A Q&A with Invalesco's Gilda Zaragoza

In honor of the opening of their new office on Broadway, Modern In Denver sat down with founder of Invalesco Real Estate, Gilda Zaragoza, to learn more about the new space and what innovation means to her.

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Q. Tell us a bit about your background. How did you get into realty and development?

A. After college in New York, I worked in finance at BlackRock and gained exposure to their real estate group. It piqued my interest, as it seemed so much more tangible than what I was doing in finance. When I moved back to Denver to be closer to my family, I worked for our hotel management business. I managed the day to day operations while handling maintenance headaches that only older commercial buildings can bring and positioned the hotels for their eventual sale.  This was my first foray into real estate and solidified my decision to make a full career transition. I then enrolled in the Real Estate & Construction Management graduate program at DU. While still in that program, I built my first duplex – it was really exciting to be able to apply my studies to a real world development project. After graduating and getting my real estate license, I realized that the brokerages where agents hang their licenses didn’t offer any support when it came to financing, land acquisition, or anything related to new construction and development.  I decided to found Invalesco Real Estate to fill this void in the market and offer brokers like me the support they need if they want to do more than just buy and sell properties.

Q. What is one aspect of Invalesco’s business practice that you’re particularly proud of?

A. Invalesco is unique in that we are focused on supporting brokers who also want to be part of the investment and development aspect of real estate. Every person on our team has development or construction experience, so they understand the process from beginning to end. We are constantly collaborating with our partners regarding land deals, working with city planning departments, real estate investing opportunities – anything involving real estate. Our team is also very active in the Denver Metro Home Builders Association (HBA). I am a founding board member of the Young Leaders Council, Chair of the 2020 Innovations Summit and one of our brokers is the Chair of the CARE Awards. Beyond our leadership positions, we simply enjoy being connected to everyone in the Denver real estate and homebuilding communities. We are growing with a strong team that has specific experience that will prove invaluable for their own projects and other clients we may represent as well.

Q. You recently relocated your office. What is it about the location that convinced you to move there?

A. We recently purchased and moved into an office that’s part of the new 1616 South retail and residential development near South Broadway and I-25. It was important for us to be in an emerging and vibrant area that mirrors the kinds of projects we like to do. The design takes cues from popular co-working spaces: an open and functional layout where our brokers and community partners can meet and get some work done as they move around town.

Q. In your communications, you frequently use the word “innovative” to describe Invalesco. How would you define that word and how it relates to what you’re doing as a company?

A. Most brokerages are focused only on transactions, so there isn’t much interaction among brokers and very little support for those interested in doing their own development projects. At Invalesco, we are committed to connecting all the different players in the real estate community – brokers, builders, trades, investors, banks, title companies, attorneys – so that each can learn from the other and partner on projects, even if we aren’t involved. Our THINKtank events are a great example of this. Every couple of months we host a free event over lunch and feature professionals in the Denver real estate community. We’ve hosted THINKtanks on legislative changes that affect multi-unit owners and developers, marketing and sales strategies for multi-unit projects, 1031 Exchanges, and  innovations in green building. Some offer continuing education credits, but most are simply topics that we think our community can learn from. And, we just really like hosting events.

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