This Q&A series celebrates Women’s History Month and the dynamic and inspiring women of Colliers, who discuss advice, accomplishments, the importance of inclusivity and more.
What advice would you give to women new to the commercial real estate industry?
Be realistic in your expectations of goals. Be prepared to work smart and hard. Spend time with experienced colleagues and learn all you can from their experiences, processes and listen to their stories. Run your business like a business, with specific plans, organized weekly tasks, good follow up processes, etc. Create a list of your top 10 most likely clients and establish strong relationships with them. I am a firm believer is the “performance before pay” ideal; I recommend presenting value to clients before asking for their business.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Being a part of the birth of an industry that has become an internationally recognized strong investment option. Those of us that started in the student housing industry spent a lot of time participating in ways to educate lenders, investors and the nation on the merits of this asset class as not a “niche” industry, but an institutional industry with the exciting potential it has today.
Who is a woman you greatly admire and why?
Donna Preiss, who is the founder of The Preiss Company. Donna was also a ground breaker in our space, taking her management company to extraordinary growth which now owns and manages thousands of beds across the country.
How have you helped to foster an inclusive environment here at Colliers?
I love the mentoring part of my business. For years, I’ve opened my client base to new agents and offered key introductions and advice to many. I’m proud to know that some of those new agents are now wildly successful in their own right, in this industry for which I am very passionate.
What inspires you?
Recently, the Women of Student Housing had a cocktail reception at a conference. Where once there were a handful of women in this business, we are now a much larger group, getting organized, inspiring each other and collectively becoming even a more important and meaningful “voice” in our industry. It’s taken a while, but we as a group will hopefully inspire more women to get involved in the business and bring their own special talents to the collective group of student housing specialists.