CategoriesAbout Geyser

Employee Spotlight: Meet Geyser’s Development Associate, Zach Counts

This month’s spotlight features our Development Associate, Zach Counts. Zach’s experience in the Navy and real estate brings a disciplined perspective to Geyser. We are excited to have Zach on the team and love his hard work and dedication. Get to know Zach, his experience, and what he enjoys outside work. 

Experience 

Originally from St. Charles, Missouri, Zach joined the Navy out of high school and spent nine years on active duty. 

“I was drawn to the military and intrigued by SEALs. So I enlisted in the military, went to BUD/s (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL), joined the Teams (SEAL Teams), separated from active duty in 2014 after nine years of service, and have been a reservist since.”

“I’ve had some truly remarkable experiences in my service, some great, some terrible, but I’m truly grateful for all of them and grateful to those that served alongside me. Those that are still here and those that have left this world. They have shaped who I am today.” 

Following his military career, Zach attended the McCombs School of Business. 

“I decided I wanted to go to McCombs before my time on active duty ended. So I reached out to McCombs, and they told me that since I didn’t go to school in Texas, didn’t have an SAT/ACT score, and I hadn’t been in school for a while, my best option would be to attend ACC and get a 4.0.”

“I achieved my 4.0 at ACC, got into the McCombs School of Business, and graduated with a degree in Finance. I didn’t want a typical finance job, and corporate didn’t appeal to me. I was intrigued with real estate development, the changing dynamics of every deal and project, the problem-solving that is needed, the cross-discipline teamwork, and things that went beyond just finance appealed to me. So I befriended a professor from a real estate finance class, who introduced me to the area’s developers. My real estate career began as an intern at a local real estate firm, and I fell in love with real estate. Eventually, I connected with Julie Jumonville, one of Geyser’s founding partners, and interviewed with the entire team. From there, I started my role at Geyser and could not be happier.”

What is the Biggest Takeaway from your Time in the Navy? 

“There are two. The first is the importance of teamwork and along with that teamwork effective communication. The reason the Teams (SEAL Teams) are considered elite isn’t necessarily because of each individual, it is not to say that each individual isn’t extraordinary, but as a team, we are one of the most highly functioning and effective organizations on this planet. The second piece, communication, fits so easily into teamwork. Arguably, one of the skill sets that sets us apart is the fact that we communicate so well.”

How has Transitioning into Real Estate Benefitted you Professionally?

“Well, for starters, I wanted to stay in Austin, and the real estate market here is phenomenal. My time in Austin real estate has allowed me to grow my family, and I don’t see the market slowing down anytime soon. I feel accomplished knowing I have the job security to care for my family.”  

What Have Been your Biggest Takeaways Working at Geyser?

“There are two big things that I love about Geyser. Not surprisingly they coincide with my takeaways from my service. The first is team camaraderie. There have been places I have worked where I haven’t had a team that uplifts one another, and it has proven to be very beneficial. The pooled mindset of experience allows you to grow through others’ experiences. Geyser hires knowledgeable people, and each employee brings a different perspective you can learn from. Secondly, the communication piece of Geyser is fantastic. The up and down chain of command constantly pushes information through our channels, allowing us to be informed on things we may need to know in the future. Even if you are not working on that specific project, you still get a complete understanding of what is going on in the business from all sides. Very transparent communication.”

Personal Life 

Outside of work, Zach enjoys spending time with his family outdoors. Zach is family-oriented and takes an annual trip to Anna Maria Islands in Florida. He hopes that his kids will continue this tradition for years to come. 

“I used to practice Jujitsu and Muay Thai, but I don’t have time now with three kids. I still try to train, but I will find time for it again. Visiting family is a big part of my life. We visit my wife’s family in Rochester and take a Florida vacation with my side every year.”

We are very fortunate to have Zach on the Geyser Team and look forward to growing professionally alongside him for the foreseeable future. 

