“Why it is crucial to create a well-rounded team that compliments each other’s strengths” With Tere Blanca

Hire a Diverse team– I am a big believer in hand-selecting your team. Every project we handle is unique and requires a certain expertise. We make sure that we select a well-rounded team that compliments each other’s strengths and is really a bespoke team for each client and their specific needs. I had the pleasure to […]

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Hire a Diverse team– I am a big believer in hand-selecting your team. Every project we handle is unique and requires a certain expertise. We make sure that we select a well-rounded team that compliments each other’s strengths and is really a bespoke team for each client and their specific needs.

I had the pleasure to interview Tere Blanca. Tere is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Blanca Commercial Real Estate, Inc., the leading independently owned commercial real estate services firm in Florida. She founded the firm in 2009 after identifying a need in the marketplace for a local advisory and brokerage firm built on a culture of giving clients a collaborative and highly personalized approach to service.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

It was serendipitous path. I was in San Diego working in sales for the Burroughs Corporation selling computer products across Southern California to distributors. An acquaintance of mine at a gathering of friends suggested I look into the commercial real estate business given my success in sales and my MBA. There was no internet back then, so I started cold calling managers at various companies and after several meetings, I felt it would be an interesting career move and decided to join John Burnham & Company. There, the top producer at the company mentored me and I became passionate about the business, but my family was in Miami and I missed the city, so I decided to return to Miami to really build my career.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

I was enjoying a terrific experience leading the South Florida region for one of the larger commercial real estate brokerages, Cushman & Wakefield, but I wanted more. At the time, it was right in the middle of the Great Recession in April 2009 and everyone thought I was crazy to want to launch my own business, but I knew it was time for me to move on and go out on my own. I just had a gut feeling it was the perfect time. By then, I had learned to trust my instincts and that still holds true today. It has been an invaluable asset.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I double booked! I was hosting a dinner at home when the phone rang, and it was a client asking if I was going to be able to join them at their dinner party because they were getting ready to serve. After that, I learned to always enter meetings on my calendar and be more mindful when accepting calendar invitations.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

We are nimble. We focus on our clients’ and the projects’ needs and we build a team specifically to deliver the best outcomes for each assignment. For instance, when we handled the Miami Herald’s corporate relocation from Downtown Miami to Doral, I immediately reached out to an experienced developer of industrial properties, who was then the only developer in Florida that had the experience to provide insight and oversight on the construction of the massive printing and production building the Miami Herald needed to have built in record time. He agreed to come on board as an extension of our team and added incredible value throughout the entire process.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

We have been working with MiamiCentral, which is one of the stations connecting the new Brightline Train from Miami to Palm Beach and eventually Orlando. The influx of transit-oriented development all along that rail service is creating serious economic development throughout the region and contributing to creating employment opportunities across county lines. For companies located around the station it will also facilitate attracting a larger pool of talent.

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

Find and build strong relationships with mentors and sponsors. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are so many talented, inspirational and genius mentors who have blazed the trail before them. Leverage them.

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

Lead with enthusiasm and remember that egos cloud judgment, so, leave them at the door. Be authentic and honor your list of non-negotiables with yourself and others.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I am thankful for the team I have built. They share the same passion and commitment to excellence that I do. Without them, we would not have experienced the tremendous growth we have today.

I am also especially thankful to the clients who place their trust in us. Some of these clients include the ownership of 1450 Brickell, which is today home to some of Miami’s most notable companies and is achieving market-setting rents. And most recently, we were named the exclusive leasing agent for the TH Real Estate and Allianz portfolio in Waterford at Blue Lagoon. The property consists of 1.7 million square feet of Class A office space. The addition of this asset to our office leasing portfolio makes us the largest commercial real estate brokerage by market share in agency leasing in Miami-Dade County and that is something that we are incredibly grateful for.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I have leveraged my experience, connections and success into giving back to the community in a variety of ways. I have held leadership positions at business organizations like the Beacon Council, which is focused on Miami’s economic development.

I am also a past chair of City Year Miami. During my tenure there, I invested a great deal of time and resources to support its efforts in the Miami-Dade County public school system. The organization partners with schools to help provide diverse, talented and trained young adult tutors, mentors and role models who work alongside teachers to support student success. It has helped thousands of students stay on track, graduate on time and has empowered them to believe in something greater.

Currently, I also serve on the Florida Commission on Access to Civil Justice, which focuses on addressing the civil legal needs of disadvantaged Floridians.

I also make the time to mentor and share my story with aspiring professionals to encourage and motivate them to pursue their dreams.

What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why?

Practicing active listening: Carefully paying attention to the needs of your clients and team is crucial. It’s a more efficient process and you can be more creative and achieve better, faster results if you listen carefully from the onset.

Hire a Diverse team– I am a big believer in hand-selecting your team. Every project we handle is unique and requires a certain expertise. We make sure that we select a well-rounded team that compliments each other’s strengths and is really a bespoke team for each client and their specific needs.

Continued learning every day: Leveraging industry organizations such as ULI, CoreNet, mentors and clients to learn new approaches, new ideas and new strategies is mission critical to deliver the best insight to our clients.

Enthusiasm and passion: Being positive and enthusiastic about the work you do is agreat motivator to others and helps drive success.

Visualizing goals and objectives: Mindfulness and being able to visualize a goal, while working to achieve it is a methodology that has served me well in business. If you can see it. You can do it.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I believe that every child, regardless of background or zip code, deserves access to a great education irrespective of socioeconomic status. I would like to see equal opportunities in education to unlock the full potential of every child.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Do what you say you are going to do.”

Holding yourself and others accountable is really honoring the promises you make to your clients.

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