NAIOPWA Member Profile: McKenzie Darr, Development Manager, The Wolff Company

McKenzie Darr (The Wolff Company) is one of the current co-chairs of NAIOPWA's Real Estate Challenge Committee. In her capacity as a co-chair, she helped spearhead the 2020 Challenge, even as COVID-19 altered in-person presentation and competition judging. She has been recognized by her peers for her excellent leadership and dedication to the committee's educational efforts. We asked McKenzie about her work with Wolff, the REC Committee, and her love of live music.  

How would you describe your company’s primary work and scope?
The Wolff Company is a fully integrated real estate investment firm focused on multifamily investment and development. Since 2000, Wolff has invested in, acquired, or developed more than 150 multifamily assets and more than 35,000 multifamily units.
The Northwest Division based in Seattle is responsible for the investment and development of multifamily and senior housing communities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

How long have you been with your company?
I started with Wolff as an intern in January 2017 while pursuing my MS in Real Estate at the University of Washington. I started full time in January 2018.

What do you like best about your industry? 
I love how dynamic and impactful real estate is. Investment decisions respond to macroeconomic and sociopolitical trends, and each site has a unique context and different physical characteristics. Development requires thoughtful analysis and creative problem solving. Real estate is a very exciting industry, and it shapes our communities.

What motivated you to join NAIOP/Real Estate Challenge Committee?
I’m very passionate about education and love contributing to such an exceptional educational experience. The Real Estate Challenge is a development case competition in which students at three universities take on the role of developer. The Committee hosts a market tour and connects students with industry experts and market resources. Students craft a development proposal, and the Challenge culminates with students presenting to notable developers and investors, who name the winner. As a MSRE student at UW, development case competitions were one of the most valuable learning experiences I had because these competitions simulated the work I actually do now. I greatly enjoy providing that same opportunity for the next wave of young professionals.

What do you do for relaxation/recreation?
I love live music and went to 30 concerts last year! My friends joke that I’m always either at a concert or a real estate networking event. I’m looking forward to being able to go to both again soon.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your industry?
Build a professional network. Engaging with the real estate community will keep you informed on industry and market trends and enable you to find opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise. The NAIOPWA community is full of professionals that are incredibly accomplished and supportive of young professionals.
Joining a committee is a great way to start building connections.

What's an interesting or unusual fact that most of your fellow NAIOP colleagues probably don't know about you?
I’ve spent time traveling alone on five continents.

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