NAI Affinity Celebrating 20 Years of Providing Commercial Real Estate Services
Fort Collins, CO - Affinity Real Estate Partners, Inc. d/b/a NAI Affinity (“Affinity”) has now been providing excellent results for its brokerage clients, investors, team members, and community for over 20 years. The company was founded in Loveland, CO, in November of 2003, by current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ryan Schaefer and former Chairman and Shareholder Nick Christensen.
“It has been an honor to serve our clients and investors these last 20 years, alongside some truly outstanding team members,” said Schaefer. “We never would have gotten to this point without the collective opportunities, leadership, collaboration, support, and grace afforded to us by our families, mentors, colleagues, consultants, government partners, clients, and investors.”
In 2008, five years after the company’s inception, Jake Hallauer joined the company, then known as Chrisland, Inc., as an Intern. Hallauer became a partner in 2014 and has held numerous positions, including his current role as President. When asked about his journey, Hallauer shared, “I have been very fortunate over the past 15 years to have found a career, and a company, which I am very passionate about and dedicated to. When I started as an Intern in 2008, I could see the potential the company had with the leadership of Ryan and Nick Christensen at the time. I am proud, honored, and grateful to have been a part of the success of this company over the past 15 years. This is truly a company where hard work, dedication, and excellence always rises to the top - I am living proof of that.”
And while Christensen has been gone from operations and ownership of the company for years, both Schaefer and Hallauer are grateful to him for the tremendous career opportunities he gave them, the real estate lessons he taught them, and his persistent focus on the details.
The company relocated its headquarters to Fort Collins, CO in 2011 and after acquiring Christensen’s remaining shares in December of 2017, Schaefer and Hallauer changed the name of the company in February of 2019 to Affinity Real Estate Partners, Inc. and affiliated with NAI Global, a Top 5 name in commercial real estate with over 300 offices worldwide and $20 billion in annual brokerage production. During this time, NAI Affinity would go on to increase its revenue over 3x and be named NAI Global’s 2021 Office of the Year, based on its performance, growth, leadership, and engagement within the NAI network.
“NAI Affinity is a great example of an office that engages with other NAI Offices as well as our corporate structure to grow its business and be a leader in its respective community,” said Jay Olshonsky, President and CEO of NAI Global. “With its well-run management team and professionals at every level of its organization, the firm is a valuable contributor to the NAI Global brand.”
Today, the Affinity Real Estate Partners family of companies includes NAI Affinity and Affinity Partners, LLC, a real estate investment and development company with a portfolio that has spanned across multiple western states from California to Kansas.
Some of the company’s more notable brokerage and consulting projects have included mixed-use master-planned communities such as the 542-acre 2534 community in Johnstown, Colorado (developed by Gerrard Development Co and Thompson Ranch Development Co) and approximately 600 acres of master-planned communities developed by CaliberCo, Inc. The company has also completed transactions with companies such as The Spanos Corporation, Crowne Partners, The Bailey Co, Swire Coca-Cola USA, High Country Beverage, United Properties, Kroger, PODS, Waterpik, Hensel Phelps, Rodelle, Midwest Engineering Systems, Hartford Homes, Journey Homes, SCHEELS All Sports, The Eye Center of Northern Colorado, Qdoba, and Elevated, Inc.
Steve Lauer, an award-winning restaurateur with numerous de novo restaurants including Simmer, Rally5, and Mas Fuegos in addition to being a multi-unit Qdoba, TCBY, and Subway franchisee, has trusted the Affinity team for over 15 years to complete numerous restaurant real estate transactions. When speaking about the Affinity team, Lauer shared that, “Ryan Schaefer and Jake Hallauer have been tremendous business partners, consultants, and site selection experts for us for the past ten-plus years. The team they have built has extensive knowledge of both the Northern Colorado region, as well as the national trends of real estate and new business that may soon make its way to the region. Ryan, Jake, and their team spend a considerable amount of time, money, and energy to understand the marketplace from every angle to give the most educated advice and guidance available in Northern Colorado.”
Lauer continued, “The area that I most respect and appreciate in my relationship with Ryan, Jake, and their team is the complete honesty and integrity every individual in the company provides. To know that not only do they have my best interests at heart, but they are doing it the right way, for the right reasons every time. Ryan and Jake treat my business and advice for business decisions and negotiations as seriously as if it were their own business. I wouldn't have wanted another company in Northern Colorado to represent my company.”
Gary Gerrard, Owner and Founder of Gerrard Companies, shared the following regarding his experience working with the Affinity team to bring the 2534 vision to life: “Ryan Schaefer and his team were retained by us early in the planning stages of 2534 for their unique qualifications as both commercial real estate brokers and consultants to advise us with the planning of our 500-acre master-planned community. Without their expert advice and knowledge of commercial real estate, 2534 would not be what it is today.” Schaefer noted, “The reciprocal is true. I don’t know what this company looks like without Gary Gerrard, Dale Boehner, and their partners and families giving us such a tremendous opportunity soon after starting the company. I’ll never forget it - we will always be grateful to them for that.”
The company’s affiliated development and investment entities acquired its first parcels of land in 2005, including land near the southeast corners of I-25 and US 34, which is now home to SCHEELS All Sports, Ethan Allen, Bank of Colorado, Cortland at 2534, and others. The company’s related development entities would go on to develop or lease multiple retail properties for tenants such as Bonefish Grill, Verizon Wireless, Qdoba Mexican Grill, and TCBY.
After divesting the last of its retail land and buildings in 2017, the company began capitalizing on its extensive apartment industry and market knowledge, gained from years of brokering apartment transactions, by expanding into investing in and developing Class A apartment communities across the Western United States, including Element 79 the Sacramento Business Journal’s 2021 suburban community of the year (in concert with brokerage client The Spanos Corporation, one of the largest privately-held developers of apartments in the U.S.). Presently, entities related to Affinity Partners, LLC, have over 720 apartment units in its Northern Colorado pipeline and portfolio, with additional growth on the horizon.
“The aspects of our investment and development business that I’m most proud of are: (1) we’ve helped create some safe, quality, fun, and environmentally friendly places for people to live, laugh, and love; and (2) across 18 years and dozens of projects our investors have always made money – none of our investments have lost money to date,” said Schaefer. He added “what I’m looking forward to is continuing to work alongside our partners, colleagues, and consultants to create high-quality, sustainably built, and much-needed attainable housing for hard-working individuals and families.”
Hallauer shared, “A tremendous amount of gratitude is owed to our amazing clients, investors, the Affinity team, and the communities we have had the opportunity to do business in. We are so thankful for all their support over the years, which has allowed us to build Affinity into what it is today. As cliché as it may sound, we truly wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what we have without such outstanding clients, investors, and the great work our team has done over the years and for that, we are forever grateful!”
Schaefer concluded, “As our careers have progressed and our company has grown, we’ve had some tremendous colleagues grow alongside us. It is a real privilege to collaborate and work with the outstanding team at NAI Affinity. I’m proud of them - their successes are greater than my own, and our next 20 years will be even better because of the winning attitudes, discipline, and excellence they bring to the table every day.”
More About NAI Affinity: NAI Affinity is a Northern Colorado-based commercial real estate brokerage, consulting, and investment / development company. Our team has deep knowledge in a wide breadth of project types including master-planned communities, single-family subdivisions, multi-family communities, mixed-use developments, industrial, medical, retail / restaurant, hospitality, mini-storage, and office properties. Our expertise, top-performing results, focus, drive, and advocacy differentiate us from our peers.