Willits bend

Basalt-based The Romero Group manages 61 properties, including Willits Bend. Since its purchase of Beach Resource Management in 2016, the company has grown from 12 employees and 11 anchor management contracts to today’s 75 employees. In 2018, its investment arm purchased the Snowmass Mall for $28.5 million from Related Colorado.

Moises Reyes, 43, started working in an entry-level maintenance position at The Romero Group, (TRG) in 2015, when the company was founded.

A year later, he was promoted and today is the Maintenance Supervisor for the Group’s Mid-Valley team. Reyes is proud of his four-person team that manages 15 showcase properties, including parts of Willits Town Center consisting of the Market Street Lofts, Market Street Crossings, 110 Harris, and Alpine Bank. Nearby are Park Modern, Willits Bend, Willits Town Homes and the Pine Ridge Town Homes among other developments.

“I’m blessed to have gotten this job. They [TRG Founders] take care of their employees; they aren’t just thinking about themselves, they are sharing their success so that we also earn a good living,” says Reyes, who has also benefited from TRG’s educational support program.

Under the program, Reyes received his CPO certification [Certified Pool & Spa Operator], and is planning on earning his electrical certification this year. In four to five years, he’d like to move into a property management position, a goal that he’s confident he can realize with this company. 

‘Stay ahead of the issues’

Eric Pallares, 29, is the maintenance supervisor at the Snowmass Village Mall. Like Reyes, he worked his way up from an entry-level position to middle management, and now oversees a team of several employees.

“It can be a difficult job. You have to stay ahead of the issues, but we have a supportive team. I was initially nervous to take on more, but we learn from each other. It’s all about the leadership – they [leadership team] teach you to become a leader… and motivate you to get stuff done.”

Pallares has also taken part in TRG-supported education, and received his electrical, CPO and boiler certifications. He hopes to learn more about the property management side of the business, and ultimately would like to get his engineering degree from Colorado Mountain College.

Pallares says he embraces TRG core values. “I also care about my employees and want to see them grow.”

According to Dwayne Romero, President & CEO of TRG, employee growth and satisfaction are taken to heart.

He believes that this commitment has propelled the company’s rapid growth.

Romero’s formula for success is simple: Putting the strategies, systems and procedures in place to deliver on “the Group’s” values, and promote personal growth, education, upward mobility, employment satisfaction and “joy on the job.”

“The Group is engineered with the employee in mind. We put significant energy into understanding what motivates employees, and how to tap into personal ambition and fulfillment,” he says.

An asset and property management real estate investment company founded in late 2015, the Romero Group includes President & CEO Dwayne Romero and partners Jim Korpela, COO, Sean Gleason, CFO and Jerome Simecek, VP of Operations.

“We create a career trajectory, and promote personal growth and development that helps us recruit and retain the best people. We’re focused on growing the company, not our client list,” Romero says.

Romero explains that “new business has come because of TRG’s talented staff and their commitment. This defines who we are.”

He adds, “Yes, we are an asset and property management company, but we like to think of ourselves as a career-building center. We need to provide ultra high-quality service, and that means attracting and retaining super high-quality employees. We celebrate vertical ascension, personal drive and ambition. We want people to grow their own brand – it’s human nature to find satisfaction, joy and achievement. We are laser focused on empowering staff to do their jobs well and without headaches – which is a lot harder than it sounds,” he says.

According to Romero, managing a growing number of properties, and serving 61 community boards is “not always a sexy job, it’s tough and demanding.”

Education benefit gets used

Bob Rugile, a former property manager with the Group, agrees that property management is very challenging, and entails handling different situations professionally and efficiently, from unexpected water emergencies, to a fist fight at an HOA board meeting.

Rugile and Romero’s clients credit the Group’s success to charismatic leadership. “Dwayne is the real deal – the guy really cares; and Jerome really knows how to handle any situation.” Rugile adds: “There is a deep mutual respect among team members. It’s a special group of people, for sure.”

Romero seeks to hire its staff from the Valley, and has adopted an internal referral program to realize this goal. Employees are encouraged to refer potential hires, including family members. If the referral is hired, the referrer gets $300. If the referral survives 90 days, then the referrer receives another $300.

“Many of our new hires come through the employee referral program. It works – everyone wants to refer people whom they can count on. Both my wife and sister were hired through the referral program,” says Reyes.

According to Romero, approximately 50 percent of the TRG team was recruited through the referral system, and close to 50 percent are Latino residents, many of whom are working their way up the ranks as they develop valuable technical, organizational and management skills. In order to retain the best and brightest, Romero actively promotes employees’ career development.

TRG provides tuition reimbursement to employees pursuing formal or vocational training and earn a “B” or better. As a result of the education benefit, numerous employees have risen from entry-level positions to key accountants, and human resources and maintenance managers.

“We don’t pretend to have cracked the code – it is definitely a work in progress and we make mistakes, but we’re committed to our employees and to what we do,” explains Romero.

Romero plans on growing the property management and real estate investment lines of business from Basalt.

“We’re planning more investment, but this is not a shake and bake, quick gig … it’s a measured and methodic growth plan,” he says.