Paul Vetter (’00)

Category: Accomplished Alumni | Awards

In Haslam College of Business course 405, students learn about and plan for the transition to professional life and how to make the impact they want in their lives and on the world. On March 1, the class got to hear from Paul Vetter (’00) how he did just that.

“I told them about the career pivot I made to commercial real estate not long after I entered the workforce,” said Vetter. “Basically, I told them that they don’t need to have it all figured out right out of college. In fact, that’s a great time to take a risk before you’re settled and when you’re still exploring the ‘real world.’”

Following his lecture, Vetter was surprised to receive an Accomplished Alumni Award from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

“Paul maintains a highly successful career in investment sales and real estate and serves his Atlanta community well, so I’m not surprised by such recognition from UT,” said Scott Roark, who leads the real estate program for the college. “When alumni like Paul interact and invest in our students, it’s incredibly impactful.”

In 2014, Vetter co-founded the Berkadia Atlanta office, a top firm in the Southeast real estate market’s multifamily space. To date, Vetter has sold over 123,000 units, totaling $9.3 billion in sales with his business partner and co-founder Andrew Mays (’00). Both the Berkadia Atlanta office and Vetter have earned several awards as top sales firm and top sales broker from CoStar, an industry leader in commercial real estate information and analytics.

Prior to finding his career in real estate, Vetter started out in logistics, his undergraduate major. In 2003, he joined Mays, his former UT roommate, on Marcus & Millichap’s multifamily investment sales team, where they were the top-producing brokers in the company’s Atlanta office for 11 years.

“In my logistics role, I wasn’t seeing any upward mobility, just the daily grind, and I quickly realized it wasn’t for me,” said Vetter. “I had several friends who were in real estate, and I liked that they were seeing tangible results and making a positive impact on people. It was easy for Andrew to convince me to try it.

“In 2014, we decided to start up our own firm. We found a niche in commercial real estate, mainly in older apartment complexes, and I love it. There’s a story behind every building.”

Vetter recognizes that his own story’s foundation was built at UT.

“A lot of hard work got me where I am today, and UT put me on that path,” said Vetter. “In fact, there are several of my UT classmates making successful careers in real estate, and I was so glad to hear that the Haslam College of Business has started a real estate program in recent years. UT has seen extraordinary growth, in facilities and academics and more, and I’m excited for the momentum that the university is experiencing.”

Vetter has also contributed to UT’s advancement, having spoken to multiple business classes, and is a staunch champion of student mentorship. He even named a scholarship endowment at UT after his father, John David Vetter Sr., to support business majors from Shelby County, Tennessee. Giving back is something Vetter actively pursues, and he places a lot of importance on community involvement. He sits on the board of Open Doors Atlanta, which assists the recently unhoused.

“Few places offer students the unique mix of opportunities that UT does, from the Great Smoky Mountains in its backyard to the college athletics experience to academic excellence,” said Vetter. “I was honored to receive an Accomplished Alumni Award from my university.

“If you’d told 18-year-old me that this would happen 25 years later, he wouldn’t have believed you. This full circle moment, coming back to where it started for me and being recognized in this way is incredibly humbling.”