Honesty. This one should be more intuitive, though many people are counting their pockets too early on and lose sight of the end goal. Give your clients a reason to trust you and lean on you for advice and information. As brokers, our information is valuable and when you can be honest and build trustworthy relationships, it goes a long way.
I had the pleasure to interview Ashley (Grebow) Jeshiva. Ashley has built and managed an extensive owner and investor database and has originated marketing new business. She is an affiliate of UJA Federation of New York Real Estate Executives Division (REX), Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and a sponsor of Young Real Estate Professionals of New York (YREPNY). Ashley also previously served as co-chair of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW)’s Young Professionals Committee. In 2018, she was recognized as one of Real Estate Weekly’s Rising Stars. Ashley received a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and holds a real estate salesperson license in New York and Maryland.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the Real Estate industry?
Thank you for allowing me to have this opportunity. A career in real estate was not on my radar until speaking with a CoStar Group campus recruiter my senior year of college, where I majored in Marketing at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. I was exploring marketing research opportunities at the time but received an offer from CoStar and worked there for two years. CoStar opened my eyes to the world of real estate, where I made many meaningful New York-based connections. I knew I wanted to stay in commercial real estate but wanted to transition into a sales role, which led me to my current role.
On another note, my father has been involved in real estate since I was young and I fondly remember attending an auction with him when I was a child. However, it was not until I was immersed in the industry that I developed a passion for real estate.
Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?
The most interesting time in my career, thus far, had to do with Amazon and their intended presence in Long Island City, which is my team’s primary area of focus. When Amazon decided not to move forward with their plans for HQ2 in LIC, the neighborhood was impacted and so was the real estate market. Some sellers are hopeful that Amazon will change their mind, or that another major company will take their place. Many sellers are not willing to accept that their property value is not what it was before Amazon’s decision to establish HQ2 elsewhere.
This period created a lot of uncertainty for property values and perception. When it comes to property values, people tend to believe what they want. The Amazon situation reinforced the fact that no deal is closed until it is 10000% signed, sealed, and delivered.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
One of the exciting parts of real estate is that there is always something new to work on. Whether it be new listings, consulting with developers on their projects, or analyzing an unfamiliar asset class, my team is always prepared to tackle new obstacles. We have established a reputation as market specialists with the ability to provide property owners asset valuations tailored uniquely to their properties and financial situations. We can provide historical real estate data as well as up-to-date information to help prepare owners for long-term strategic planning.
In addition to my role as a broker, I am also looking for new acquisition opportunities to build my own real estate portfolio as well as hard money deals to lend on.
Ok. Thank you for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. The Real Estate industry, like the Veterinarian, Nursing and Public Relations fields, is a woman-dominated industry. Yet despite this, less than 20 percent of senior positions in Real Estate companies are held by women. In your opinion or experience, what do you think is the cause of this imbalance?
Ithink much of the imbalance today is a result of previous generations ideas of gender roles in society. Today, it is much more common for women to seek long-term success in their field.
Real estate is a great industry for women to excel in, because we are in a people business where relationship building and understanding the emotional complexities of selling an asset are highly important.
I have been passionate about leveraging my interactions with women in real estate through my involvement in various organizations geared towards working women. We stick together!
I think as the younger generations progress in their careers, this gender imbalance will hopefully lessen. We are a result of past generations, but in today’s world, women have more opportunities that were not available.
What 3 things can be done by a) individuals b) companies and/or c) society to support greater gender balance going forward?
Following up on what I previously mentioned, I think we need to learn to get past perception. As the world changes, so should our views. Articles like this help get these conversations going and recognize that gender disparity exists, but the gap still needs to be closed.
Mentorship programs. Successful women sharing stories and helping younger generations of women flourish in their career. Also, more support for women in real estate organizations.
Financial education. I have mentioned this to friends before and said this is something every high school should teach students. Male or female, we all need to learn how to manage finances. Receiving this education early on would allow more people to put this knowledge to practice.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women executives that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?
