12C — October 25 - November 7, 2013 — Executive Women in Business — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal


Executive Women in Business

Faith Hope Consolo, Douglas Elliman Real Estate I want that next deal, that next location, to help that next person

and that’s where being a wom- an is still a disadvantage. Do you feel there are any differences in the way that

I’ve built a family of friends who couldn’t be any closer or more cherished if we were related by blood.

with dust flying, paper on the floors, no air conditioning. Dressed in a white Chanel suit because I had an offsite

ell us how and when you began your ca- reer in the profes- REBNY; ABO-NY; AREW; NACORE; National Bro- kers Network;National Network of Commercial Real EstateWomen; of Industry leaders; ULI T Faith Hope Consolo, Chairman, The Retail Group Company: Douglas Elliman Real Estate Years with company: 8 Real estate organizations / affiliations: : CREWNetwork; NYCREW; ICSC; YM/WREA;

A positive attitude and a willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed. I want that next deal, that next location, to help that next person. It’s a rush, it’s a challenge, and it’s created a career beyond many people’s wildest dreams – but not mine!

sion? I am completely an optimist, and completely unable to understand the word ‘No.” In other words, I’m persistent. What challenges and/or obstacles do you feel you needed to overcome to be- come as successful as you are today? Certainly, as I noted above, the earliest challenge was be- ing the only woman in what was very much a boy’s club, one dominated by family con- nections I didn’t have. I over- came that by working very hard, proving my mettle in countless negotiations, and joining every organization I could find to help me extend my business network. Do you feel being a wom- an is an advantage in to- day’s business world? Why? Why not? I’m not sure there’s an ad- vantage or a disadvantage today. It’s just different. I think being a woman can be an advantage in retail – after all, the great majority of shopping decisions are made by women. But we’ve achieved enough in the 25 years I’ve been working in this industry that we are taken seriously. What we still have to crack is the C-suite,

sion you are in? I began in retail real estate more than 25 years ago. I’d returned to New York City after a divorce, and I needed a job. My lawyer told me to do something related to what I was good at – Shopping! I met a retail real estate broker, talked my way in the door, and the rest is history. What were some of your early goals and did any- thing happen in your ca- reer /profession to change them? At first, my early goal was to be taken seriously. There were literally no women in my industry, and I had to work three times as hard, volunteer at everything and forge the relationships necessary to suc- ceed. After that, the goal then and now, is always to get the next deal, find the next great client. The only way the origi- nal goal has changed is that now women are a serious part of the business – today my aim in that regard is to help them advance their careers. What unique qualities and/or personality traits do you feel makes youmost successful in your profes-

men and women develop business relationships and if so, what activities or ven- ues do you participate in? Men historically have devel- oped relationships over sports activities – golf, racquetball, tennis, whatever, and at least frommy experience don’t bond as quickly over personal mat- ters. Women tend to do so over meals, drinks, larger gather- ings, and very quickly start talking about their personal lives. Some of my business associates at NYCREW for example, have become very close friends – and I know ev- erything about their husbands and kids! Tell us a little about your family. Sadly, I don’t have much in terms of blood family any longer. I was an only child. My father died when I was two years old, and I lost my mother when I was 12. I was then raised by my grand- mother. I’ve been married and divorced, no children. Instead,

Who do you feel was most influential in your life when choosing this profession? A mentor I’ve never named who provided guidance and support at every step of my career. Although I suppose I do owe that lawyer .. it’s the best advice I ever had, and one I continue to give today – Do what you have a passion for! What is the funniest, most unique situation you have faced/conquered dur- ing your business career? Everyone in the retail sector knows how hectic the ICSC’s RECon convention in Las Vegas is, and how important. It’s where we introduce all our new plans – and our new giveaways to differentiate ourselves from the tens of thousands of attendees. One year, my shopping bags didn’t show up in the proper place at the proper time, with the show opening the next day. The convention center was very much a construction zone

meeting, I persuaded the or- ganizers to help me find the package myself. I then rode a pickup truck with the boxes, and probably crossed a num- ber of union lines to get them to our booths and where they needed to be. The driver was wonderful – but it was prob- ably the most absurd sight ever seen at the show! What outside activities do you enjoy during your free time? I read a lot. The opera, Pi- lates, movies nearly every free weekend. I’m working harder this year on taking just a little more time for me. What do you feel is the key to your success? A positive attitude and a willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed. I want that next deal, that next location, to help that next person. It’s a rush, it’s a challenge, and it’s created a career beyond many people’s wildest dreams – but not mine! n

You Need Faith TOFIND THE BEST RETAIL SPACE ® www.faith-consolo.com www.elliman.com

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