If you want to check out our other Employee Spotlight featuring Geyser’s Head of Finance, Tomas Arellano, click here

CategoriesAbout Geyser

Geyser’s Austin Team Builder 2022

The Geyser team got together two weeks ago in Austin for our annual team builder, and it couldn’t have gone any better! We believe that our team of hardworking, passionate, and driven individuals is what sets us apart from the pack. The team builder consisted of presentations from each team member, a book club discussion, and some time on Lake Travis. Here is a summary of Geyser’s Austin Team Builder 2022. 

Day One: Leadership Team Building 

Monday started with a leadership team builder where the executive team went through critical drivers of our success, what we learned throughout 2022, and what the future of The Geyser Group will look like. Throughout the day, we realized that our team plays an integral role in our success. Our team comes from very diverse backgrounds, and each employee brings a different set of skills to the table. Overall, we are very grateful for our employees and their dedication to making Geyser a powerhouse Commercial Real Estate and Investment firm. 

Day Two: Company Team Building (On Lake Travis) 

Tuesday started in the office with numerous discussions about the potential for growth moving into 2023, and ended with an afternoon on Lake Travis. Our newest Financial Analyst Intern, Reece Jumonville, gave the team a “Wake Surfing 101” lesson and we were off to the races. Check out the video of Reece showing us how it’s done! 

Day Three: Team Presentations, Crucial Conversations, and Finishing 2022 Strong

Wednesday, our final team building day, was stacked with team wide-presentations and a book club discussing Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler‘s book, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High. Our team discussed everything from the state of the market to, acquisition strategy, capital markets, marketing, and sustainability across all future projects. The presentations were very beneficial in getting everyone on the same page, and allowed for a free-flow of discussion and feedback. As a team, we learned more about each other’s goals for their department and what we are all are doing to work towards those goals. 

Crucial Conversations 

Part of the team builder consisted of having an open conversation about the book, Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High. The book gives excellent advice and tools to help improve communication in all aspects of life. The team’s main takeaway was that in order to make smart, efficient decisions, we must utilize our shared pool of meaning. For context, the shared pool of meaning is defined as “drawing on the opinions, feelings, and experiences of two or more people.” It is very crucial for every business, no matter the industry, to know how to have a meaningful conversation that gives both parties resolution and clear next steps. In our eyes, having everyone on the team come together and work through problems yields the best solutions.

So, What’s Next? 

As we enter Q3, Geyser has identified key opportunities that will aid us in our continued commitment to discipline for our limited partners, general partners, and overall investor base. We develop where we live, and creating opportunities for new developments in Central Texas is something that we take pride in. Geyser’s Austin Team Builder 2022 could not have gone any better! 

Want to see what’s coming? Join our mailing list at the bottom of our Investor page here

Are you interested in our ongoing projects? Take a look at our portfolio here

Tomas Arellano
CategoriesAbout Geyser

Employee Spotlight: Meet the New Head of Finance, Tomas Arellano

This month’s Employee Spotlight features our new Head of Finance, Tomas Arellano; happy first week! Tomas’ experience in various real estate finance and accounting roles gives him a well equipped kit to bring amazing value to Geyser. We are extremely excited to have Tomas join the team. Get to know Tomas, his experience, and what he likes to do outside of work. 

Experience

Tomas Arellano is an Austin native that has been a part of the real estate industry for the past ten years. With a background in finance, accounting, and management, Tomas brings an abundance of experience to the table. 

“I have a lot of transaction experience. I’ve seen it from inception, through development, to disposition; I believe my experience will lead me to success. Just starting, I really like how Geyser approaches opportunities. Most companies find a niche but I think Geyser positions themselves as an all around alternative.”

What Would You Say Is Your Biggest Takeaway From Your Past Experiences?

“Integrity is important when you are working on behalf of partners and investors because you are doing things for them. If you are doing right by them, the relationships will grow and, eventually, equate to more investors. At the end of the day, being open and honest with the relationships that you build from those parties yields the greatest success and creates a long term strategy.”

How Have You Seen The Real Estate Market Change Overtime? 

