Tammy Jones, chair of the RealEstate Executive Council and CEO and founder of Basis InvestmentGroup, for GlobeSt.com.

|

NEW YORK CITY- Professional trade association RealEstate Executive Council is cementing a path for commercial realestate executives of color, and those climbing up the ranks in anindustry viewed as the last frontier for racialdiversity.

|

Newly appointed to continue itsmission as chair is Tammy Jones, CEO and founder ofnational commercial real estate investment platform BasisInvestment Group. As the first female chair of theboard, Jones intendsto carry the torch in furthering the organization'svalues. 

|

"I want REEC to be recognized as the inclusion change agent forour industry and to break down barriers to ensure that REEC and ourmembers have a seat at the table and have access to opportunity,"Jones tells GlobeSt.com. "That is the legacy I want to leave."

|

Founded in 2003, REEC set out tocreate a community for executives of color to invest, partner, hireand promote entrepreneurship to progress in an industry where therewere limited examples to mirror.

|

The non-profit tradeassociation's vision has since grown to include partnerships withcommercial real estate firms for diversity initiatives and its ownimmersive pipeline program for diverse high school students calledthe Real Estate Exchange. REEC's ultimate goal is to ensure theindustry moves toward a more diverse representation in step withU.S. demographics, Jones said. 

|

"Our goal is to help diversetalent, particularly African Americans and Latinos advance in theCRE industry from high school up through management orentrepreneurship and even at the board level," Jones said. "We'refiguring out how to move people up the ranks in many differentways."  

|

REEC has an estimated 110 membersnationwide comprised of senior executives and professionals with atleast ten years of experience, across a broad swath of the realestate industry in investment, management, leasing, financing andproperty development. 

|

Members gather several timesthroughout the year, providing jobs, awarding grants to local andregional real estate organizations and scholarship funding. TheREEC board comprises 9  members, each serving a maximum oftwo consecutive three-year terms. Jones succeeded Accordia PartnersManaging Partner Kirk Sykes as chair of theboard. 

|

At the deal level, REEC members have done $2 billion of equityand debt transactions and general partner interests,  $3billion of brokerage and advisory transactions and over $600million in limited partnerships. "AtREEC we have created a community where we invest together," Jonessaid. "It's definitely a testimony to believing in eachother." 

|

Investing across the REEC table is imperative, but forging apath of equitable access for professionals of color in commercialreal estate is the real draw for the entire industry, Jonesexplains.

|

"As CRE investors, we recognize the importance ofdiversification in building the best portfolios, but yet we don'textend this basic investment principle to building the best teams.The facts are clear, and study after study shows that diverse teamsproduce better outcomes."

|

According to a McKinsey Company reporttitled Diversity Matters,which examined proprietary data sets for 366public companies across a range of industries in Canada, LatinAmerica, the United Kingdom and the United States, companies in thetop quartile for racial and ethnic diversity were 35 percent morelikely to have financial returns above their respective nationalindustry medians.

|

"You have to recognize we're in real estate anddemographics matter in this industry," Jones said.  "Ifyour company hasn't improved in diversity over the past 10 or 15years, then you're fighting the demographics in an industry wherewe invest in demographic trends and you have to ask yourselfwhy."

|

While diversity challenges won'tchange overnight, as REEC continues to grow it is working toexecute more corporate and trade organization partnerships to helpwith their diversity challenges, according toJones. 

|

"Stop fighting the demos andpartner with organizations such as REEC to help you identify oreven mentor your diverse talent because we know you can't do italone," she said.  

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Mariah Brown

Mariah Brown is the New York Bureau Chief and Real Estate Reporter for GlobeSt.com, covering the New York Metro area, Northeast region and national real estate trends. She is responsible for producing multi-media content, including articles, podcasts and video. Before joining the GlobeSt team, she served as a New York Times fellow, reported for the Associated Press in New York and Philadelphia and several other New York City-based outlets.