From Our Founder

National real estate enterprises rely on Terra. To hear it from the clients themselves, check out our Testimonials section. For information authored by Terra Search Partners, check out the Resources Library.

Matt's Articles

Leading Voices Podcast

Subscribe to “Leading Voices in Real Estate”, an informative podcast series hosted by Matt Slepin with leaders throughout the real estate world exploring their impact on our urban environments, their leadership journeys and lessons along the way.

Message from our Founder, Matt Slepin

We created Terra Search Partners in 2006 as a boutique search firm focused exclusively on the real estate business with an absolute focus on, and commitment to, exemplary work. Most everybody will claim that goal, so I want to sincerely articulate the meaning of this focus and the guiding principals and values of Terra Search Partners.
  • The senior professionals at Terra Search Partners come from the real estate business. We know the business. We understand the business. We understand the drivers. We care. This is our world and our clients are our long term peer group, so every assignment and indeed all interactions have long term consequence.
  • We treat every assignment and interaction as a building block for our business and reputation. So, the stakes are high.
  • Of course, our clients come first. But we work hard to treat our candidates and sources with that same level of respect. We work hard to communicate transparently and to provide meaning in interactions throughout our work including clients, candidates and sources.
  • How does search work? In the model search, we call a hundred people, we interview ten, the client interviews 4-6, and we finalize with one person. But it's rarely so cut and dry. Search more frequently follows the twists and turns that are inevitable when dealing in human endeavors. The twists and turns are where this firm shines and adds value.
  • “Search” goes much deeper for our clients (and for us) than just the placement. Search, particularly at the senior level, is an opportunity for a client to think deeply about their organization, team and structure and an opportunity for a view into competitors' approaches to the business. We work hard to help our clients "use" the search for these ancillary purposes. The work and relationship goes well beyond the timeframe of the search and even the next assignment - we strive to find ways to use our perspective and experience to help our clients improve their organizations.
  • Our work with candidates follows that same approach of finding opportunistic ancillary benefit in what are typically rote interactions. Our interviews typically take 90 minutes or more, so we really dig deep. We are curious interviewers and are always seeking broader knowledge and context. We try to use the intimate discussion with candidates to help them think through not only the position, but also the path of their careers.
  • We do not pull punches. We are known for our thoughtful assessments of candidates, our integrity, and our transparent and quick communication both to our clients and back to our candidates. We are consultants and advisors, not just brokers of talent.
  • Our team is exceptional. The team believes in the business and is proud of our work and approach. We give back - to our team, to the industry, and to our community.
  • We are dealmakers and business people, so we balance these lofty goals with a sense of urgency and get-the-job-done.

Through finding this extra meaning in the search process, we also find deeper meaning and satisfaction in our work.

At Terra, we like to say that search is a journey where the journey as well as the completion has deep benefits that are not to be wasted. We love this work and we welcome the opportunity to help you build your business.

Matt Slepin
Terra Search Founder and Managing Partner

The War for RE Talent

Growth in commercial real estate employment has resulted in a war for talent across the industry. And competition for skilled professionals is set to get worse, with fewer graduates entering the field.

David Funk of Cornell University and Matt Slepin of Terra Search Partners discuss careers and compensation, covering topics including:

  • How employers will increasingly look to longer-term incentives and “golden handcuffs” to retain employees; and
  • Why development, acquisitions and pros with “mission critical” skills are most in demand, particularly in the retail and multifamily sectors.

What the Skills Shortage Means for RE Pros!

A massive skills gap within commercial real estate sector means younger professionals will be promoted more quickly through the ranks, according to a PrivcapRE panel of experts. But David Funk of Cornell University and Matt Slepin of Terra Search Partners wonder if the next generation of leaders will have broad enough skills to run their companies? They tell PrivcapRE about:

  • How the skills gap is already putting pressure on base compensation and bonuses, with prospective employees able to negotiate in today’s “seller’s market”
  • Why undervalued fields, such as property management, could be the route to the C-suite with significantly fewer applicants per job.