Kelli Walter has had one of the liveliest indoctrinations to a new role and company imaginable. Since joining Partners Capital last August—the investment arm of NAI Partners, one of the top 5 largest privately held and independently owned commercial real estate services firms in the state of Texas—as Senior Vice President of Asset Management, Kelli has played a critical leadership role in the following:
- The rebrand to Partners Capital from the NAI Investment Fund this past fall;
- The implementation of new technologies and processes to drive efficiency and speed;
- The acquisition of The Trails at 620 retail property in Austin, Texas and subsequent election to lead the board of the Trails Condo Associations, spearheading nearly half a million dollars in property-wide improvements;
- The acquisition of retail center Blanco Crossing in San Antonio, Texas;
- The launch of Partners Investment Fund IV, the entity’s fourth commercial real estate investment vehicle;
- The sale of Spring Park Village in Spring, Texas;
- The increase in occupancy of Partners Capital’s Clear Lake Business Park, which has jumped from 70% leased to 90% leased since Kelli’s first day on the job;
- The dramatic increase in leasing velocity at Partners Capital’s recently renovated 11301 Fallbrook medical office building property, which has seen occupancy jump by 33%, while also being part of a three-woman team overseeing all aspects of the building, including the asset management, leasing and property management—a unique occurrence in the commercial real estate industry; and,
- The sale of Marymont Office Park in San Antonio.
Not only has Kelli led these initiatives with aplomb, but she has done so amidst the continued uncertainty of a global pandemic. Among Kelli’s many leadership strengths is her situational awareness, with a keen ability to recognize that circumstances can quickly evolve—not just on a daily, but even hourly basis—and adjusting course as needed. This core competency ensures her tenants, vendors, and colleagues all have the right tools and processes in place and comprehensive strategies implemented to work in lockstep. Kelli’s client-oriented approach ensures her team is continuously meeting the needs of their customers, leaving no stone unturned in providing meticulous, industry-leading solutions.
We recently sat down with Kelli to learn some of the secrets to her success.
Fast Company magazine often asks its subjects in features like “Secrets of the Most Productive People” questions along the lines of how they begin their days. Are you a wake-up-at-4:30-a.m.-and-start-sending-emails-first-thing-before-you-even-get-out-of-bed type? Do you give yourself a moment to breathe before attacking your day? Take us through your daily morning routine.
“I’m an early riser! I am usually up by 5:30 a.m. and start my day with a workout, ranging from pure cardio to weight training, a mix of both or even stretching. One thing I’ve learned the last couple of years is that your body tells you what it wants. Some days I need to really burn it out in the mornings; some days, I know I’m better served doing stretching or yoga. The key for me is movement to start my day. Mornings that I don’t work out during the week, I’m food prepping dinner for that night. That has also been key for my family – by the time we get home, we don’t feel like cooking, so already having dinner prepared is critical for us. Right before I walk out the door every day I enjoy a single shot espresso macchiato. It’s my little daily pleasure that reminds me to savor the moment and slow back down before I launch into the rest of my day.”
Do you have any recent books or favorite podcasts you’d recommend?
“Oh man – I love to read! One of my favorites is Never Split the Difference, a negotiations book by Chris Voss. I also love reading stories or biographies about powerful, impactful women. I just finished Conversations with RBG, which taught me so much about the interactions between our branches of government, and also illustrated what drove her as a judge and litigator. A few other favorites have been Clementine (about Clementine Churchill), Chanel’s Riviera (about the life of Coco Chanel), The Widow Clicquot (the female grand dame behind the Clicquot champagne house), and Own It by Sallie Krawcheck. I love to read for fun too, particularly period fiction novels set in the first half of the 20th century. Favorite podcasts… ‘Absolutely Not with Heather McMahan.’ You’ll laugh until you cry. Lastly – ‘MASTERCLASS’! We’ve had Masterclass for going on two years now, and it just gets better and better with time as they add new topics and professionals to their library. My favorite Masterclasses have been Chris Hatfield, about being an astronaut, and Bob Iger’s on running Disney.”
What’s a recent tech find or life hack you’ve discovered that you now can’t live without?
“Professionally – Asana is the greatest tech organizational tool out there! It is what keeps me and my teams organized, productive and focused on the right things. Personally – Hungry Root is a recent life hack. It’s a meal delivery service, similar to Blue Apron except the meals are much faster to make and focus on healthy ingredients. My husband and I love to eat and cook – but during the week, cooking is just so tough! Hungry Root has allowed us to continue to cook and eat well but saves us a lot of time in the kitchen (in the morning or at night).”
What’s your experience been like since joining Partners Capital (the investment arm of NAI Partners) as Senior Vice President of Asset Management?
“The phrase ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ is the embodiment of my last 7 months. I can’t believe it’s been that long; I can’t believe how much I’ve learned; and I can’t believe how much fun I’ve had doing it. The experience has been truly one of a kind in terms of the people I have the pleasure of working with every day, the exciting work itself that we have the opportunity to do, and the deep feeling of support that I have in this organization. We are on a rocket ship to space!”