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A Day in the Life: 24 Hours With Hughes Marino VP Zach Millrood

Title: Vice President


Hughes Marino Office: San Diego, CA

Fun fact about Zach: Zach was a member of the Colorado State University Alpine Ski Team and used to drive a 1989 Ford Mustang through the Rockies to races on weekends (not the safest car in the snow).

Career bragging rights: Unlike many commercial real estate brokers, Zach has worked exclusively with tenants for his entire 15+-year career

Most rewarding aspect of his role with Hughes Marino: Helping California businesses and organizations grow and thrive (Read: Zach has a soft spot for helping nonprofits).

Hughes Marino Vice President Zach Millrood‘s original career plan was to open a helicopter ski company in Alaska. While million acre land leases and affordable helicopters were in short supply for recent college graduates, job opportunities were not. After graduating cum laude with a degree in business administration from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Zach was immediately presented with several job offers from companies that recognized his potential.

When he interviewed with a national tenant representation firm the idea of providing conflict-free representation to tenants and end users resonated with him. “It was the entrepreneurial nature of our industry and the opportunity to continue learning for my entire career that drew me in,” he says. Attracted to the idea that he could use his knack for critical thinking and proclivity for problem solving to help businesses make smart real estate decisions, he accepted a position with a national tenant representation company in 2001.

Having spent 100 days per year on the snow for five consecutive years, and only visiting San Diego once for a job interview, Zach decided to trade the mountains for the beach. He fell in love with Southern California, and made it his home. Six years later he joined the Hughes Marino team, and hasn’t looked back since.


Here’s a glimpse into a typical day in the life of one of Hughes Marino’s all-star commercial real estate brokers.

6:00-6:10 am: Zach has a consistent morning routine, which is essential for working parents. “There are three things I do in the first ten minutes I’m awake. First, I check the snow conditions at all of my favorite ski resorts, and think about where the next family ski trip will be.”


Next, Zach usually steals a minute or two researching current fashion trends online. His burgeoning interest in fashion was exponentially enhanced when he met his wife, Jennifer, an established fashion industry executive, in 2009. “Fashion is a family passion, so on Tuesdays and Thursdays I peruse Mr. Porter’s new clothing releases,” Zach says.

Finally, he spends time reviewing new commercial and residential real estate listings in San Diego County, as his love of buildings of all kinds extends beyond commercial properties.


6:10-7:45 am: While waiting for his double shot of Nespresso, Zach prepares for his other morning pick-me-up – his 2 ½ year old son Sebastian (AKA “Bashy”) who “comes flying out of bed, ready to dance and watch Sesame Street with his dad,” Zach proudly explains. Amidst dancing and talking, Zach finds spare moments to review work emails, respond to time sensitive messages, and read the news to ensure he is up-to-the minute on new developments, leases, current events and the like.

Jennifer joins Zach and Sebastian by 7:00 am, and the three Millroods do their best to have breakfast together. “We say we eat breakfast together, but generally two of the three of us are eating at the same time. Sebastian is often just saying ‘All done, all done, all done, daddy.’”

7:45-10:30 am: Living in Bay Park means Zach’s commute to Hughes Marino’s Front Street office only takes about 10 minutes, so he is typically immersed in work by 8:00 am. He spends his mornings making phone calls, providing status updates on active client projects, and collaborating with colleagues and the HM operations team before heading out into the field by mid-morning.

10:30 am-1:45 pm: Zach is meeting with potential, existing, and past clients, vendor partners, or other associates, often over lunch.

2:00-6:30 pm: Every day is different, so he could be touring buildings or in meetings until much later in the day, but he wraps up each day the same way, every day. Zach acknowledges that staying organized is vital to his ability to provide uncompromised service to clients, so when he returns to his office in the afternoon, there is never a piece of paper out of place.

Problem solving, critical thinking and putting together commercial real estate ‘puzzles’ requires a great deal of concentration, so keeping an immaculate office enables him to conduct thorough analysis, research, and brainstorming without distraction. He also finds that he is able to draft proposals, review leases, run surveys, and work most efficiently in an organized space.

After 5:00 pm when the office quiets down, Zach is able to focus on making sure his to-do list is done, and less than 10 emails remain in his inbox. His discipline in this regard comes naturally, but it is also part of an intentional effort to ensure Zach can give his full attention to his family when he gets home.


6:45-8:00 pm: Growing up, Zach developed a love of cooking, serving as his mom’s mini sous chef. Just as Zach credits Jennifer with piquing his interest in fashion, Jennifer has also taken a shine to Zach’s love of food. They develop a weekly menu every Sunday, and together they cook nearly every night, trying new recipes constantly. “We rarely eat the same things over and over again, and we cook and eat at the table as a family.” These couple of hours each night, where all of Zach’s focus is on the most important people in his life, are priceless, he says.

“Conversation usually revolves around what trouble Sebastian got into that day, what is going on with my projects, upcoming travel, what kind of wine we are having, cool artwork we’ve seen, ideas for home renovations, or any other myriad of subjects.”

8:00-11:00 pm: Once Sebastian is tucked in for the night, Jennifer and Zach relax by watching favorite cooking shows including Inside the Mind of a Chef, Top Chef, and Chef’s Table, or real estate or fashion design programs including Flip or Flop, Property Brothers, Ellen’s Design Challenge, Fixer Upper, or Project Runway. Zach and Jennifer also multitask by catching up on their reading and social media, all while Zach keeps an eye on his inbox, responding to short questions, or requests before the two call it a night.


As an established commercial real estate broker, devoted husband and proud father, life is pretty sweet for Zach Millrood these days, and it shines through. “I work with really great people, and I get to build incredible personal relationships with some of the smartest and most interesting people you can imagine,” Zach says.

“I’ve been fortunate to do great work for nonprofit organizations and watch incredible companies grow from a handful of team members to over 500 employees with me as their trusted partner in all aspects of real estate. I work with a diverse clientele that keeps me on my toes. Jennifer and I are able to invest a lot of time and effort into our marriage and our son and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

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