PHOENIX-Barbi Reuter, principal at Cushman & Wakefield and PICOR Real Estate Services is a force to be reckoned with in the field. She tells about her plans for the local CREW chapter in 2013, increased industry use of social media and her predictions for market changes in the new year. 

1. Congrats on your appointment to Tucson CREW Chapter President in 2013. What changes do you hope to see over the next year?

CREW Network’s mission is to advance the success and status of women in the industry, and the Tucson CREW mission follows suit. We celebrated our local chapter’s 10th Anniversary last week and have come through the recession slightly leaner, but poised to leverage a highly talented corps of members to drive business with each other and improve opportunities for women in Tucson’s commercial real estate industry. Our theme for 2013 is “Ignite” – we’re going to light the sparks of talent, creativity and leadership that exists in every member. We’ll invest more in leadership development and focus more on encouraging member-to-member business and celebrating completed deals and promotions. Industry men are beginning to join local CREW chapters, and ours is no exception, we have several men on board who support the mission and find we are the premier real estate networking and dealmaking organization.

2. In what new and exciting ways can and will CREW advance the position of women in commercial real estate over the coming year?

CREW Network does this in multiple ways. The CREW Foundation supports scholarships and industry research on barriers to advancement. CREW Network has launched year two of a program called Bridging the C-Suite Gap, a mentoring program that matches industry leaders with top C-Suite Executives for 9-months. I was part of the first class and am eternally grateful to CREW and Cassidy Turley, their partner. CREW Network is also launching a new series of video panels on careers within the industry, and will push those out to universities and online.

3. You’re active on social media and blog frequently. How can commercial real estate professionals benefit from adopting social networking?

At Cushman & Wakefield | PICOR, we’ve seen the value of being early adopters in social media, and consider it a necessary part of our branding, networking and marketing efforts. The blog, PICOR Connect, has been a central focal point, with content designed to be of value to our target market. The benefits of a strategic approach really begin with your brand and reputation and go far beyond ‘doing deals.’ 

4. Which social media platform do you believe is best for commercial real estate professionals to network and grow the community and why?

I’d say the one you can commit to with consistency and authenticity. My personal favorite is Twitter, where I tweet personally and for C&W | PICOR, yet LinkedIn drives the most traffic to our website. We do have a Facebook presence, but tend to focus it on the softer side of our community efforts and gear it more toward our local market. If you have to choose one, LinkedIn is the place to start. Again, don’t take it on until you’re ready to be consistent and to engage. Spewing listings into social networks won’t make you any friends in the cybersphere. I hope your readers will connect with us and consider us a resource in Southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico.

5. What’s on your CRE wishlist for the coming year? As in, what industry developments do you hope to see either in your market or nationally?

 The ‘location, location, location’ mantra has been replaced with ‘jobs, jobs, jobs.’ Like the national picture, quality job creation is the key driver for Tucson’s return to health. Our region has concluded a visioning process (Imagine Greater Tucson) that we hope will increase public and private collaboration to further the health of Greater Tucson and Southern Arizona.