New York Real Estate Journal – Women in Real Estate no. 1
Q1: So, Ms Avital, when did you get started in the Commercial Real Estate industry?
A1: I started in Commercial Real Estate sales four years ago and joined Eastern Consolidated three years ago.
Q2: Tell us a little bit about your background.
A2: I was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel and my earlier careers included fitness training, gymnastics and jazz dancing. Although these past careers and Commercial Real Estate are very different, the skill set needed to be successful in all of them are the same: dedication, focus and endurance.
Q3: What was the most interesting, or rewarding, real estate project that you have worked on?
A3: Since joining Eastern Consolidated I arranged a total of 15 deals valued at $170 million and one of my most rewarding and interesting deals was arranging the sale of a property for a family whom, prior to this deal, had not participated in such a transaction. I convinced them that I could find a buyer who would pay the asking price even though the price of $25,500,000 for the 17th Street and 7th Avenue development site seemed unrealistic, initially. After four months of working on this deal, my associate, Alan Miller and I were able to locate a buyer who agreed to pay the full price.
Q4: Is it an advantage to be a woman in today’s business world?
A4: Commercial Real Estate is a male dominated business but I never allowed that to hinder any inroads I wanted to make. All that I accomplished was as a result of my dedication to consistently provide the best level of service I could, to my customers and clients.
Q5: What has been your biggest challenge and how did it impact your career?
A5: One of my most memorable challenges was balancing two jobs during the first two years of my career in Commercial Real Estate. I was constantly exhausted but persevered, as I was attaining small successes and building strong relationships that I value to this day.
Q6: Do you have any mentors, male or female?
A6: One of the many relationships that I truly value today is the relationship with my mentor, Ms. Daun Paris (Hauspurg) of Eastern Consolidated. She is a smart, dedicated and an intelligent business woman. She has taught me to value my individuality and uniqueness and has encouraged me to use that to my advantage. In this business, a mentor is truly helpful.
Q7: What activities do you participate in to develop business and advance your career? Any women’s groups you would recommend for networking?
A7: I have had many successes in my short career in this business and in an effort to give back to a city which has been good to me I’ve become a supporter of the New York Presbyterian Hospital. It is a wonderful organization within which to meet and support other women. In addition, I am also an active supporter of ISEF – an organization based in the United States. The role of this organization is to provide a college education here in the United States, to young needy students in Israel.
Q8: Do you have any advice for a woman just starting her career in the commercial real estate industry?
A8: The advice I can offer is what has worked for me. This industry is highly competitive and to be successful at it you must be tenacious, flexible, hard-working, accessible and able to provide a high level of service to your customers and clients.
Nov. 5, 2008