In his own words: Property manager Garrett Hallenbeck
Name/title: Garrett Hallenbeck/Vice president and partner, Hallmark Investments
Number of years in this job: I have been at Hallmark since 2005
Years in this profession: 10
Education: I got an associate’s from Truckee Meadows Community College and then went to UNR. Criminal justice was my major. I made it about three quarters of the way before I gave up on it all.
Last book read: “American Psycho” by Bret Easton Ellis
Favorite flick: “Se7en”
What’s on your iPod: A lot of Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews.
Spouse, kids or pets: My wife is Carly, we have been married five years. She has an older son who is 11, and we have two girls, a three year old and almost a two-year-old.
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about Hallmark Investments and the duties of your position.
Hallenbeck: My dad opened this business in 1988. We specialize in commercial management, leasing and sales. We really strive in commercial property management, providing professional day-to-day management for owner investors. We have our niche, and we treat our clients well. I oversee the day-to-day management of my portfolio of properties, which includes commercial buildings, retail centers and commercial associations. I aid in the day-to-day management of the business, but that is more of my dad Mark’s focus.
NNBW: How did you get into this profession?
Hallenbeck: I got involved in commercial property management in 2003 with Grubb and Ellis. I started as a property manager. I worked there for two years then had a conversation with my father and he wanted me to come aboard and help expand Hallmark.
NNBW: Hallmark’s niche is the older Class B and C small office/commercial properties. How did you identify that area as the focus of your business?
Hallenbeck: It was more presented to us. We would get calls from owners, and many of them are mom-and-pops who saved enough money to buy a commercial building and thought they would manage it but determined they were in over their heads. They brought the business to us and we determined that there is a whole area, a whole market out there that may not be the most elegant or sought-after building but it still needs to be serviced. Everybody fights over the beautiful Double R/South Meadows properties, and no one wants the little stuff around the airport or built in the 1960s or ’70s.
NNBW: How did targeting that segment of the market help the company through the lean years of the late 2000s?
Hallenbeck: That has been our bread and butter. Most of our new business is referral-based, owners knowing other owners. That says a lot about what we are doing right. In the lean years we didn’t do a ton of leasing, but we were able to focus on our management abilities and better ourselves by continuing our education.
NNBW: You came here in 2005 to work with your father, Mark. You also work with your wife, Carly. What do you enjoy most about working with family?
Hallenbeck: There is a lot to it. It’s nice because we can all understand each other. But there are gray lines that are easily crossed between work relationship and home relationship. Mostly it’s nice because we get along and know each other very well so we know what to expect.
NNBW: What do you find to be the most challenging aspects of working with family, especially as you need to balance making tough business decisions that may go against what another family member might think?
Hallenbeck: I think that is the No. 1 problem you see with family businesses. My father has different ideas than I do. Typically we will throw ideas out, sit down and squash them out and see what avenue we want to pursue. But my father is nearing retirement, and I am kind of nearing my prime, and we both have different ideas for the business. Trying to iron that out can be hard — but we do it.
NNBW: Is this the career you had envisioned for yourself?
Hallenbeck: No. I originally wanted to be DEA — that was my lifelong goal. My parents knew a lot of police officers in town, and they kind of sat me down and focused me on what the true job description of a police officer rather than what you see on TV.
NNBW: What was your first job?
Hallenbeck: I worked for two years at Round Table Pizza in the back cooking pizzas. I actually learned a lot about customer service.
NNBW: What’s your dream job?
Hallenbeck: I would like to run a little resort bar on a beach somewhere. I think I could handle that.
NNBW: Have any advice for someone who wants to enter the commercial real estate profession?
Hallenbeck: If you want to go into the management side, this is my daily battle: every time that phone rings, it’s someone calling with an issue or concern. You need to pull your emotions out of it and realize that someone has a problem and they are calling you for help. My father tells me all the time, it’s not personal.
NNBW: What’s the most fun you have had on the job?
Hallenbeck: Meeting people and property tours. Doing the B & C class buildings, we get a ton of startups. It’s really cool when I am out there meeting someone, and you can see that it’s their first time getting into business and understanding what it is going to take and the struggles they will go through. I love to hear their dream and see their excitement. It’s a privilege to be a part of that process
NNBW: How do you spend your free time away from work?
Hallenbeck: Chasing the kids for the most part. In the summer we do a lot of camping and lake trips.
NNBW: What did you dream of becoming when you were a kid?
Hallenbeck: A police officer
NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you? Why or why not?
Hallenbeck: No. I would go insane. I’m goal driven and need something to get me out of bed
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like most about working/living here?
Hallenbeck: I was born and raised here, and I have a lot of connections and know a lot of people from growing up here. But the best thing about Reno is the four seasons. I am a huge fan of the four seasons. And with the lakes around here, you can do anything you want within 40 minutes’ drive. People don’t really know until they leave here how lucky they are.
To suggest a candidate for NNBW’s weekly question and answer column, look at our editorial calendar (http://apps.nnbw.com/utils/pdfs/9683736R.pdf) and contact reporter Rob Sabo at email@example.com or call 775-850-2146.
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