CPE’s Stars to Watch 2019: From Advertising to Property Management

Brianna McHenry traded the advertising industry for real estate more than a decade ago.

Brianna McHenry, 36

Portfolio Manager, RiverRock

Brianna McHenry, portfolio manager for RiverRock Real Estate Group, has switched from advertising to real estate, a field that, she says, keeps her engaged and interested. Image courtesy of RiverRock Real Estate
Brianna McHenry, portfolio manager for RiverRock Real Estate Group, has switched from advertising to real estate, a field that, she says, keeps her engaged and interested. Image courtesy of RiverRock Real Estate

Brianna McHenry traded the advertising industry for real estate more than a decade ago. This year, she celebrates 12 years with Newport Beach, Calif.-based RiverRock Real Estate Group, where she is responsible for 3.4 million square feet of office space.

“We have an amazing culture here. They have always supported my career and promoted me, giving me new challenges, keeping me interested and engaged,” McHenry said.

At RiverRock, McHenry has overseen properties in Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles and San Diego counties. In 2017 and 2018, she was part of the 25 candidates selected in the inaugural Next-Gen CPM Leaders program created by the Institute of Real Estate Management. Along with her Certified Property Management designation, in 2018, McHenry earned her Real Property Administrator designation through BOMI International. “These are two education goals that I’ve had for a while,” she said.

McHenry kind of fell into real estate. After experimenting with insurance sales, she listened to one of her friends who had been working in property management and suggested it was something she would enjoy. “My friend had a friend who was hiring a project coordinator at RiverRock and set up the interview for me, so I kind of just fell into it. It wasn’t something that I knew was a career path,” she remembered.

The different angles and facets of her work have kept her interested. “I’m always learning something new,” McHenry added. Her role involves close collaboration with architects, contractors, attorneys and, of course, tenants of the company’s office, retail and industrial properties. Staying up to date with all the various changes in codes and regulations is the biggest challenge that she faces. Going forward, McHenry wants to pass on her knowledge to the coming generation of property managers at RiverRock as a way to strengthen the company.

If She Wouldn’t be in Real Estate: She would be in the advertising business. “I really enjoyed the advertising industry, and that was something that I probably could have done for the long term,” she admitted. However, she is determined not to change her professional field again.

Her Mentors: RiverRock President Steve Core and Principal John Combs. “They’ve been great at exposing me to new things, and I’ve learned a lot from them. How they run RiverRock and the ethics that they uphold have been great examples for me.”

Advice For Someone Entering The Business: “Don’t just do the minimum. Put in the extra time and effort to get ahead, so that you can become indispensable to your company. Never stop learning and educating yourself.”

What Her Boss Says About Her: “Brianna is a rock-solid professional manager. I remember when she started entry level in the business and quickly earned the trust and respect of her clients and staff,” – John Combs, founder & principal, RiverRock Real Estate Group.

Meet the rest of CPE’s Stars to Watch for 2019—commercial real estate’s top young talent.