Lorenzo Berho '07 (MSRE)

MSRE Alum Speaks the "Language" of Real Estate in San Diego-Tijuana Region

Lorenzo Berho '07 (MSRE) Refreshed from a 12-day sailing expedition across the Pacific Ocean and poised with a new diploma on his office wall, Lorenzo Berho is ready to make a difference in the business community of the San Diego-Tijuana border region. Having just graduated in July from the Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) program at USD, Berho sees industrial real estate as his ticket to promote the economic development and growth of foreign investment in Mexico. Growing up in Mexico City, Berho has first-hand knowledge of business practices in the country. He believes that great opportunities await those who are willing to adopt more global standards of doing business. "Mexico plays an important role in the global business markets," he says "but there are a lot of issues that need to change and can be improved upon."

Berho and his associates at Corporacion Inmobiliaria Vesta (Vesta), are working hard to make it easier for foreign investment to enter Mexico. Berho is pushing the Mexican business community to adopt more international standards of business, standards he knows are essential for local and international business success. Currently an acquisition and development manager at Vesta, Berho joined the company in 2003 as an asset manager. Vesta, which specializes in industrial real estate, currently employs 16 employees and has operations at three offices throughout Mexico. While the size of the company's operations may be small, Berho feels that the impact of his work is far-reaching. "I really feel that working in industrial real estate in Mexico, you are part of the economic growth of the country," he says. "You are working for the country, for the future of the country."

Part of the challenge of Berho's job is to find foreign investment to fund Vesta's industrial real estate development projects and stimulate the economic growth of Mexico. He also plays a key role in convincing international organizations to bring their manufacturing and distribution operations to Mexico. To do so, he travels extensively throughout the United States and Mexico, managing projects and building relationships with Vesta's partners. Part of the appeal of the MSRE program for Berho was its geographical proximity to Vesta's Tijuana office and the offices of some of Vesta's partner companies in San Diego and the Bay Area.

In addition to the draw of its location, Berho's main reason for joining the MSRE program was to become a better link between American and Mexican business cultures. To create a successful multi-national company, Berho knew he needed to "learn the language" of doing business in the United States. This included learning how to do business in the United States so that business communication and operations between Vesta and other international companies could run more smoothly. Berho knew he needed to bring international business practices to Mexico in order to increase investor confidence in the region. Berho hopes to bring his global perspective to a business community typically ruled by "tradition and consistency" and build Mexico's reputation as a legitimate investment opportunity.

While in the MSRE program, Berho worked part time at Vesta, applying the skills he was learning in the classroom to his day-to-day business activities. Berho's colleagues knew he was in the program, and he says they slowly started coming to him more and more for professional and business advice. They saw he was gaining real estate "experience and skills that not everyone in the company had," and began to rely on him heavily as a resource.

Even though he only recently graduated, Berho "misses the [MSRE] program already." He formed close ties with students not only from his own class, but with students from earlier MSRE classes as well. A small, tight-knit community, Berho says he still sees many of his MSRE classmates, and is working on setting up monthly social events for local alumni to catch up. In late September, Berho and several other MSRE alumni went on a bike trip from Rosarito to Ensenada, Mexico, the type of trip Berho says he loves planning. "I love to bring people to Mexico, to let them see Mexico from a different perspective" he says.