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My father got me into this: One woman’s life as a second-generation commercial real estate exec


Marcey Gross, Sheldon Gross Realty

My career has consisted of selling, leasing, and managing commercial properties for more than three decades. I believe my peers feel that I have established a successful career. From the very beginning, I've focused on working smart and hard, never repeating a mistake, and using every tool at my disposal.

Over time, some clients and competitors considered me different or unique because of my gender. The commercial real estate field still has fewer women in leadership positions than it should. I have never let this issue hinder me from achieving my goals. I have simply let experience and results speak for themselves.

My start in commercial real estate was fostered by my parents. My father founded Sheldon Gross Realty in the early '60s, and for a while my mother sold residential properties in Massachusetts. Needless to say, my life consisted of many real estate tales and war stories. I loved hearing about the give and take of negotiations, the search for just the right warehouse or office, and the resolving of last-minute problems. As my parents described it, real estate was the most thrilling business anyone could be in.

After college, I joined the family business and officially became a second-generation practitioner. I realized instantly that I had a particular affinity for property management. What intrigued me most was the consistent attention that the properties required. The constant challenge is to keep the client and tenants happy. This requires constantly adjusting, adapting, and evolving. It is a daily challenge, but it is rewarding and can lead to quite a few long-standing relationships. Recently, our company sold a series of warehouse and office buildings in one New Jersey community. These buildings had been in our management portfolio for the past 25 years. Over that long period of time we were presented with many challenges, but we embraced them all and it proved to further strengthen the relationships.


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