Currently, 43 percent of commercial real estate professionals are women. While commercial real estate is a male-dominated industry, the number of women working in the field is gradually increasing. According to CREW (Commercial Real Estate for Women Network), the number has grown by an estimated 35% since 2000.
Part of an Upward Trend
Barb Murdocca and Bo Mangam of Landmark Commercial Realty Inc. are a part of the upward trend. Barb began her career in commercial real estate immediately following college graduation; Bo transitioned to commercial real estate after working in corporate America for several years.
“After graduating college in the 90s, I joined a commercial real estate firm in Washington, DC, and served as their corporate concierge,” Barb says. “My responsibilities included tenant relations, common area aesthetics and event planning for various properties in our portfolio.”
After two years serving in that capacity, Barb was promoted to property manager and assigned her first property – the Watergate Building.
“By the time I left the DC market, about ten years after entering it, I gained an invaluable amount of experience,” Barb adds.
Currently, as Landmark Commercial Realty’s director of operations, Barb provides leadership and operational oversight to improve client engagement and support the firm and its agents in all aspects of commercial real estate. As a licensed agent, she also assists her clients with their real estate goals in both acquisition and disposition requirements.
Bo worked in the global marketing strategy department at AMP, Inc. (which is now Tyco) before entering the commercial real estate profession. Today she is a Landmark agent specializing in land, office and retail sectors.
“One of my responsibilities was to assess international sites,” Bo says. “I looked at real estate around the world, so I thought a career in commercial real estate was a natural progression. And it was. It was a very smooth transition.”
Bo’s diverse international background (she was born and raised in Poland), and her ability to communicate in multiple languages, enables her to work with individuals of various backgrounds, as well as organizations that wish to grow their businesses in Central Pennsylvania.
The Future of CRE for Women
Barb believes the number of women in commercial real estate will continue to grow steadily.
“When I entered the field, it was rare to see a woman in brokerage, and most who were in the field gravitated towards property management and accounting,” Barb says. “Commercial real estate was not a common college major, so unless you were introduced to it through your family, it was not a popular career option for women.”
Barb says that regardless of what segment of CRE you are interested in – whether it is a first career, second or even third – education is crucial to achieving success in the industry.