October 27, 2015
“The Hiring Squad” is a real estate-employment column frequently run by Connect Media.
In this Executive Q&A, Kent Elliott, principal at RETS Associates, a leading search and staffing firm that focuses specifically on the real estate industry, sits down with Lynn Abulhosn, senior vice president and chief administrative officer at Unico Properties LLC, a Seattle-based real estate investor and operator of office and multifamily assets in the Western U.S. Elliott and Abulhosn discuss the recent growth of the Unico team.
Kent Elliott (KE): You’ve recently filled various positions on your growing team. Please discuss how you built the team to fit into your culture and the roles that each member plays.
Lynn Abulhosn (LA): I oversee our corporate services team, which encompasses four different departments – marketing communications, human resources, IT and administration. As part of our growth, we hired a general manager to oversee our Denver portfolio. This was a key hire for us, and we really needed to find the right person, someone who had a strong operations background with experience managing a large portfolio in the Denver metro area to scale our operation as we grew. Plus, we had an executive assistant supporting our president that we promoted into a management role. In turn, we needed to hire for her position. We went to RETS to fill the position and found a fantastic candidate that ended up having a real estate background.
We passed the 200-employee mark earlier this year, and we employed RETS to find a human resources manager to support our growing team. For the sake of time, I asked RETS to expand its search beyond real estate to fill these two roles. However, using its extensive network of contacts, RETS found candidates in the real estate sector in a very timely manner. Ultimately, both hires came with real estate experience, which made a big difference!
With RETS’ help, we also hired financial analysts and a property manager.