Cresa Employee Spotlight: Rachel Trice

Cresa is committed to building an inclusive workplace that encourages, supports, and celebrates the diverse voices of our employees. Our employee spotlight series gives our team members the opportunity to share their unique experience.

Rachel Trice is a Senior Vice President, Finance in Cresa’s Denver office. With a background in consulting and banking, Rachel brings analytical thinking, structured problem solving and corporate finance experience to Cresa. As a corporate finance advisor for the company, she analyzes the financial impact of real estate assets to a company’s bottom line emphasizing planning based on business strategy, flexibility, cost savings and value. Rachel has been with Cresa for 15 years.

Rachel Trice

Left: Running with my brother and sister
Middle: Safari in Kenya with my husband and kids
Right: Hiking with my kids

How did you get into the industry?

I was born in the US, attended boarding school in Nairobi, Kenya, and came back to the US for college. Because my mother was on the committee for the TOEFL exam, we had insight into schools in the US including Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado where I received scholarships and studied Economics. After college, I joined Accenture for management consulting which mainly involved IT consulting. I was more interested in financial systems which led me to getting my MBA in Chicago in Finance and Accounting. I spent some time in banking where I was able to see all parts of banking including M&A activity. After my husband and I were married, we moved to Colorado where I found my role at Liberty Greenfield (via a Craigslist ad!), which eventually became part of Cresa.

What are some challenges you have encountered during your career and how did you overcome them?

There were some culture shock moments both in college, and then at times during my career. Based on my experience, I’ve found myself thrown into projects where I’ve thought, “Whoa this is outside of what I’ve done before.” What I’ve learned throughout my career is you have resources all around you, and you just need to tap into them. You might not have a project laid out step by step for you, and you might need to dig around, ask questions, and push to talk to people to tap into resources that will help you figure it out.

Another challenge can be feeling like you have a voice. My work often involves working on other people’s projects. Sometimes, you have to sell yourself to others internally, toot your own horn, and articulate your value and show you are ready to show up. Cresa has helped push me to get comfortable with presentations and selling myself- it took a lot of practice and saying “Yes.”

Why are you passionate about what you do?

I am excited when I get to build something. For example, a new project has lots of hair on it, none of the software works for it, and you need to start from scratch to think about how you present the numbers and the stories to clients to have it make sense to them. I love the challenge of building something new that other people will benefit from.

Are there any projects or contributions to your local Cresa office, that you would like to share?

It’s rewarding to build forecasting models and see after 3 or 5 years we are right on target. This is true for some of the models for the Portland office, and Trimble. I enjoy working on the Trimble account. It feels like we are growing, moving, and changing in the organization as part of the company and we are personally involved.

Another cool project was for the United Space Alliance. This was a project that required a different perspective while dealing with government contracts. It was a very dynamic, detailed, and challenging project. We were able to do some cool things including touring their facilities and seeing a shuttle launch. Right around the end of the project was also when I had my first child so there’s a personal memory attached as well.

What organization(s) are you currently involved with?

I’m on the board of Third Future Schools, a charter School Network that has schools in Colorado and Texas.

In searching for schools for my kids, I was getting frustrated with the options available and the process to get into those schools. I was introduced to the CEO of the charter network, who spoke about schools who were teaching in different ways. It started as a way to take care of my family, but then I realized there are lot of people in my shoes who are having the same frustrations or experience. I love their mission to prepare kids for the future workplace, while meeting kids where they are and teaching them according to their learning style.

Being involved with Third Future Schools has taught me that leadership is critical for any organization or project. You have to have the right leader in place who understands not only how to get the work done, but can motivate people as well – to bring people along, hear their voice, but make sure it stays true the mission.

If anyone is looking to get involved, we are always looking for board members who are interested in education. Third Future is expanding throughout the nation so there will be opportunities wherever schools are location.

How do you think we can better promote DIB within the CRE industry?

This is a tough question. I’ve struggled thinking about this because it’s no mystery that this industry needs more diversity, but there are barriers that speak to the core of the business. I think compensation is a barrier and pay structures would need to be looked at for those coming into the industry from different backgrounds. Early in my career, one of my first meetings was at the top of a ski mountain and I’m thinking “I’m from Kenya---I don’t ski!” I’ve also faced being put on a project solely because I’m a person of color- we need to get away from that. Diversity efforts should be a natural evolution to this- as our clients become more and more diverse, we’ll need to start reflecting that. We’ve started having more conversations which is good, but doing more actionable hiring inside and even outside of brokerage roles will bring more diverse voices into the mix.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I’ve enjoyed my time at Cresa. People are genuinely interested in seeing you succeed. When I joined, real estate was a new industry for me, and the role was very different than I’d had before. My colleagues continue to be genuinely interested in seeing me succeed and in promoting my well-being. This makes for a great place to grow, collaborate, and test your boundaries.