Tag: homebuilding

Company President to Lead New Louisville Division for Award-Winning Builder

Company President to Lead New Louisville Division for Award-Winning Builder

A respected national homebuilder is searching for the right executive to start up its new operation in Louisville. He or she will run an entrepreneurial homebuilding enterprise with substantial financial backing. Profit sharing and possible ownership participation will reward the new building company president in return for top-level leadership in planning, operations, construction and sales. Prior experience should include leadership positions, possibly as a mid-level manager with a drive to head an entire market.  To learn more, contact Chris Hingle at (713) 961-5582, email him at chris@chrisfred.com or visit www.chrisfred.com.

Hot Market, Exceptional Benefits: Celebrated Builder Hiring San Antonio Purchasing Exec

Hot Market, Exceptional Benefits: Celebrated Builder Hiring San Antonio Purchasing Exec

San Antonio has become a remarkable place to build a construction career: Prices continue to climb while inventory recently hit a record low. Now, one of the country’s largest privately held builders will give the right person an opportunity to lead its purchasing in this thriving market. Competitive pay is just the beginning at this award-winning workplace. The newest member of its leadership will enjoy profit-sharing potential, outstanding retirement benefits, paid time off to volunteer and a robust professional development program.

The new purchasing manager for this division that generated nearly $130 million in revenue last year will assume a wide range of responsibilities with a long-term mindset and a focus on quality. Reporting to the division president, he or she will hire, train and coach a strong team. At the same time, this professional will reduce hard costs through skilled negotiations while applying a deep understanding of residential construction and design to uncover hidden savings. Responsibilities will include vendor and trade contractor selection and the maintenance of those relationships. The new manager also will conduct gross margin analyses, ensure consistent takeoffs and resolve project issues and changes.

The position calls for a relevant bachelor’s degree accompanied by at least one year in construction operations and five in purchasing management. This background should include estimating, related accounting and personnel management experience. The successful candidate will demonstrate knowledge of all functional areas of homebuilding. Familiarity with JD Edwards is preferred. The new purchasing manager also will prove exceptionally organized, communicating effectively across teams and prioritizing multiple demands that change frequently.

Christopher Frederick Search Consultants, a trusted national executive recruitment firm, has been retained to help find the right construction pro to join the leadership of this fast-growing division in San Antonio. If you feel your knowledge and experience would make a good fit, contact firm principal Chris Hingle at (713) 961-5582, email him at chris@chrisfred.com or visit www.chrisfred.com.

New Skills for a New Year

New Skills for a New Year

The past year was a strong one for real estate, and that momentum seems likely to carry into 2015 and beyond. With business on the upswing, this is the time to bring your career strategy to life. An expanding business often provides avenues to gain new experience or advance into more challenging roles as competition builds for talent. At the same time, it’s important not to overlook the importance of education in making the most of career opportunities that emerge in the new year.

Always Ask

Even in favorable business conditions, it’s easy for employee development to go overlooked by executives managing more immediate concerns. Don’t assume someone else will find time to advance your professional priorities, even if it’s part of his or her job. At the same time, you also shouldn’t assume your superiors aren’t interested in building your knowledge just because they haven’t dropped an educational opportunity on your desk recently. Keep an eye out for classes, conferences and seminars relevant to your job and the position you want to earn down the line. As budgets improve, it becomes easier to ask for the time and money required to pursue additional education. Doing so shows initiative and can also offer a gentle reminder of where you’d like your career to move in the future.


Spend much time on airplanes? Commute by rail? Have a few spare hours in your week to commit to personal and professional improvement? It’s never been easier to access a staggering array of classes online. Massive open online courses have made many classrooms at the nation’s top universities available to anyone who wants to log in. While programming and other technology courses tend to draw the most attention, there’s also a surprising range of free courses in management, finance and other fields relevant to a career in real estate.

Want to know more about the basics of corporate finance, marketing or even architectural photography to fill a soft spot on your resume? You might just find an appropriate video course at a modest cost on Lynda.com. Or, for more advanced learning, consider the career potential of online coursework or credentials from a relevant professional organization. A membership with the Project Management Institute, for example, costs less than $200 yearly and offers access to networking opportunities and educational resources that include dozens of webinars that can be used to help earn certifications.

Be the Person Who Knows the Software

Occasionally, picking from among well-qualified candidates comes down to which one can start the job familiar with that company’s systems. Likewise, team members who can troubleshoot a critical program or train others to use it can quickly become indispensable. While I’ve met few professionals in sales eager to spend a Saturday afternoon exploring their customer relationship management software, showing an interest in it can be an easy way to set yourself apart. If an employer isn’t footing the bill, remote training can be pricey for software like JD Edwards, Yardi or RealPage. But it’s worth considering whether the long-term earnings potential makes it worthwhile if knowledge of a specific system can make jobs available that were previously out of reach.

