What led you to your current profession? When I purchased Office Gallery in 2016 with my husband Michael, it was like a homecoming – five of my 30+ years of experience as an executive sales leader were spent here. My additional experiences at organizations such as Home Instead Senior Care, Macy’s, and Manchester Lane Design have given me a foundation in not only designing office space but also in being responsible for the most effective use of every s/f of a retail or commercial location. When the founders of the business were ready to retire, buying Office Gallery from them was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.
What are some of the benefits of being a mentor or having a mentor? I really enjoy the coaching piece – giving feedback and encouragement, and always discussing ways we can all improve. Our mentor relationship has also really helped to unify our team. I love that our team always wants to learn more – take courses, read new articles, books, trainings. We recently challenged ourselves with the “21-day no complaining” craze. The difference in our work environment was remarkable!
What trends will dominate your industry in the coming months? With hybrid work plans, we anticipate more hoteling within office design – an open floor plan dotted with different types of seating groupings. This corporate design is great for encouraging smaller groups to collaborate, a major focus for companies who might only have their workforces together in person one or two days a week. The days of the open floor plan and shared desk space are pretty much over – for now. The walls are coming back up. Our cubicle business has become our number one category.
In the past year, what project, transaction or accomplishment are you most proud of? I feel like over the past year we’ve worked on strengthening Office Gallery so that it’s evolved from a smaller, mom-and-pop organization to a mature, established business. We promoted a longstanding member of our team to VP of operations, hired a new salesperson, and expanded our installation team, including bringing one our installers into the showroom as our operations manager. He’ll now oversee all delivery and installation details as well as oversee the installation team.
What is one characteristic that you believe every woman in commercial real estate should possess? Being a good listener – if you’re doing all the talking, you’re not learning what your client is looking for. (We have two ears and one mouth for a reason – we should be listening twice as much as we talk!)
What time management strategies do you find to be the most effective for you? I’m a huge list-maker and I’m fanatically organized. I use my morning commute to make my mental list for the day and then write it down when I arrive at the showroom. Even if I get sidetracked, I have my list(s) to get back to.