Molly Hobin

Vice President

Arden Realty Inc.

Age: 34

Molly Hobin has been an up-and-comer since her 18th birthday, the legal age at which one can conduct a real estate transaction in California and the day she closed escrow on her grandmother's house.

Sixteen years later, Hobin is vice president in charge of leasing at Arden Realty Inc., the largest office landlord in Southern California. The real estate investment trust's portfolio includes 127 properties and totals more than 16.4 million square feet.

It's Hobin's job to market that space, approve lease transactions and hire people for Arden's rapidly growing staff.

"I've always known that I wanted to go into real estate," she said. In fact, she was born into the business; both her father and her grandfather were in commercial real estate. "I never considered other options," Hobin said.

She received her bachelor's degree in history at UCLA in 1985 and entered the industry at a time when the market was on fire. She started her career as a "runner" essentially an unpaid apprenticeship post at Grubb & Ellis Co.'s West L.A. office. She worked primarily on the landlord leasing side during her 12-year tenure there, rising to the position of vice president.

Then last April, a friend at Arden tipped her about the job opening at the company. At the time, the Beverly Hills REIT was less than one-third its current size.

"I didn't realize until I started working here how much I needed a change," Hobin said. Although she clocks in long hours as Arden keeps adding leases to its ever-growing portfolio, Hobin doesn't mind. "It's like a family here, and we all work crazy hours."

Hobin has no plans to leave Arden; she expects her career to grow along with the REIT.

"(Arden) has a ton of money to spend (to buy properties) and eventually we'll be forced to look outside of Southern California," she said. "I'll be taking on more responsibility as our reach expands."

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