As part of our series, CRE Future Leaders, we caught up with Bryan Rosenberg, a director in the Chicago office of HFF with more than eight years of experience in real estate and finance. His primary focus is office investment advisory across the Midwest United States. Throughout his career, Rosenberg has been involved in more than $5 billion in transactions.
Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up, where did you go to school?
I grew up in Solon, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland) and earned my undergraduate degree in finance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
When you were young, what did you aspire to be?
I didn’t have grand aspirations as a child but I was very much into building things. Blocks, forts, etc. I went through a phase when I was young where I loved watching cooking shows and thought I wanted to be a chef, but eventually I decided to follow in the path of others in my family and find a good product to sell.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I met Harvey and David Camins when they were looking for someone to help manage a portfolio of office and industrial assets and underwrite new acquisitions. They gave me my first shot in the industry and taught me the business from the ground up. I’m forever grateful for that opportunity.
Did you have a mentor who helped you get on your feet, or is there someone you turn to now for support?
I’ve been lucky to have several mentors along the way but my first call is usually to my brother, Dan. Everyone needs a mentor in their life who tells it like it is and gives you the advice you need, not the advice you want. He’s eight years my senior and has built a phenomenal career and reputation for himself, so I knew if I approached my career with a fraction of his passion and drive, I’d be just fine. That being said, I couldn’t be where I am today without the mentorship of my teammates at HFF. Jeff Bramson, Jaime Fink and Mark Katz, among others, taught me how to be a disciplined advisor to our clients and they continue to be a resource for me every day.
What does a day in the life of Bryan Rosenberg look like?
There’s no typical day, which is what I love about what we do. Practically speaking, I wake up around 5:30 am and walk our dog Hank (@hankeedoodle) around the West Loop. The work day is a mix of meetings, calls, property tours, etc., and at night I try to get home in time to cook dinner with my wife.
What do you like most about your job?
I really enjoy the strategy and process of making a deal and the people that are involved in doing so. The people are what set apart our industry from any other. I’ve been fortunate to interact with some of the best and brightest minds in our industry as clients and buyers and I am always able to learn something new from every interaction. I also enjoy mentoring the next generation of real estate talent and never turn down a request for a call or coffee date.
Looking to the future, what do you hope to achieve/work on that you haven’t already?
I hope to look back on my 30-year career and know I did everything I could do to help my clients achieve their goals.
How do you spend your time away from the office?
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, my wife, Danielle, our dog, Hank, and you can likely find me listening to a new podcast or audiobook whenever I’m on the go. I try to take the time to golf, ski, play basketball and cook when time allows.
What is your favorite place that you have traveled to? Where do you hope to go next?
Thailand was our last big trip and I highly recommend it. The culture, history and people were amazing. The food is out of this world and will ruin “American” Thai for you forever. There’s still a long bucket list of next trips to plan but nothing booked yet. South Africa and parts of South America top the list.