Angela Demonte, LEED AP CBRE, Inc.
The commercial real estate industry provides a vast array of opportunities for skilled workers. While the industry has been slower to move than others when it comes to ethnic or gender equality, companies are recognizing this and are working to close the gap. It takes more to standout in commercial real estate than being one of the only women in the room. While it’s still not common to be a professional female in real estate, many professional women are working to differentiate themselves from the competition.
I interviewed a female broker from a different market than ours out of Arizona recently because of the accolades I observed she was getting from inside the CBRE organization where I work. I asked her poignant questions pertaining to her approach to stand out in the industry and she shared a path to success that worked for her in her respective market. She distinguished herself by providing regular market knowledge in email campaigns, and would tie in any outside public relations attention she received from the media outlets in her area into these emails. She also focused on market knowledge pertaining to her interests and created a niche for herself. Since she is a broker out of Tucson, Arizona working in the retail market, she had an interest in finding larger vacancies to lease. She developed an email marketing campaign that shared information about big box spaces in her area, what was going on good, bad or indifferent. Overtime, she became known as the ‘go to gal’ for big box opportunities in her area. She distinguished herself from competing brokers male and female, and it worked!
I reflected on her story and thought, what was I doing to stand out? I realized that a majority of my work to differentiate myself from other brokers has been through the lens of sustainable development in commercial real estate. I have served as a public speaker for various events on the topic while relating it to standard trends in our industry. I’ve also developed email marketing campaigns for my clients with white papers, articles and media attention. These pieces were simultaneously shared through my professional LinkedIn account. Digital technology and social media make it easier than ever to connect with clients and potential clients. These are additional avenues for us as real estate professionals to build our personal brand and share our specific market expertise. Through this I have been able to establish myself as a prominent local contact for sustainable development initiatives in commercial real estate. This expertise in sustainable development has allowed me to branch out of working solely on retail projects by also getting engaged in industrial and office deals, where environmental due diligence, LEED certification or other green building techniques are utilized more often. So ask yourself, are you ready to reinvent yourself? What are you doing to distinguish yourself from the pack?