In the end, outlining educational priorities comes back to setting professional goals and putting in place concrete steps to make them happen. I’m optimistic that 2015 will see a continued recovery that buoys all of us in real estate. The professionals who benefit the most, though, will still be those willing to build their knowledge to match their ambition.

Over more than two decades, Christopher Frederick has helped match the talents of executives with leading companies in real estate. Visit our website at www.chrisfred.com where you can find exclusive job listings for real estate professionals and read more about our one-of-a-kind approach to executive recruitment.

New Blood, New Potential: Welcoming the Next Generation of Real Estate Leaders

New Blood, New Potential: Welcoming the Next Generation of Real Estate Leaders

Members of the Millennial Generation, usually defined as those born between 1976 and 2001, now make up more than a third of the U.S. workforce, and the oldest are beginning to join the ranks of their companies’ executives. As the recovery in real estate continues, the search for executives in construction, development and CRE will increasingly rely on talent from this group. This makes it more important than ever to understand the challenges and mindset of the people who will be tomorrow’s leaders.

A Tough Start

It’s helpful to understand the broader context surrounding millennials’ careers, and for many it’s been pretty grim. In 2010, when unemployment was at its worst, only 54 percent of adults between 18 and 34 were employed. That’s the lowest percentage since 1948 when the U.S. government began collecting the data. What’s more, a Pew study found that nearly half those going to work each day did so in jobs outside their chosen careers just to pay the bills. As such, another survey in 2011 cited by Jessica Brack at the Kenan-Flagler Business School suggested that 70 percent of millennial workers planned to change jobs once the economy improved. Whether that sentiment from three years ago will actually translate into action as the economy gains strength today is anyone’s guess. But it reinforces the need to attract, retain and mentor potential leaders now, as the brutal business conditions that characterized the early years of millennials’ careers have left most with few qualms about leaving a company that doesn’t fulfill their needs.

Small Differences

When professionals talk about catering to millennial employees, much is made about their differing cultural norms, their use of technology and what’s often seen as a lack of humility compared to their older colleagues. These generational differences are real and can potentially create conflicts in the workplace, but research indicates that the most important career traits of millennials go much deeper than wanting to bring their own smartphones to the office. For starters, money is not the only yardstick. Additional research cited by Brack found that 30 percent of millennials valued meaningful work, while only 12 percent of managers felt the same way. Likewise, only 28 percent of millennials said high pay was important, versus half of managers. Many younger workers don’t just want to be rewarded. They want to be engaged and to have the chance to meet new challenges. Part of that often comes from a more prevalent desire for collaboration, rather than solitary work, than might be the case with other generations. Additionally, millennials seem to desire more coaching and feedback than their older co-workers. A survey by Price Waterhouse Coopers found that 51 percent of millennial employees valued frequent, in-the-moment feedback. Rather than a chore, savvy managers can use this feedback to challenge younger employees, encourage hard work and groom exceptional people for leadership. Their generation, after all, does not lack for ambition: 51 percent of millennial women surveyed by PwC and 61 percent of men believe they will be able to rise to the top of their organization.

The Basics Still Matter

When recruiting younger leaders, it’s also important to keep in mind that the most critical aspects of employees’ relationship with the company change little from one generation to the next. As other human resources professionals have pointed out, employees of all ages tend to desire a reasonable balance with obligations at home and a sense of job security. Additionally, millennial employees say they want a degree of respect, transparency and development potential in the workplace – things that tend to be valued by ambitious people across the workforce. As in the past, tomorrow’s leading real estate firms will be those that maintain an open mind and a dedication to professional development for their younger managers today.

Over more than two decades, Christopher Frederick has helped match the talents of executives with leading companies in real estate. Visit our website at www.chrisfred.com where you can find exclusive job listings for real estate professionals and read more about our one-of-a-kind approach to executive recruitment.

Motivation or Qualifications? How Passion is Often More Important Than Credentials

Motivation or Qualifications? How Passion is Often More Important Than Credentials

We’ve all worked with “that guy.” The one with the impressive degree. The one with a long list of respected companies in his past. The employee who looks fantastic on paper, yet underperforms the minute that sterling resume gets tucked into the drawer of his new desk. As seasoned recruiters and personnel departments can attest, credentials and motivation don’t always move in unison. Likewise, many job hunters who endured unexpected career shifts during the recession possess valuable knowledge and dedication in spades, but that might not be immediately evident in their job history.

