Inside Cover C — October 30 - November 12, 2020 — Women in Business — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal


Women in Business

Monika Polakevic, SVN Ahia Commercial Real Estate “Be committed, be focused and be insistent upon learning the craft and developing relationships” T Monika Polakevic Senior Advisor SVN Ahia Commercial Real Estate Years with company/firm: 5 Years in field: 10 Years in real estate industry: 10

I am known for being tenacious and consistently moving the processes for- ward to compete any as- signment. I also sincerely care about our clients and it becomes a personal mis- sion to deliver results. What challenges and or obstacles do you feel youneeded toovercome to become as successful as you are today? The challenge for me was to overcome fear of entrepreneurship. Once I made that decision, I realized that I can not only survive but thrive in this environment. The business has afforded the opportunity to provide for my family while being a mother, influencer, and involved in my commu- nity. What was themost de- fining moment for you in the profession you are currently in? Joining SVN. Coming from a small local broker- age firm to a full-service national firm was a “leap” to put it mildly. I've been able to leverage industry leading technology and research like never before. it is also a great fit cultur - ally. Do you feel being a woman is an advan- tage, disadvantage or no advantage in today’s business world? Why? Why not? Right now, the broker- age and investment areas of commercial real estate industry are only about 20% female. I think being a woman does allow you to stand out in a male domi- nated industry, but it is necessary to be an expert in your craft to earn the respect of your peers, male or otherwise. Tell us a little about your family: My husband and I have an amazing 8-year old daughter. The rest of my

family is still in Slovakia, where I come from. I also have an amazing network of very close friends who are our “family” here. If you are the primary caregiver to your chil- dren what obstacle and challenges do you meet on a day to day basis? T ime management . Some days are better than others, but the tough- er days serve as a great reminder that systems and discipline are a re- quirement for success. I also believe in quality vs. quantity, so I try to make sure that we have great experiences at home when together. What is the funniest, most unique situation you have faced / con - quered during your business career? I reconnected with a for- mer client on a walk with my daughter in our local town. Since then we've closed multiple multimil- lion-dollar transactions, but more importantly be- came great friends. What outside activi- ties do you enjoy dur- ing you free time? Running, skiing and hiking. What inspiring word of advice would you give to a young woman about to go into the field of commercial real estate or your allied field? I would say, starting out early in the industry, is a huge advantage, but at the same it comes with certain challenges. The sooner you break through mental barriers women typically impose on themselves, the sooner you get ahead. Find a mentor and shadow him/her daily. Finally, be committed, be focused and be insistent upon learning the craft and developing relationships. It will set you apart. MAREJ

ell us how and when you began your career in the profession you are in: The commercial real estate industry has been home for me for the ma- jority of my professional carrier. After moving to the United States, I was looking for a career in business. I was introduced to commercial real estate somewhat accidentally. After casually describing to a good friend my carrier goals, she recommended that I speak to a com- mercial real estate broker which began my journey into the industry. What is your current position? Sr. Advisor with SVN Ahia Commercial Real Es- tate, a full service national commercial real estate brokerage and advisory firm. Why did you choose the field/profession you are in today? What attracted me to commercial real estate industry was the opportu- nity to be responsible for my own success while en- joying flexibility of sched - ule as well as having enor- mous potential to provide value to clients and the broader community in a unique way. What was your great- est professional accom- plishment in 2020? I would say that it was completing the core edu- cational requirement for CCIM designation. I look forward to taking the com- prehensive exam in 2021 and to completing the path to earning the CCIM pin. What was your most notable project, deal or transaction in 2020? 2020 has been a unique year for many, but I am grateful to say that we were able to grow despite the challenging circum-

Real estate organizations / affiliations: Bucks County Association of Realtors, CCIM Institute

stances. One transaction that comes to mind was completing a sale of a

cial media / networking had on your business? Networking has enor-

What attracted me to commercial real estate industry was the opportunity to be responsible for my own success while enjoying flexibility of schedule as well as having enormous potential to provide value to clients and the broader com- munity in a unique way.

multi-million dollar multi- tenant retail property which allowed our clients to acquire every signifi- cant “essential” single ten- ant, net leased asset right before the epidemic start- ed. It was an extremely meaningful transaction to our clients in providing themwith the opportunity to reposition their risk profile while preserving their lifestyle. How do you manage the work/life balance? I think having structure in both areas is the key. I manage my daily work demands better knowing that everything at home is on schedule and taken care of. I certainly could not do it without having a system of support at home and from colleagues in business. Who or what has been the strongest influence on your career? My managing director. His leadership, inspira- tional work ethic and cre- ative approach to business and life has had enormous impact on my professional and personal growth. What impact has so-

mous impact, especially early in my career. In fact, my first transaction years ago came from a refer- ral from a local network- ing organization. I am a strong believer in relation- ships and that clients do business with people that they like and trust. What were some of your early goals and did anything happen in you? Career /profession to enhance or change them? I had BIG goals early on in my career (building an airport near my home in Slovakia, making it conve- nient for my family to visit me, is just one example!). Having goals and a clear vision has allowed me to make difficult decisions in order to better align with the goals which had been set. I don’t think any of my goals have changed, in fact, I may have more of them, after developing a broader understanding of the magnitude of op- portunity in the business . What unique quali- ties and or personality do you feel makes you most successful in your profession?

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