Meet Jeffrey Hamann, the Jet-Setter Supporting Yardi Romania’s Matrix Research Department
Born and raised in Peoria, Illinois, Jeffrey Hamann has traveled the world in search of adventure, professional development and finally, peace. He’s been a student, a human resources manager, a kindergarten teacher, a volunteer, a musical street performer in the UK and a real estate market analyst. Since June 2016, he is one of the valuable members of the DOMS Commercial Conduit team, part of our Matrix Research Department, that plays a key role in maintaining a strong relationship with developers, brokers and property managers. He’s traveled to more than 40 countries, but decided to settle in Cluj-Napoca (at least for now). Here’s more about his amazing experience so far, his plans and most significant achievements.
From outside, you look like a globetrotter. How many countries have you lived in so far and which did you enjoy most?
I’ve lived in six countries (seven, depending on how you qualify it)—the US, Japan, the Czech Republic, the UK (both England and Wales), Thailand and Romania. It’s really an impossible question to answer which one I enjoyed the most. Every country—every region, even—offers different experiences, cultures, opportunities and challenges.
What do you do as a member of the DOMS Commercial Conduit team? How did you adjust to the challenges of an office job?
On the Conduit team, I am one of a small number of people tasked with researching and following buildings in the development pipeline—that is, buildings which have not been completed yet. This includes a broad range of properties, from buildings still in the conceptual phases to properties nearing completion. As a member of the Conduit team, I check up on the properties and ensure we know what’s happening on-site. This gets done through in-depth research and relationship-building with property developers, project managers, and leasing brokers throughout the US.
Before I started my position with Yardi, I’ll admit I was slightly apprehensive about how I’d handle the change, coming from working in the not-for-profit sector. My feelings were unfounded, though, as I settled right in, thanks to the help of a supportive management team and an outstanding group of colleagues.
Does your teaching experience help with your everyday work duties?
Absolutely, my prior experience as a teacher has helped with my current position. On the technical side of things, my understanding of the intricacies of the English language often enables me to serve as a resource for some of my colleagues. Beyond that, working as a teacher for a few years showed me that things very rarely go according to plan and it’s absolutely necessary to be flexible yet thorough on how you approach a problem. This lesson certainly fits much of what I encounter in my work on a daily basis.
Why did you decide to move to Romania after completing your studies?
After completing my master’s degree, I decided to move to Romania upon being offered a position with a local NGO, PATRIR, which collaborates with and provides expertise to organizations working in violence-affected regions of the world. Prior to the offer, I had been considering a move to one of a number of different regions, including Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Burma/Myanmar, but PATRIR seemed like the right fit to me, even if I didn’t know much about Romania at the time.
How has your work as a volunteer changed the way you think?
To be honest, I don’t know if it necessarily has. Before I moved to Romania to work with PATRIR, I had volunteered in the peace building sector for about two years, working with some fantastic organizations that operate around the globe. A quote from Margaret Mead has stuck with me through all of this, though, that I think is appropriate: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” I’d say my work through the years at NGOs has definitely led to me being a much more active citizen in every place I’ve called home, from the United Kingdom to Romania.
What kind of music did you perform on the streets of UK? Is it the same you enjoy listening to at home?
I generally play piano music that would be classified, I’d think, largely as “new age” or contemporary. I have a good number of songs in my repertoire, from artists like Ludovico Einaudi, Giovanni Allevi, Fabrizio Paterlini and Michelle McLaughlin. If you’d like to have a listen, I’ve uploaded my first CD to my SoundCloud account, where I actually just recorded and uploaded a song.
You have apparently settled here, but are there any chances to embrace other adventures at some point in the future?
Well, there’s always a chance! I’m certainly not ruling anything out, but now that I’ve really settled in to Romania, I don’t anticipate a change anytime in the near future, nor am I seeking one. Of course, my love for travel still persists, and I do intend to continue travelling as much as I’m able. Until this point, I’ve visited somewhere around 40 or so countries, so that leaves plenty of the world still unseen by my eyes.
If you had the chance to travel back in time, would you do exactly the same things you did so far?
I really don’t think I would change anything. I firmly believe that each event in my life, both fortunate and not, have led me to where I am today, and it’s a place where I’m happy and content.
No wonder Jeff feels like home here since Cluj-Napoca is the place where he fell in love and became the father of a (most likely) future adventurer, Victor Tiberiu Hamann (currently just mumbling about his travel plans since he is just a few months old).