Employers: Focus on commitment

When business was slow, hiring managers could simply skim the most experienced people from a consistent pool of available talent. A brutal job market all but ensured new hires would work hard, if only for fear of being replaced. Thankfully, business has improved. Highly skilled workers – for example, seasoned purchasing and residential land acquisition experts – are again in short supply, and firms must adapt to attract the best talent. That means committing to the employee. Recruitment efforts should demonstrate an eagerness to fill the position with the right person. Companies should be responsive to candidate inquiries whenever possible. They should also communicate their workplace culture and potential advancement opportunities to show they’re committed to hiring good people for the long haul. In the same vein, hiring managers need to look for motivation on the part of candidates to perform the job at hand. Beyond their qualifications, do they seem excited about the specific opportunities of the position? Are they hungry for a step up in their career? Did something draw them to your company over your competitors? Most of all, companies will need to adapt their thinking to the realities of the post-recession labor market. What did applicants do during the downturn to adapt and add value when business was tough across the board? Highly motivated, well-suited candidates may not necessarily have the traditional resume bullet points associated with the position.

Job Candidates: Show, Don’t Tell

It’s meaningless for a candidate to simply list traits like passion, commitment and drive in a cover letter. After all, anyone can say that. Instead, job seekers need to sell the specifics of their skill sets and experience to employers. Examples of past projects turned in before deadline and exceeding goals show passion. Past loyalty and the sacrifice of time and compensation during lean years show commitment. Consistent follow-ups and non-stop networking show drive. Highlight strengths that are as relevant to the day-to-day needs of the employer as possible. One particularly effective way to demonstrate motivation is learning as much as possible about a hiring company. For example, I recently placed a candidate who at first appeared over-qualified for the job. He did his homework, researching everything he could about the company, good and bad. He approached the interview with the attitude that he could make the job opening an even better opportunity for the employer. By sharing his accomplishments and skills gained during the recession, then making a detailed case for how he could improve his new employer’s business, they ended up creating a new opportunity even more attractive than the original job. Both sides demonstrated how motivated they were, and both came out winners.

At Christopher Frederick, we’ve spent more than two decades helping some of the biggest names in real estate hire motivated executives that lead their businesses to growth. To learn more about how we leverage our digital network with our extensive recruitment experience, contact Chris Hingle at chingle@chrisfred.com. Or visit our website at www.chrisfred.com where you can find exclusive job listings for real estate executives.

Social Beyond Media: Add value to your network by developing relationships

Social Beyond Media: Add value to your network by developing relationships

It’s no secret that most managers would rather hire from their networks than sort through strangers who reply to a want ad. Accordingly, candidates today direct much of their job-hunting effort to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to reconnect with any and all contacts who might pass along a promising lead.

Social media can prove remarkably effective for staying in touch with colleagues. But the ease of connecting online is no excuse to neglect the real-life relationships that often have the greatest consequence in shaping a career.

Face time trumps Facebook:

It takes seconds to ask for or accept a social media invite. Inviting someone to coffee or offering to buy lunch, on the other hand, involves a degree of gumption and effort that shows you are really serious about your professional relationship with that person and your industry. The same goes for approaching someone at a conference, mentoring, introducing yourself in a social setting or volunteering to help with leadership tasks within a professional organization. Face-to-face meetings and the conversations that result create associations outside the parameters of what’s usually discussed on social media, and someone’s real-life presence will always stick in a person’s mind more prominently than an online profile.

Don’t just look up:

Colleagues at or below your level of responsibility can sometimes prove just as valuable as the executives whom everyone in the building wants to know on a first-name basis. People at the department level know that department’s needs. They know who’s coming and who’s leaving and what the budget looks like for next year. Forming relationships with coworkers or potential coworkers through shared interests can create insight into the precise personnel needs of a company at a given moment. Such relationships needn’t be strictly professional, either. Join the company bowling league. Have margaritas after work. Look for coworkers at your kids’ sporting events and activities. Recreation and friendship can often lead to lasting, meaningful professional connections.

Don’t just talk about the job:

As former Silicon Valley recruiter and author Nick Corcodilos advises mid-career job seekers: Keep your focus on the needs of the person you’re meeting with. Offer to sit down with a manager at a company you’re interested in and talk about his or her challenges in areas where you have expertise. Offer advice and critical discussion to help that company run better, and do it outside the context of a formal job interview. If you can prove valuable to an organization before you’re even employed there, you’ll likely find yourself on the short list of candidates when a job opens up later.

Regardless of your current place on the career ladder, the value of a professional network comes not only from the number of people within it, but also from the quality of those relationships.

For more than 25 years, Christopher Frederick has helped executives and companies in real estate build relationships and place the best talent in some of the industry’s leading roles. To learn more about how we can enhance your next executive search using our extensive digital network of professionals, contact Chris Hingle at chingle@chrisfred.com. Or visit our website at www.chrisfred.com.

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