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Bret Garwood

Bret Garwood

CEO, Home Leasing LLC

Years in current role: 6

What are the biggest challenges you see in your industry currently?

As someone who has been involved in community development and affordable housing for more than 25 years, the challenges recently in the implementation of this work are more substantial than I’ve experienced before. The crisis of affordable housing continues to grow, but addressing it in today’s environment has exacerbated the challenge with higher interest rates, higher costs, and the burden of increased complexity. Overall, it takes much more effort to accomplish the creation of new affordable homes than it did just a few years ago. However, there is an impressive group of people and organizations working to persevere through these challenges and make the changes needed.

What do you think are the biggest real estate and construction needs in Rochester?

There is a huge need for more housing and a wider variety of housing options, especially affordable housing, in our communities throughout the region. Addressing this need would help improve residents’ quality of life and allow existing businesses to grow. There is also a need to grow and train the workforce, especially in the construction trades.

How do you manage work/life balance?

Lately, I have not been doing this as well as I have in the past. I’m hopeful that the warm weather during the spring and summer will inspire me to do more of the things I enjoy outside of work, including seeing lots of music, spending time with family and friends, and setting aside time for the artwork I create, including achieving my goal of participating in a solo or small group art show.

This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 30 Real Estate & Construction list for 2023. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at