Mechanical engineer tries hand at selling commercial real estate
There was a time she would wear steel-toed boots, safety glasses and sometimes a hard hat.
These days, Theresa Englbrecht, 49, has switched gears from her training as a mechanical engineer and works high-dollar deals selling commercial real estate in the Grand Valley.
“Every day is a little bit different,” Englbrecht said about working since 2006 as a licensed commercial real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Commercial. “It is cutthroat, but we all work together.”
With 18 years in the manufacturing realm, Englbrecht carries over some useful qualifications to her latest career. She can walk into a building and assess its steel structure. Deciphering blueprints is a breeze and she can quickly calculate the square footage of a building.
Playing the real estate game, especially during the recession, required a tactful approach. Companies looking to invest in land and infrastructure typically didn’t want to deal with a broker with loose lips, Englbrecht said. For that reason, she keeps her contacts close to the vest while deals are under way.
“Some of my clients don’t want me to say anything about them so I don’t,” she said. “If it hits the paper, I don’t comment.”
The tactic appears to work. Englbrecht said she had her most successful year in 2010. She was awarded the Rising Star honor in 2007 and named the top producer a year later, selling properties valued at $7 million.
Englbrecht graduated in 1986 from Northern Arizona University with a degree in mechanical engineering and soon moved to Denver where she landed a job with Ball Corp. She traveled for the company sometimes on lengthy business trips that took her to New York and Toronto. She married Tony and when the two had children, they decided to move to Grand Junction and settle into a slower pace of life.
Once in Grand Junction, Englbrecht found a job with the mining and manufacturing company Schauenburg Flexadux Corp., where she worked for the next 6½ years.
She and Tony have two children, a 17-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son, who both attend Fruita Monument High School.
Having patience as a broker is a necessity, Englbrecht said. Working hard showing properties and getting information to prospective clients, doesn’t always ensure a sale, but “you can’t take it personally,” she said. “It’s just business.”
Working with other commercial brokers is a must, she said.
“You share with your cohorts. You might as well get a deal rather than nothing at all,” she said.
Sid Squirrel, the top commercial real estate seller for Bray & Co. for more than a decade, said he enjoys working with Englbrecht. The handful of commercial brokers in Grand Junction have to work together, so it’s nice that Englbrecht is easy to get in touch with and quick to relay information, Squirrel said.
“Obviously we all work together when times are tough,” he said. “She’s knowledgeable and responsive. She works hard and has good integrity.”