M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal — Thriving Over 50 Spotlight — November 18 - December 22, 2022 — 17A T hriving O ver 50


ve never surveyed my colleagues, but I’m rather certain most “Success was often the byproduct of creativity and outside-the-box thinking” Eric M. Weston, Vice President at Sheldon Gross Realty, Inc. I’

buildings the company was leasing. I also gained experi- ence negotiating with prop- erty owners related to ease- ments Bell Atlantic needed so it could conduct business at a range of locations. It was all rather different than anything I’d done before … and I found myself really enjoying it. Obviously, I was a novice back then – more than three decades ago – but I learned quickly that every situation and deal is somewhat different and that success was often the byproduct of creativity and outside-the-box

thinking. And … I suppose I finally decided what I wanted to do when I “grew up.” Over time, I transitioned into a full-time career in com- mercial real estate, and I’ve now been with Sheldon Gross Realty for a dozen years. In terms of learning the figurative ropes, one of the biggest chal- lenges was becoming familiar with and then an expert in the markets where I conduct business. There’s no shortage of information – it’s both deep and broad – and I’m certain that one secret to success is to never, ever stop learning.

Something else that’s es- sential, no matter what your age, is an unwavering com- mitment to networking. You really do need to connect with and communicate with people constantly, and in that regard I’m fortunate to be an extrovert. I enjoy working with all types of individuals, whatever the project. I like to think I’m naturally open-minded and welcome new ideas and dif- ferent perspectives. These are essential attributes in commercial real estate – broadly speaking, it’s not a

field for the shy or reserved. It’s interesting – I’ve ref- erenced a prior career, the value of creative thinking, and basically continuous networking. If you stop and consider, each of these things require time, perhaps years or even decades, to experi- ence and take lessons from. Which leads to the thought that having a few streaks of gray and some mileage on your odometer is likely ben- eficial to a commercial real estate professional. In other words, it’s probably good to be older than 50. MAREJ

people work- ing in com- mercial real estate had at least one prior career. And because so many pro- fessionals in our industry spent time

Eric M. Weston

during their younger days doing other things, it follows that a significant number of them – like me – are older than 50. My background features a bachelor’s in business ad- ministration from Rutgers University, complete with engineering courses. After graduation, I joined Bell At- lantic and held a variety of positions. It was an excellent experience, and provided me a solid foundation for putting on a jacket and tie each morn- ing then interacting closely with a variety of individuals. Then, one day in 1991 – after I’d already been with Bell At- lantic for eight years – there was an opening in the real estate department. I applied, was hired, and very soon found myself work- ing with the landlords of we scouted out other areas to dig test pits. The terrain was difficult, the woods were thick and we got lost. We couldn’t find the 40-ton excavator for a good hour, but when we did find it, it was right were we left it and… it was still running. What activities do you en- joy during your free time? Watching football at the cigar lounge (Go Giants!), playing guitar, riding my motorcycle, and spending time with the Mrs. What inspiring word of advice would you give to a young executive graduating from college today? Time moves quickly and you need to greet each day with purpose. If you aren’t moving forward, you are fall- ing behind. What you do to- day will build your future. Be sure to learn how to network! Seize the day! As Winston Churchill said “never, never, never give up.” MAREJ continued from page 16A Matt Sprung, NAI Summit

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