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Women who are Inspiring the Commercial Real Estate Industry

Our Chief Marketing Director, Jamie Taylor, is a proud member of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) which is an industry networking organization. And according to a recent study published by CREW, women are advancing in commercial real estate, especially in the C-suite, and the shrinking salary gap. However, there are still areas for improvement to get more women intrigued in CRE brokerage, less of an income gap, and leasing and sales positions.

Here are 3 helpful pieces of advice to improve your professional career from respected female leaders in the Commercial Real Estate Industry.

This type of progress comes with lessons learned early on. The first few years of a career can be pivotal to future success.  Whether it is mastering the art of negotiation, relationship building, or finding your voice, these years can make or break any career.  Three women shared what they learned that helped them reach the success they have today and make their lessons work for them.

-Maryann Reid, Forbes Articles

1. Agree to Disagree

Advice given by Angele Robinson-Gaylord, President: IKEA Property, Inc.

  • As I began my career in commercial real estate, I had no idea how to build a career in this industry.  I did not study real estate in college or law school, had no family or personal connections to the industry, and was a female in a field that is overwhelmingly male. 
  • You have to be conversant in the language of real estate to do deals and build credibility.  
  • You have to recognize that every relationship is valuable. Your path will cross those of your peers time and again.  
  • When conducting transactions, you must be tough enough to get the deal done, yet you must learn to disagree agreeably to not gain a reputation as a deal killer.  
  • You must persevere in the face of any obstacle or naysayer to reach your goals.  In my case, it took 5 years to transition from practicing law to securing my first role on the business side of commercial real estate.  
  • Finally, I learned that you can’t do it alone.

2. Find Your Voice

Advice by Robin Kennedy, Executive Vice President, Acquisitions & Development: Montage International

  • Early in my career, I was put on the spot in a senior level meeting.  My opinion was different than many in the room, but I had a reasoned response. Granted, it was not the path that they chose, but that moment has had strong impact on me and served me well throughout my career.
  • Voicing my opinion was not always appropriate, as many times I wanted to learn from those with more experience.
  • But having this mindset has helped me to think about and become very practiced in how to make decisions.
  • It has helped me to take proactive ownership and move strategically forward.
  • At this point in my career, while the final decisions are often on my shoulders, I value those that can provide me with thoughtful opinions along the way.”

3. Trust Yourself

Lesley Horton Campbell, Associate General Counsel: Tiffany & Co.

  • Never be afraid to step up and trust that you are smart enough to handle a stretch assignment.
  • I made the mistake early on in my career of not stepping up for an assignment because I assumed that I was too junior and that naturally it would go to a more senior experienced colleague.
  • The next time the same opportunity came around, I quickly stepped up without hesitation and ended up knocking it out of the park.

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CRE Investors! Here are 3 ways to quicken decisions in uncertain markets.

Over the last few months, news channels have been filled with stories about movements that are directly affecting the U.S. economy and real estate investments.

-Dan Dokovic Managing Partner, Co-Founder at Bamboo Equity Partners, a leading CRE investment firm.

What are the reasons for these movements?

The first is the news of rising interest rates, trade wars dominating the airways, government shutdown all leading towards business uncertainty. Second is the quick pace of advancing technology which affecting commercial real estate space. Lastly, as seen nationwide popular retailers are quickly closing down and declaring bankruptcy forcing shopping centers to clear out or shut down at rapid rates.

“The real estate industry has become the poster child for uncertainty and anxiety.”

How to overcome this as a CRE investor?

Get ahead of the curve with 3 practical applications below that will help you stay relevant and pivot quickly in response to the shifting industry movements.

1. Fill the space.

Real estate investment companies should reconsider their existing tenant mix. Long gone are the days of 10 to 15 year leases. With any uncertainty in the business market, corporations are often looking for a short-term lease.

Therefore, re-evaluate your long-term leases & business model.

While short-term leases may alter financial forecasting and real estate valuation, immediate increases in net operating income will outweigh the risk of carrying the vacant space.

A major trend is to start diversifying the tenant mixes for overall appeal of your property. An example is mall owners are lending their empty space to startup restaurants, co-working companies, or incubators in hopes it will lure more tenants into the property. These tenants don’t pay rent or nearly as much but will increase foot traffic, visibility, and popularity.

