Interview With Viet Ha Do, CEO Of The Habringer Group

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Viet Ha Do currently serves as the CEO and Chairman of Tennessee-based real estate investment and advisory company, Habringer Group, Inc.

Viet Ha Do graduated from SUNY Geneseo with cum laude distinction and earned her MBA from NYU Stern School of Business before she began her professional career at Merrill Lynch. She worked for several investment firms on Wall Street before she shifted her focus to the real estate sector.

It was in 2009 that Viet Ha Do became involved with real estate investing and management focused on multi-family residential assets. In November of 2013, Viet Ha Do joined forces with a seasoned real estate investor, Paul Folkes, to create the Habringer Group, Inc. The company is focused on identifying and investing in underperforming multi-family and commercial real estate assets located throughout the Mid-South region of the United States.

While initially headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, the company moved its headquarters to Memphis in 2016. The Habringer Group, Inc. is primarily active in the Mid-South real estate market but maintains strong ties with its NYC roots and international partners.

Throughout her career, Viet Ha Do has played a central role in value-add processes by bringing superior organizational skills, attention to detail, and a positive attitude to daily work. She does not rest when a real estate project’s goals are met. Instead, she seeks new and innovative ways to continually improve day to day management of multifamily and commercial investment properties.

Viet Ha Do continuously seeks out new real estate projects where she can apply her experience from the financial sector and 12 years of wide-ranging experience in multi-family real estate investment, management, and development.

We sat down with Viet Ha Do who spoke to us about everything from the worst job she ever had to a skill she taught herself.

Q: What are you most excited about?

A: After the recent successful disposition of our core long-term investment properties, I am excited about being able to broaden our area of expertise by undertaking some non-core projects.

Up until now, my primary focus has been on multi-family assets acquisitions, restructuring, renovations, and property management. Currently, the portfolio consists of vacant parcels of land and commercial properties which we are working on developing.

While it is still real estate, it is a relatively new field to us, which presents challenges, but also great opportunities. I look forward to forming new partnerships with various city and county agencies to partner up on certain aspects of these developments.

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Q: What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

A: I was interning at a financial services company during college when this greatly promising job turned into a major disappointment when my direct supervisor retired. I was reassigned to work directly under the company’s COO, who unfortunately was so busy with her work that she was uninterested in supervising an intern.

I oftentimes spent many hours per week just idling and not having much to do, until I befriended a few associates in the operations department who not only took on my offer of helping them but also enjoyed spending time with me.

From this experience, I learned how important it is to not only establish amicable relationships with coworkers but also not to be deterred when good things fall apart, because better things may be waiting around the corner.

Q: Tell us about a skill you taught yourself. How did you go about learning?

A: I taught myself Advanced Excel software skills. I took a number of courses and spent countless hours “hands-on” learning many aspects of the software.

Most executives nowadays delegate all work on projections and modeling to analysts. However, this causes delays in decision-making, which can be very detrimental in this fast-paced business world we live in.

My ability to work with Excel quickly and very efficiently gives me an edge in timeliness and quality of decision-making.

Q: What criteria do you use to decide what to do yourself and what to delegate to others?

A: I utilize Eisenhower’s decision-making matrix rigorously for this purpose.

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Q: How do you manage the stress of all the things you are not able to complete?

A: I try to pick my battles wisely and prioritize at all times. There is no point sweating the “small stuff” and so long as only small stuff remains unaccomplished at the end of the day, I am at peace with it.

Q: Please share a quote that has been most meaningful to you?

A: “When you really want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist