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Viet Ha Do Shares Her Insights on Recent Trends and Their Effects on the Real Estate Industry

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Viet Ha Do Shares Her Insights on Recent Trends
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Viet Ha Do is currently the CEO and Chairman of Habringer Group, Inc, a Tennessee-based real estate investment and advisory company. She is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo with cum laude distinction and also has an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.

Viet Ha Do began her professional journey at Merrill Lynch, and worked for several investment firms on Wall Street, before transitioning to the real estate sector.

In 2009 she 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 form Habringer Group, Inc. Since its founding, Habringer Group focused its activities on identifying and investing in underperforming multi-family and commercial real estate assets located in the Mid-South region of the United States.

The company was initially headquartered in Midtown Manhattan. In 2016, headquarters were moved to Memphis, while retaining a presence in NYC until March 2020.

While active primarily in the Mid-South real estate market, the company maintains strong ties with its NYC roots and international investor 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 is constantly seeking 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 recently sat down with Viet Ha Do to discuss the effect COVID-19 and remote working are having on the real estate investment industry. She also shared with us the entrepreneurs who have inspired her from a young age.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I am not a one-woman show and I depend on my team to make things happen. I like to collaborate with my teammates on key projects as they have proven in the past to give valuable input for my decision-making process.

Talking over ideas, from their incubation through execution with others, creates a more full-spectrum process, and provides better opportunities to transform ideas into concrete actions.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

After relocating from NYC to Memphis, I was hit by the difference in the level of real estate development between these two cities. I was nervous about “committing” myself to the city by purchasing a personal residence as well as investing millions of dollars in real estate projects for the company.

However, over the past few years, Memphis has clearly gained very positive momentum. It has been a point of interest for many strategic investments and has been listed among the top investment destinations for many industries.

This is exhibited by the number of cranes and constructions vehicles currently deployed both in the downtown area and on the city outskirts. This is a very promising trend that only will reinforce the City of Memphis’s prominence and I am very excited about it both personally and professionally. 

How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact your business and what steps did you take in response?

Initially, the pandemic created a period of an uncertainty vacuum not only in our industry but throughout the economy.

Soon after, however, as a result of massive stimulus packages, our industry became a surprising economic benefactor of the pandemic overall.

How do you see the future of remote working affecting your business?

More and more functions in our line of work are already being handled by remote workers. This trend was already in place prior to the start of the pandemic but got a major boost over the past 18 months.

Remote working presents many unique benefits and challenges to both workers and businesses. Overall, I believe that this is a positive for our industry and it will only continue to gain in strength as time goes on.

How has the recent movement toward greater diversity and inclusion for minorities affected your business planning?

It is hard to find a more ethnically and racially diversified business than my organization. Out of nearly 100 staff members throughout all of our companies over the past eight years, the vast majority have been minorities and women. 

In that sense, one may say that we were way ahead of the curve and while we very much welcome seeing the recent movement aimed at increasing greater diversity and inclusion, I do not see how it changes anything in our particular business planning.

Who is the one entrepreneur to be your greatest example and inspiration?  Why?

My parents have provided me with entrepreneurial inspiration since my childhood years. They worked very hard to build a successful business in the garment industry with a strong presence on two different continents.

They were always able to find creative ways to overcome many obstacles along their way and did so with integrity. I could not help but become inspired watching them at work and working part-time in their business during my teen years.