Alumni Highlight: Zachery Clements

March 23, 2015

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Ask Zachery Clements how he feels about his experience as a Runstad student and the answer is as compelling as it is easy: “Fortunate and grateful for the opportunity and the timing.”

Zach, now working with Dunn & Hobbes, a Seattle-based investor and developer of urban infill mixed-use projects, says the greatest value of being in the Runstad program was the regional real estate community exposure, support, and connections fostered by the folks at the Center (and beyond) — leading to one-on-one conversations with people to get advice, recommendations, and mentorship. Paying it forward, Zach says, “Nearly 100% of people that I’ve reached out to have responded and been willing to meet, talk and share. I’m trying my best to continue that practice.”

In fact, what surprised him the most was the sheer number and value of connections leading from the real estate community and Runstad support network. “There are too many to list or count, from instructors to colleagues to other RE professionals through various channels, including the mentorship structure within the program, as well as bringing those professionals in to instruct portions of classes.

“The experience enabled my dream,” Zach has said, “acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to operate, contribute and add value to those people and companies I’ve been lucky enough to work with.” While he fully acknowledges there remains much more to learn and do, he is enjoying the process and opportunities that have been presented to him.

With a background in environmental consulting, he initially approached the MSRE program with the idea that he’d be working for a smaller, urban infill development firm, to acquire and develop “brownfield” properties, and that is exactly what he’s doing. “I had the notion that I wanted to practice brownfield redevelopment, but didn’t have the skills to understand the financial and feasibility sides of the field. I had a few connections in my network at the time, but had no idea how to gain the skills I needed or where to go to get them.” He realized immediately he’d discovered what he was looking for when he found the Runstad program.

Working for Dunn & Hobbes, a Seattle-based investor and developer of urban infill mixed-use projects, presents a lot of challenges and opportunities to learn and grow and continue to hone his real estate skills. No day is like the last — Zach’s days are “fresh and exciting and fast-paced.”

“I would not have been able to do this without the dedication of everyone who is a part of the MSRE program. It gave me the opportunity to jump into this world and provide some value.”

Fine words, Zachery Clements.