Matt founded Terra Search Partners in 2006 with the concept that retained executive search has the power to help clients beyond the job placement. The Terra Search approach has been to use search as a journey through which clients can look deeply at the structure of their organization, its place in the competitive landscape, and how strategic hiring can improve their business well into the future. Terra Search Partners became part of ZRG Partners in 2022 to help expand ZRG’s business in all aspects of the real estate sector. As such, Matt is the Global Co-Head of Real Estate for ZRG.
Matt is passionate about real estate and its role in the global economy. Since 2017, Matt has been the host of the podcast series, “Leading Voices in Real Estate,” where he has had conversations with leaders from throughout the real estate industry about their career journeys and the businesses that they run. The series offers insights into pathways to success and the difference that the real estate industry can make in the way that we live, work, and play and address matters like housing affordability, the carbon footprint of the built environment, and other challenges and opportunities of our built environment.
Matt and Terra Search’s client base spans all sectors and functional specialties of the real estate business. Clients include owners, operators, builders, real estate services companies, investment management firms, and property managers as well as ownership structures including REITs, family offices, nonprofits and government agencies, and investment advisors. With focus and depth in the industry, Matt and his team deeply value and respect relationships and partnerships, built for the long term with both clients and candidates so that they can serve as true advisors within the industry.
Prior to forming Terra Search, Matt was a Partner with the global executive search firms Heidrick & Struggles as well as Ferguson Partners. Before entering the field of executive search in 1998, Matt held leadership, management and functional roles within the real estate industry for more than 20 years. He was founder and executive director of the Multifamily Housing Institute in Washington, D.C., and also worked in key development, advocacy and finance positions. Prior roles included the National Housing Partnership (developing and acquiring housing for seniors) and the Resolution Trust Corporation (helping lead the RTC’s affordable housing program). Additional real estate expertise comes from his time with NV Commercial, a Northern Virginia-based commercial property company, and Reilly Mortgage, which is now part of Wells Fargo Mortgage, one of the country’s leading apartment lenders.
Matt is a founding Board member and past chair of ExtraFood.org, a Marin County based food recovery organization. He is a member of the Advisory Board of CAPREIT, a multifamily owner-operator based in Rockville, MD. He is a Governor of the Urban Land Institute Foundation, a member of the Board of ULI’s San Francisco District Council and a member of the Multifamily Product Council. Matt is past Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Home of San Francisco, one of the largest skilled nursing homes in California. He is also a participant on the Policy Advisory Board of the Fisher Center for Real Estate at the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. He is a supporter of ExtraFood, Oberlin College, Mercy Housing, the Jewish Home of San Francisco, and other charitable organizations.
Matt graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Oberlin College.
In the moments where Matt steps away from the industry, he explores Sonoma County on his road bike, picks at his guitar, and spends time with his wife, Diane Olmstead, and their daughters, Sarah and Cali, and granddaughter, Isa.