“I think, compared to a few years ago, people view it as a stable wealth preservation option. It’s becoming more popular as an investment strategy, and the tech market has created a lot of capital wanting to invest in real estate. Investors are looking for a long term hold strategy and the flux of the market is causing people to explore real estate as an investment 

What Are You Most Looking Forward to In Your New Role?

“I am looking forward to having a leadership role in finance and being present in those strategic conversations. I felt like this opportunity was a natural progression in my career. Meeting the team, everyone seems very sharp and down to earth. It’s great to have strong coworkers who are also approachable. I’ve only been here a week but everything is making sense. Very excited to get into it”  

Personal Life

Outside of work, Tomas enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, going to church, traveling, and being outside on the weekends. Tomas has a passion for training and teaching and loves mentoring and connecting with young professionals. One of his most memorable trips was to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

We are very excited to have Tomas come onboard, and Geyser is looking forward to learning and growing in parallel.

Welcome to the team Tomas! 

If you want to check out our other Employee Spotlight on Managing Director, Todd Peoples, click here!

CategoriesAbout Geyser

Employee Spotlight: Questions with Managing Director Todd Peoples

This year, The Geyser Group wants to start highlighting the wonderful people that work at the firm. Starting today, Geyser will highlight a different employee each month. From young entrepreneurs to seasoned industry veterans, Geyser has a wide variety of talent and diversity. Check back every month to get to know one of our employees a little more! Our Employee Spotlight series aims to uplift the wonderful people here at Geyser. 

This month’s Employee Spotlight features Todd Peoples, a rock star member of the managing team. Todd came to The Geyser Group in early 2020 as a development manager and has been providing tremendous value ever since. We interviewed Todd to learn more about his role in the company, how he enjoys spending his free time, and his life motto. 

What Does Your Job Role Entail? 

As one of the three Managing Directors, I mainly focus on business development, acquisitions, and our conservation development thesis where we identify places that have unique landscapes and ecology and figure out what’s the minimal amount of development we need to do to preserve the landscape forever.  

What Brought You to Geyser? 

I love the idea of creating places for people to live, work, and play while doing it with a group of people that are passionate about doing meaningful work 

What Do You Like Most About Your Job? 

I love the relationship building aspect and bringing value to people’s lives through real estate. 

What is the Best Career Lesson you Have Learned so Far? 

Personally, I believe in long obedience in the same direction and professionally that translates to persisting to achieve the company’s goals based on shared values and ideas. 

How Do You Balance Your Career and Family? 

Keep my priorities straight. Faith and family come first and work comes second with the understanding that hard work is important to model for my family. I want to be there for the big things, understanding that I have to sacrifice the little things to provide, which requires a flexible work/life schedule which Geyser offers.

What Is Your Motto? 

I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.  I pulled this from one of my favorite authors, Bob Goff.

What Would You Be Doing as a Career if You Weren’t Doing This? 

I would love to be a doctor if it didn’t require me going back to school for 8 years. I think this stems from the fact that I like to help people personally and professionally.  Geyser allows me to do both!

What Do You Like to Do When You’re not Working? 

Spend time outdoors with my family 

What Three Words Best Describe You? 

Curious, Faithful, Persistent 

Where is Your Favorite Place in the World?

Yosemite National Park 

What is a Fun Fact About Yourself That People Might not Know?

I was a child actor. I played one of the orphans in The Problem Child. 

If you Could Meet Anyone in the World Dead or Alive, Who Would it be and Why?

Thomas Eddison because he was so persistent and determined to create the lightbulb among various other inventions and wasn’t afraid to fail.  

What is One Thing That You Can’t Live Without? 

I can’t live without my wife. She is my support system and anywhere with her is my happy place. 

Is There Anything That You Want to Experience/Try That You Haven’t Yet? 

I would like to try rock climbing at some point 

Check back each month to learn more about our employees in our Employee Spotlight series!  If you are interested in our ongoing projects check out our portfolio here