Women of Influence 20th Anniversary Special
The Iron Ladies
Join us at the Ontario Convention Center for this half-day conference where our town hall panel will cover the market trends and provide an outlook for what to expect in 2014. Hear from our development panel on where the best opportunities lie and from our industrial experts on what's hot in this dynamic sector at RealShare INLAND EMPIRE on January 28th.
This is an expanded version of an article that ran in the July/August 2013 issue of Real Estate Forum. To see the original story, click here.
When one thinks of New York City retail space, the first name that comes to mind is Faith Hope Consolo.Not only a retail broker with Douglas Elliman, she’s a brand unto herself, complete with her own motto. Yet things weren’t always this way; she was an anomaly when she entered the business. Hard work and a strong will—not to mention her signature pink flair—helped her climb to the top of a traditionally male-dominated field and become the go-to agent in the retail community.
Her colleague and friend, Karen Dome, came up in a similar environment. Representing Japanese ownership in New York’s office market, she had to play on the same field as some of the most cutthroat commercial brokers in the city. She rose in the ranks to her current role as a senior associate with Marcus & Millichap, handling sales in a variety of property sectors. She also makes sure to pay her success forward; a past president of NYCREW, she is active in many industry and nonprofit organizations.
Both Consolo and Dome not only survived the tough world of New York City brokerage, but they thrived.They also give back through mentorship and charity work in the community. Real Estate Forum sat down with the brokers to discuss their careers, how they handled challenges they encountered, their friendship and where they see the business going.
SULE AYGOREN: Talk about how you got your start in the business.
FAITH HOPE CONSOLO: When I got divorced and moved back from California to New York, and my attorney said to me, “Faith, you have to get a real job.” He suggested I do real estate. I really didn't know anything, so I investigated the various aspects. I decided I didn’t want to do residential, but I didn’t want to do office either. I was in Florida, at a party in Palm Beach and met someone who just happened to be the best-looking guy in the room. I walked up to him and asked him what he did. He told me he owned a company and he does retail real estate. I said, “What is that?” He said, “Well, I find stores for retailers.” And I thought, this is great. I go shopping all the time. I'm a world-class shopper! I can tell you the rest of it, but really, what I did was took a habit and I turned it into a career.
So when I came back to New York I found out this gentleman had an office a couple of blocks from my house. So I decided I’d give it a try. It was a small firm. I stayed there almost two years and learned a lot. He not only taught me the business, but also helped me really find my niche. I love what I do—in good times, bad times, all times.
KAREN DOME: I also was what they call a “pioneer” of women in real estate. There weren't many when I started back in the 1980s. I worked for a Japanese company, Sumitomo Realty and Development, handling their class A office portfolio in Manhattan. It was several million square feet, and each challenge was also a learning opportunity.
Next: Nerves of Steel
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