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Practical First Step: Initiate partnerships with co-working companies, entice new-age tenants by enhancing your digital strategy, and enlarge your leasing capabilities.

2. Build Relationships

In uncertain times it’s important to focus on growth capital and support from partners and peers. For future stability and success it’s vital to build relationships.

While the industry is in the growth cycle, capital is bountiful. However, as soon as the cycle turns, having capital is the difference between muddling through and controlling destiny.”


Understanding and growing capital relationships comes in two forms: existing capital sources and new prospects with unrelated capital allocations.”

For existing capital relationships, constant communication is crucial. Banking relationships vary with the economic cycles change. Investment executives need to keep in step with bank’s directions and anticipate said direction would have on business.

Here are some examples…

  • Banks that focus on real estate lending might concentrate on commercial and industrial loans after a merger which, in turn, might diminish the negotiating power of borrowers in a downturn.
  • In addition to current capital providers, real estate managers should focus on acquiring alternative sources of equity and debt.
  • A multitenant office owner might want to seek a partnership with a single, long-term tenant equity provider in order to mitigate the risk of short-term leases.
  • Alternatively, office asset managers might want to connect with industrial capital sources in order to diversify high-cost risks, like retenanting office buildings.”

3. Diversify your assets.

According to past data, these changes in real estate are not hitting all markets. An example is the highs and lows of employment rates may affect the office market but the industrial market could flourish due to the increased shift towards e-commerce.

During the last cycle, manufactured housing and self-storage sectors performed better than other property types.

According to Trepp Bank Research’s April 2017 report of historical CRE losses, self-storage had the lowest average loan loss severity of all property sectors at 1.52%, while manufacturing housing loss was at 3.53%. Comparatively, in a different sector, retail had an average loss rate of 6.17% and office at 6.13%. While taking into consideration these examples, property sectors (per research completed by Nareit in December 2018) and manufactured homes provided total returns of 24.93% and 11.43% for the years 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Gaining property sector diversity can lessen risk across your business. But be cautious in your decisions. “While diversification can provide a footing to weather storms, businesses must be prudent as diversification efforts have their own risks.

What crucial questions do you ask before making final decisions in this ages industry?

What oversights can be pulled from current practices?

Who are the allies in this diversification process?

To stay relevant, future real estate leaders need to continue on the path of innovation. While transformation is tough, the only way to continue growing is to advance with the times. As it was in previous cycles, great things come to those who are able to pivot during the hardest times.

Multifamily Housing Market in 2019

Checkout a summary of 2019 trends in Multifamily Housing Markets…

In Freddie Mac’s Multifamily research, they found that “performance in the multifamily market remained healthy during 2018, despite high levels of new supply entering the market. We expect this trend to continue into 2019, but with more modest growth in comparison to recent years.”

2018 ended up with solid rent growth and only modest increases in vacancy rates despite an elevated level of new supply. There are some weakness’s in individual markets and submarkets.

New supply will remain elevated through 2019 and into 2020 but rents and vacancies will continue outperforming historical averages due to robust demand related to the rising cost of homeownership, changing demographics and consumer preferences.”

Cap rates have slightly fallen over the past couple quarters but they expect cap rates to rise in 2019 if Treasury rates increase.

“Multifamily origination volume is projected to grow to $317 billion in 2019 driven by solid market fundamentals and strong investor demand for multifamily properties.” This figure exceeds 2018’s statistic by 3.9 percent.multi-use developers, multi-use development, investors, real estate professionals, commercial real estate news, commercial real estate trends, trends in real estate, development trends, commercial real estate, development in Kansas City, Environmental consulting help Kansas City, Environmental consulting help Missouri, efficiency, Engineering consulting Kansas City, Phase I Environmental Consulting, Phase 1 Environmental Consulting, Phase II Environmental Consulting, Phase 2 Environmental Consulting, property condition assessments, property condition assessments Kansas City, PCA's, PCAIn conclusion, “we expect 2019 to be another strong year for the multifamily industry. Homeownership affordability constraints and consumer trends will continue to drive demand, while strong rent growth will support property price growth.”

For full analysis click here.

Commercial Real Estate Industry Booming