10D — October 21 - November 17, 2022 — Women in Business — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal


Women in Business

By Marcy Gross, Sheldon Gross Realty Five tips for women beginning commercial real estate careers


ve been in the commer- cial real estate business for decades now, with

five tips for my female col - leagues who are in the initial phases of their careers. • Network – Everyone in any type of a sales posi - tion knows that developing, maintaining, and growing a network is an essential under - taking. You can’t sell consis - tently without the appropriate connections. As a woman, you’ll want your network to include multiple female col- leagues who you can turn to for input. You will want to discuss challenges, celebrate triumphs, and conduct a bit of mutually beneficial busi - ness. Your network should ideally include women who are senior to you. This will afford you the opportunity to draw upon their experiences when advise is needed. Finally, as your career grows, I encourage you to begin including more junior colleagues – so you can help them along at the start of their careers. This will help ensure that women in the com - mercial real estate pipeline feel supported, encouraged, and fulfilled. • Embrace your femi - ninity … but don’t obsess about it – I always say my gender has never been a pro - fessional hinderance, and I mean it. This has been the

case, in large part, because I’ve walked a careful line. I’m proud to be a woman … but I never wallow in it. My goal each day is providing clients with the best possible service, and when I’m working, I see myself as a commercial real estate professional; I never make being female a primary component of this. To put it bluntly, if you want gender to be a non-issue in your business dealings, then be sure you are not the one making it an issue. • Blaze your own trail – One of the most appealing aspects of a commercial real estate career is the ability to choose your own direction. Do you want to work for a large corporation, or a smaller agen - cy, or maybe be your own boss? It’s up to you. Do you want to focus on office buildings, or retail locations, or industrial properties? Your call. Maybe you’ve always wanted to live and work in a particular city or state – commercial real estate can get you there. Per - haps, like me, you’re inclined toward managing properties. The overarching point is that commercial real estate enables you to tailor your business based on whatever resonates with you. This type of built-in flexibility is invaluable, and I

encourage you to fully person - alize your career. • Invest in yourself – This is good advice for anyone start - ing a career, and it absolutely had to be on this list. If you’ve selected any facet of commer - cial real estate as your field of choice, you can’t just sit around and wait for essential knowledge, insights, and op - portunities to miraculously fall into your lap. You’ll need to be proactive about seeking them out, and may need to spend a bit of money to do so. I’m referring to investing in yourself, including advertising in all appropriate places, and participating both in online and in-person workshops. Women should strongly con - sider membership in as many professional associations as their time allows for, particu - larly those that offer chances to meet, interact with, and learn from other female pro- fessionals. All these upfront costs will pay off on the back end as your network grows and leads are generated. • Set BIG goals – Just about every list of business tips I’ve ever encountered recommends having a plan. And since any effective plan will point toward a goal, my additional advice is to always

set your goals high. In fact, make them audacious – to - tally shoot for the stars. You should never be shy about wanting to achieve a full mea - sure of success. Strangely, this seems to be an issue with many women I’ve met – they’re talented profession - als, but they limit themselves with mediocre goals. Business is a competitive venture, and not everyone will succeed – so it’s essential that you be your own most outspoken, pas - sionate advocate. The most effective way to accomplish this is by aspiring to some - thing truly spectacular, then pursuing it with everything you’ve got. I’ve been around the figura - tive commercial real estate block more than once – and I fully intend to keep circling it. I firmly believe that the field is absolutely well-suited to women, and in a wide va - riety of ways. So, if you hear a career in commercial real estate whispering in your ear, I encourage you to join me and all the other women who are already actively and fully involved. Success is there for the taking. Marcy Gross is presi- dent of Sheldon Gross Realty. MAREJ

a primary emphasis on managing in- dustrial, cor - porate, and retail proper- ties of every shape and size. More recently, I’ve

Marcy Gross

assumed the responsibility of chief executive for the New Jersey-based agency my father founded back in 1962. In all the time I’ve been in this field, men have outnum - bered women. That was cer - tainly true three decades ago, and it remains true – if a bit less so – today. It’s a situation I’ve often been asked about, and my perspective has never changed. While being female does place me in a minority position among my commercial real estate col - leagues, I’ve never allowed it to become an issue or prevent me from succeeding. More to the point, it also shouldn’t deter younger wom - en who are just now moving into commercial real estate from pursuing their desired goals. With this in mind – and drawing on my professional experience – what follows are

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