CCIM Spotlight: Brand New Start
A CCIM helps down-on-their-luck parents find careers in real estate management.
When Lauri L. Greenblatt, CCIM, began her career as a
property manager, she sometimes faced the unpleasant choice of evicting
single-parent tenants who had fallen behind on their rent. Realizing how
difficult it was for these tenants to find housing in a heated market such as
San Diego, she responded by co-founding the REStart Program in 1998, an
all-volunteer organization that helps disadvantaged single parents train to
become residential managers, providing them with both housing and employment.
"We help them reclaim their lives by giving them a new start in real
estate," says Greenblatt, now president of Promus Management in San Diego.
Armed with her CCIM knowledge to help educate the
students, Greenblatt and her partners use their commercial real estate
expertise to guide students through an intense 10-week business training
program. The students then are placed in on-site internships and eventually
work with an employment coach to help with their job search. Most students go
on to be successful as residential managers and most of them also gain
self-confidence, Greenblatt says.
After being director of asset management at Insignia/EJG
for five years, Greenblatt started her own real estate company with a partner
in July 2001. Used to working at big companies, she found a huge culture shock
going out on her own, but her CCIM training proved helpful. "I took what I
already knew and crystallized it," she says. In particular, Greenblatt
found CCIM resources handy. She used STDBonline to put together business plans for her clients
when she no longer had access to the resources of a big company.
Currently, REStart and her own business life are starting
to come together. Recently Greenblatt worked with one of her first students on
a large class A business park in San
Diego's Sorrento Mesa area. She also finds that her
clients appreciate the fact that she uses her expertise for charity. Many of
her clients are private investors who also are involved in charity programs.
Greenblatt feels that CCIM training helped to round her
out as an individual and she has used the institute's tools to help her expand both
her business and the REStart Program. She has assisted in developing REStart
Programs in Orange County, Calif.,
northern California, and Michigan. She hopes to involve more of the
CCIM community and start programs in other locations as well.
Greenblatt enjoys giving back to the community and has
prompted other members of the San
Diego real estate community to get involved with
REStart by donating business clothes to students so they can dress
professionally for their interviews. Even though she acknowledges many
differences, Greenblatt feels a commonality with the students of the REStart
Program. "We all have certain issues in our lives that we need to respond
to," she says. "No matter where you are in your career, some days are
tougher than others, but you have to get up, get dressed, and keep going."