing a disciplined process around finding, acquiring, and retaining high-quality clients. Over the longer term, I will identify and handle strategic acquisitions, joint ventures, alliances, and other related initiatives.

Q: What do you see as a significant challenge for the multifamily industry in the coming year?

A: Navigating the shifting balance between ownership demand (and development focus) for apartments versus condominiums, and positioning a company to capitalize on improving markets.

Q: What are the big opportunities for multifamily firms?

A: Urban live-work-play destination developments, a renewed industry focus on mergers and acquisitions, privatization of public apartment companies, and "green" construction initiatives.

Q: What was your first job in the multifamily industry?

A: I held a series of internships during college for a multifamily firm, a commercial brokerage, and an independent developer. I learned how to do property accounting, create marketing packages for commercial leases and property sales, run a pro forma, and research [real estate] opportunities. That was a lot of learning in three years.