What was your greatest professional accomplishment in 2015?
In terms of multi-family deal volume, the past 18 months have been my “debut” of sorts. I have been involved in the sales of 400+ units totaling $65.8+ million – all within the multi-family stronghold of Union County/Central Jersey.
What was your most notable project, deal or transaction in 2015?
Thus far, my largest deals involve the sales of River Place in Rahway NJ, a 136-unit two-building complex located downtown on the Rahway River, and Village Apartments in Union, NJ, a 126-unit apartment community that had been unsuccessfully marketed by several other brokerage firms during the course of the past two years.
How do you contribute to your company and/or the industry?
Since joining the firm three years ago, my activities have focused on multi-family investment sales – and expanding Gebroe-Hammer’s transaction volume and presence – throughout Union County and Central Jersey. I also represent clients whose interests extend outside of this geographic hotbed.
What has been the strongest influence on your career?
The strongest influence on my commercial real estate career was a lack of passion for the previous industry in which I worked – television production. Despite holding enviable positions at CBS, the Early Show, E Entertainment and the John Walsh Talk Show, I always felt like my interest in analytics and architecture were pulling me toward a brokerage career. Eight years ago, I took a leap of faith and changed careers at the encouragement of my husband and father-in-law, who is a well-respected commercial real estate attorney.
Tell us how and when you began your career in the profession you are in, about your current position and why you chose the field/profession you are in today.
I pursued an alternative career path in commercial real estate – a perfect match that satisfies my innate interests in numbers and how they relate to classic and contemporary properties. After five years with a large national brokerage firm, I joined Gebroe-Hammer Associates to learn from the best in the business in the firm’s industry-unique training program. In my first four months with Gebroe-Hammer, I closed $11 million in deals.
What qualities and/or personality traits do you feel make you most successful?
I have been, and continue to be, focused on building new and long-term relationships with property owners, investors, allied professionals like bankers and attorneys, builders, developers and community-based economic development groups throughout Central Jersey. Without these relationships, the deal pipeline would never be as full as mine is right now.
Do you feel being a woman is an advantage, disadvantage or no advantage in today’s business world? Why? Why not?
While I don’t view being a woman as an advantage or disadvantage, I am pleased to see women represented in greater numbers at the brokerage level. Regardless of gender, the opportunities are limitless, particularly on the multi-family investment side of the business.
Do you feel there are any differences in the way that men and women develop business relationships and if so, what activities or venues do you participate in?
In transactions that involve a family-owned property, it has been my experience that being a woman allows me to connect on a different level with the wives and mothers at the table. Sometimes it is their kitchen or dining room table and we are able to relate, woman to woman, as we discuss an important business transaction and its impact on the family unit.
Tell us about your family.
My mother and father came to this country in the early 1970s and I watched my dad work hard most of his life to provide my brother and me with a comfortable life filled with opportunities. My dad taught me that putting in an honest day’s work is successful to the soul. I hope to impart the same work ethic to my two children.
What is the funniest, most unique situation you have faced/conquered during your business career? When I first started out in commercial real estate, prior to Gebroe-Hammer, I met an investor at a building for which I had the listing. The neighborhood was an up-and-coming residential district and I continually assured him this particular area had little-to-no crime. Following the showing, when we returned to our cars, his was no longer there. It had been stolen.