Inside Cover C — October 25 - November 7, 2019 — Women in Business — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal


Women in Business

ell us how and when you began your career in the Alison Otteau, 3P Equity Capital “My ability to stay calm in stressful situations really has helped us continue to thrive and grow” T Alison Otteau Chief Administrative Officer, Co-Founder 3P Equity Capital Years with company/firm: 1 Years in field: 1 Years in real estate industry: 1

sometimes the men don’t take you seriously. I have found that in my other careers as well, especially because I have a lot of expe- rience in management. I’ve gotten giggles in meetings when I’m angry, or a lot of pushback when I’ve asked someone to do a task and to fix what has been done improperly. If you are stern you are a bitch and if you are nice then you are weak. It can be a hard balance and if you don’t have thick skin it can be mentally defeating. Tell us a little about your family: I have two children and three rescue dogs. My son Clayton is six yeas old and in first grade. My daughter Raegan in four years old and in Pre-K. They both do jiu-jitsu which I really think is a great sport for them. It teaches balance and control and also about winning and losing. Their sensei always stresses that there will be ONE winner and ONE loser, and if you win you don’t gloat and if you lose you figure out what went wrong and you try harder next time. I am not of the mindset that everyone gets a participation trophy, so this class really works well with my beliefs. No one is going to hand you anything in life, if you fail, see where you went wrong and try harder. Great lessons for children in my opinion. Who is your husband and what it is like work- ing/owning a business with him? My husband is Chris- topher Otteau and he is the CEO of our company 3P. He is also a MAI des- ignated appraiser, a real estate broker, an adjunct professor at Monmouth University and the Chief Appraiser at The Otteau Group. I am lucky that my husband values my opinion and listens to my ideas and helps implement them. Not to say that he agrees with me all of the time, but he will hear me and when he thinks I am wrong he will

give me pushback, most of the time in a construc- tive way. Sometimes it is hard to not get emotions involved especially when you have had an argument over something not work related. We have been in plenty of meetings where we have to push our per- sonal business aside and focus on the company. Not always easy to do!!! Work- ing with your partner has a lot of its own challenges but at the end of the day we try to leave business disagreements at work and not bring them home. If you are the primary caregiver to your chil- dren what obstacle and challenges do you meet on a day to day basis? I am lucky enough to have a nanny, but that said I am also a control freak, so it is hard for me to not be involved in everything they do. I think morning hustle is the most challeng- ing. Making sure everyone is up on time, eating their breakfast at the right time, getting changed and ready to get out the door. I feed the dogs, make their break- fast, make lunches, make sure they have everything in their backpacks, have their snacks. Any mom knows that the mornings are rough. A few mornings a week I also try to get my- self ready so I can go work out after they leave for school (thankfully my hus- band does drop offs). Doing simple things like laundry and the grocery store are very time consuming and interfere with me getting a lot done at work. I have the ability to work from home, but I am not nearly as pro- ductive when I do that be- cause of all the housework that I know is waiting for me. Making sure I am pres- ent and paying attention to my kids after school and at bedtime is a priority but if a deal is blowing up at work, or I have schoolwork that has to get done I fall short and sometimes beat myself up over it and not being able to do it all. 

profession you are in: My husband was a real estate appraiser and con- sultant for over 15 years. He worked a lot of hours and was getting frustrated with the day to day grind. About three years ago (may- be even four) he was upset about a deal he had con- sulted on because he did all of the work and the broker had the largest check for doing basically nothing. From there I pushed him into doing brokerage, so our first idea/company was born. We were able to use his connections to obtain deals that were not on the market and to sell them relatively quickly because these were properties that he had completely vetted through his appraisal work. After a while, some of these deals became too stressful to manage along with his “day job”. Not having a background in real estate or any real estate licenses or education it was hard for me to help outside of the marketing and brainstorm- ing. I knew I had always wanted to build, own, de- sign and develop properties so that is when 3Pwas born. Chris already had access to great deals so we were covered there. We brought in our partner, Shree Shah, who has a background in capital markets to under- write the deals and source capital for the projects. I am now able to work more on the branding and busi- ness development as well as administrative tasks. It was a long year with a lot of bumps to get to the point we are at today, but I find real estate to be exciting and I love projects that change not only one building but really the face and lifestyle of an entire town. What is your current position? I am a co-founder along with my husband as well as the Chief Administra- tive Officer, but really, I am also in charge of market-

ing, branding, design and am involved with all other aspects of the business. My background is in marketing and I am currently obtain- ing a certificate in Interior Design and Architecture so eventually I would like to focus more on those areas. In addition, I put a lot of time into business develop- ment and brainstorming, then implementing ways for our company to continue to grow. How do you manage the work/life balance? I don’t! As all working moms know, it is a struggle to keep everything together every day. You have to have a good team of people at the office and at your house to make sure you can accom- plish what you need to. I know it’s easier said then done but I try to be kind to myself if I forget something or I fall behind on a dead- line. We’re human and we can’t do everything (even though I think I should!) and I try not to let the little things get to me but make sure that the most impor- tant tasks get accomplished and that I am always home to cook dinner for my kids and put them to bed. What unique quali- ties and or personality do you feel makes you most successful in your profession? I think my ability to stay calm in stressful situations really has helped us con- tinue to thrive and grow. Anyone who owns their own business knows it is tough, starting it is even harder. There were a lot of times where we had to double back and start over again, or quickly pivot in the mid- dle of a deal. One of the

hardest things about real estate is actually closing the deal. In commercial most times it is not about hav- ing the money. It’s about having a plan, getting ap- provals, getting everyone in the town on board with your plan, making sure your plan pencils and selling it to your investors. There are a lot of moving parts and when you are in it it can seem impossible. I’m always able to look through the mess and figure out our way out of the maze, and with a positive attitude which can be difficult at times, but I have always been taught to have a great poker face. I am also able to multi-task like a beast. Sometimes this isn’t the best because I can have a bunch of unfinished projects but it’s really help- ful when there is a lot to get done and not a lot of time to do it. And I never forget anything! So watch what you say because I am happy to remind you. Do you feel being a woman is an advantage, disadvantage or no ad- vantage in today’s busi- ness world? Why? Why not? I think it depends on the situation. I have been in a lot of rooms where I was the only woman. Most times, it’s business as usual, other times the men tend to be gentler if you will, more respect- ful that a “lady” is in the room. I find this a lot when the majority of the men are over 45. They will say “excuse my language”, or “pardon my French” which I just laugh at because my mouth is way worse. On the flip side when dealing with employees I think

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