Corporate Training Blog

An Interview with Karen Halpert of VEREIT, Inc.

Karen Halpert VEREIT
Karen Halpert serves as Senior Vice President, Head of Property Management at VEREIT, Inc and is a guest presenter at the Fall 2017 Leadership Boot Camp.

In this role, she is responsible for maximizing the financial portfolio performance of VEREIT’s portfolio of retail, restaurant, anchored shopping center, office and industrial properties throughout the continental United States and Puerto Rico. Halpert oversees a team of 52 professionals who are responsible for the property management of VEREIT’s portfolio as well as the portfolio of each of the Cole REITs, consisting of more than 5,300 properties across 49 states.

Before joining VEREIT, Halpert held leadership positions in property management, asset management and leasing with Related Urban Management, RREEF Management Company, Cabot Industrial Trust and CB Richard Ellis.

An excerpt from an interview with Karen Halpert where she shares more about how she grew into her current role:

How did you get your start?

I graduated with a bachelors in Accounting from Arizona State University and moved to the east coast where I worked in Hartford for Aetna. I fell, quite accidentally, into real estate accounting in Aetna’s corporate leasing group. I honestly did not know that commercial real estate could be a career. After being there for 3 years, I moved back to Phoenix, where I found several other real estate companies looking for individuals with my experience. Currently, I have been in commercial real estate for more than 25 years and with VEREIT for 7 years. I joined VEREIT as the Director of Asset Management and was promoted to Senior Vice President within 2 years. I have been fortunate to have mentors and sponsors throughout my career who have been instrumental in my career success.

What leadership principles have you discovered and executed that have contributed to your success?

  • Manage relationships in all directions:  I learned quickly to manage up, down and sideways.
  • Challenges are opportunities to grow: I have been through several challenges and storms. They have helped me come out of the other side better than before.
  • Feedback is a gift: I pay attention to my faults and consider feedback as a gift. I am open to making changes. This has been a principle I have followed from early on.
  • Be strategic about your career goals: I believe in being strategic about my career goals and professional development. Create a personal game plan and be mentally open for new roles. Think about the next step. If you don’t see it happen, it won’t happen.
  • Give to receive: Take additional responsibilities whether it is personal or professional. You may not get new opportunities otherwise. At Arizona Commercial Real Estate Women (AZCREW), I had the opportunity to implement changes that brought visibility into my work.

What are you most proud of?

I am proud of the fact that I have a home life. I am very much a workaholic, but my family grounds me and helps me to be productive. I don’t find time to do everything for my son and have felt the guilt of not being able to be everywhere. I think I have made a strategic choice in selecting a partner who supports me.

What are your greatest failures?

I have, on several occasions, taken the chance to expand and learn new areas in property management by moving into new roles and sometimes those changes did not result in the best outcome (at that time). If I look back though, I wouldn’t change anything because each challenge gave me an opportunity to develop my professional and leadership capacity. When I joined VEREIT, I initially oversaw a portfolio of 1,100 properties and a 12-person team. Over time, the company has grown to almost 5,400 properties nationally and I now lead a 52-person team.

Karen Halpert will be presenting at the MCOR Leadership Boot Camp on October 12 on the topic of ‘Shaping Leadership Character’. To join this boot camp, or to get more details, click below.


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