I think the way men and women express themselves in the workplace is very different. For example, the same argument could be made by a man and a woman, but the delivery and reception could be very different. Women also face more gender biases connected to physical appearances on a daily basis and this should not impact a person’s value in business.
Another challenge is the work-life balance of raising a family. I am recently married and have not personally experienced raising a family yet, however, it is something my husband and I will have to plan for. Fortunately, a lot of real estate business can be handled remotely, and we can manage our time accordingly.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Real Estate industry?
- It is constantly changing so there is always something new to learn. Even once you learn a new area, there’s new developments taking place and you have to relearn. It’s all part of the growth cycle. It is great to be able to watch the dynamic of a neighborhood completely change. For example, Long Island City has experienced significant changes over the last few years, transitioning from a mostly industrial outpost to one of New York City’s most bustling neighborhoods to live, work and play. Just look at the skyline each week!
- Real estate is part of our everyday world. Even just walking to the subway you see new restaurants opening. Real estate is a topic of conversation for everyone, whether they work in the industry or not. Real estate is tangible.
- The impact real estate professionals have on people also excites me. Sellers have reasons for selling property, whether it is to reinvest in another asset or to sell and put the money towards something they need to improve a financial situation. No matter the reason, there is always an impact.
Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?
- The lure of the real estate industry has led to oversaturation where too many people are competing for the same business. NYC has so many real estate brokers and the barrier to entry is not that difficult. I think there should be higher standards for getting into the brokerage business in order to maintain a standard of ethics and professionalism.
- Data. The lack of accurate information sharing has led to inconsistent statistics. In order to improve data, we have to be more willing to share information, although it is a competitive industry and people are only going to share information when it is required.
- Sellers who do not understand the value of a good real estate broker and then sell for a number below market. Plenty of sellers want sky high numbers, but there are also many who do not want to even engage with a broker for information or advice.
What advice would you give to other leaders to help their team to thrive?
Attend networking events and meet new people in the industry. Find ways to collaborate and learn from people in other roles. See how you can work together by leveraging the expertise of colleagues or acquaintances in the industry.
Ok, here is the main question of our interview. You are a “Real Estate Insider”. If you had to advise someone about 5 non intuitive things one should know to succeed in the Real Estate industry, what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each?
- Adapt. The real estate market is cyclical. It is important to be able to adapt with it and understand there are going to be ups, downs, and legislation passed that is out of your control. New York experienced a change in rent stabilization regulations in June 2019 and this had a big impact on real estate values as well as investor demand for rent stabilized product.
- Specialize. You cannot be an expert in every real estate market. It is better to be able to provide clients with expert advice in a localized area, rather than try to cover an entire market. Specialization has been very valuable for our team.
- Honesty. This one should be more intuitive, though many people are counting their pockets too early on and lose sight of the end goal. Give your clients a reason to trust you and lean on you for advice and information. As brokers, our information is valuable and when you can be honest and build trustworthy relationships, it goes a long way.
- Network. Relationships can be made anywhere. The great thing about real estate is that you do not have to work in it to invest in property. You never know who you may meet and where a deal can be made.
- Patience. While the potential to make money is there, deals take time. Respect the process and invest in yourself. You cannot enter the business thinking to close your first deal right away.
Because of your position, you are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I strongly support increased educational resources towards teaching and inspiring teenagers to learn about finances and investing. I would urge schools to add this to the curriculum for all students to take. If people are not taught how to manage wealth or that wealth management avenues exist, they often do not know how to put it to practice. I believe it is important to have the education early on, so when younger generations enter the workplace and start collecting paychecks, they know how to build their wealth. We all know how to spend our money, but the key is learning how to manage it! If institutions do not have the right teachers to advise on this topic, I encourage them to bring in successful professionals to run through case studies and go over financial basics.
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