After three years at CB Richard Ellis, Robert E. Given rose to executive vice president of the company's South Florida multihousing practice in December 2006 upon the retirement of his predecessor. Given, who attended the University of Memphis, previously was a senior vice president with the close-knit South Florida group, which he predicts will see renewed successes in 2007 and 2008.

Q: What appealed to you about this job?

A: What's exciting is that the real estate markets are some of the most dynamic markets in the country. We get to interact with buyers from around the globe, and while we [at CB Richard Ellis] deal mostly with institutional buyers, we also have foreign investors.

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

A: We are focusing on providing our institutional clients with clear insight into the ever-changing and dynamic markets of South Florida. As you probably know, the condominium conversion era has muddied the waters relative to how investors are looking to get their capital out here, and so we're focusing on providing them clear, real-time information on how to look at investments down here.

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

A: I started my career in the late '80s working for Trammell Crow Residential and then joined TESCO Properties. For seven years, I worked for the Altman Cos. and worked my way up to be president and COO. I worked very hard at expanding our third-party management system there, which in turn helped me develop relationships with others. In those 13 years, I was mostly in property management, but also handled some development and disposition activities, and that helped me prepare for the broker world. It's not what I started out to do in life, but it's been very good to me and I've made it my livelihood.

Q: What's the best advice anyone ever gave you about your career?

A: Be prepared and be honest. If you follow that advice, you'll always be able to take advantage of opportunities.