New at the top: George Herriage’s best move was getting into real estate

I was never stuck in a job that I didn’t have a passion about. My journey has been about finding what I love to do and doing it.

When I graduated from high school, I already knew that I wanted to work for my father’s real estate company. Two months after graduating high school, I got my real estate license.

I sold my very first house when I was 18.

I made a cold call to a couple that wanted to sell their own house, but when we talked, they decided they wanted me to represent them.

It was thrilling to put up our company sign there. I then asked the couple if I could keep that for-sale by owner sign. I brought it back in the office as a trophy. That was a moment I knew I belonged in real estate.

I did real estate in the Dallas area for nine and a half years.

My dad was the primary real estate broker for his area of Dallas for a larger relocation management company. I sold a couple of houses, and I really liked the model of corporate sellers rather than individual sellers.

I found it stimulating to be talking to people all across the country, whether it was a fast-talking New York City attorney or a laid-back real estate broker in Yazoo City, Miss. The experience gave me a really good overview of what the real estate industry was like outside the suburbs of Dallas, and I decided to focus my career in the relocation management arena.

Over the years, our business has changed. In the mid-90s, corporate America started outsourcing more and more of their relocation programs, such that a relocation management company today typically handles the entire relocation event for a client. We help them find temporary housing and process the expenses and back-end compliance. We help them move their household goods around the county.

A relocation company in the District offered my wife and I both jobs, and we have been here ever since. I worked for that company for 13 years, starting in an entry-level role in inventory and progressively moved up in the company to vice president of operations, doing about 3,000 transactions each year for government agencies.

I knew I wanted to grow in leadership to eventually run a relocation company. But I realized the missing ingredient for me was, not keeping clients happy, but getting new clients.

I took a job as a business development person at CapRelo when it was a startup. I went from a Fortune 100 company and being responsible for 100 people to being responsible for just myself. It couldn’t have been a better decision.

You don’t always have the resources that a big company might have, but it was absolutely essential to connect the dots of what a prospective client wants and needs in a relocation firm.

Today, we move 7,000 people around the world each year. And now I am thrilled to help embark on a quest to become a perfect third-party company.

— Interview with Vanessa Small

George Herriage

Position: Chief operating officer and executive vice president of CapRelo, an employee relocation management service based in Sterling.

Career highlights: Senior vice president, CapRelo; vice president operations, Associates Relocation Management.

Age: 55

Personal: Lives in Oakton with wife Laura. They have three grown children.

Vanessa Small covers philanthropy and nonprofits for Capital Business. She also spotlights newly appointed executives in the New at the Top column, which chronicles their journeys to the top. Small was raised in Orange County, Ca. and graduated from Howard University.
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