In 1949, Pappy founded the Alvin J. Wolff Company (the predecessor to The Wolff Company) with a $1,500 loan. After quickly rising to the top of the residential real estate brokerage market in Spokane, Washington, he launched Wolff’s residential development activity. During a career which spanned more than three decades, he built a legacy of leadership, integrity, service to others, and a commitment to education which continues to define The Wolff Company’s culture to this day.
He was one of the first in his era to implement ongoing professional education training for his real estate professionals and was instrumental in founding the Washington Real Estate Education Foundation. This foundation was eventually moved to Washington State University and now exists as the Washington Center for Real Estate Research. The Alvin J. Wolff Distinguished Professor of Real Estate, a full-time professorship at WSU, was endowed by his Pappy’s peers as a tribute to him.
Pappy held numerous industry leadership positions during his career. He served as president of the Spokane Board of Realtors, president of the International Real Estate Federation and president of the Washington Association of Realtors. He was appointed treasurer of the National Association of Realtors and served on its executive committee for two decades. In this role, he met annually with presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan to discuss America’s housing policies. He was appointed by two Washington State governors to serve as Washington State Real Estate Commissioner. Over the course of his career, Pappy he was honored with numerous awards and accolades, including the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Realtors, for providing outstanding contributions and service to the real estate industry. The award is considered the NAR’s highest honor. When he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washington Association of Realtors, the plaque simply yet eloquently read: “Alvin J. Wolff, who is, by example, what others aspire to be.” He dropped out of Gonzaga University Law School to join the Army and rose to the ranks of Captain while serving in World War II. Sixty years later, he received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Gonzaga.
As a child in the 1960’s Fritz began working in the family business, sweeping parking lots and cleaning vacated apartment units. In 1967 at the age of 19, Fritz formally joined the Alvin J. Wolff Company (the predecessor to The Wolff Company). At that time, the company focused on residential real estate and owned 250 apartment units. During those early years, Fritz learned from his father and began building on a legacy of leadership, integrity, service to others, and a commitment to education which continues to define The Wolff Company’s culture to this day.
Fritz took over as CEO in 1973, heightening the company’s focus on the multifamily sector. In the early 1990’s, he brought various operating entities together under a common holding company – The Wolff Company. His four sons eventually joined the family business, but not before “…working on construction sites, pounding nails, installing appliances and turning rental units just as their father had.” As this third generation of the Wolff family became increasingly involved in the business, the company moved its headquarters to Arizona in 2001. Under Fritz’s leadership, The Wolff Company invested in, acquired or developed more than 10,000 apartment units and delivered outsized returns to investors for more than four decades. By 2008, Fritz transitioned the CEO role to his youngest son Fritz H., but remained very active as Chairman. Fritz continues to actively participate in the business in a number of capacities.
Like his father before him, Alvin J. Wolff Jr. held numerous industry leadership positions and distinctions during his career. He was appointed by the Governor as the Washington Real Estate Commissioner, was elected president of the Washington Association of Realtors and was appointed to the board of the National Association of Realtors. Fritz’s commitment to education manifested itself in many ways. He worked closely with the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at Washington State University, and has served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Gonzaga University. He has also been active in running a number of other real-estate related enterprises including Wolff Corporate Housing, and Aslin Finch Inc.
Fritz is the Chairman Emeritus of The Wolff Company and is currently a Special Advisor to its senior leaders. Fritz oversaw The Wolff Company for two decades. He attended Gonzaga University and serves as a member of its Board of Regents as well as its Investment Committee. He also completed the OPM Program at Harvard University and is a founding member of YPO Scottsdale.