Blanca Commercial Real Estate Expands with Cary Cohen

April 28, 2016

Blanca Commercial Real Estate today announced that noted real estate executive Cary Cohen has joined the firm as executive vice president. Cohen will oversee the continued expansion of the firm’s investment sales practice group.

Yes, you can volunteer and have work life balance

April 22, 2016

Like most working parents, I run around most of the time like a chicken with my head cut off. I want to do so much but I always feel like I could do more, especially for my community. Well, it’s National Volunteer Month so it’s a great time to take inventory of your life and see how you might be able to give back.

When I think of role models who give back, Tere Blanca immediately comes to mind. Tere is one of the few women in commercial real estate who has a proven track record and is well respected by men and women in her field. She is founder, president, and CEO of Blanca Commercial Real Estate, the leading independent full-service commercial real estate brokerage in South Florida. She’s a working mother AND she has held prestigious positions as past chair of The Beacon Council and member of the Board of Governors of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce among all kinds of other positions in the community. Tere’s company encourages volunteerism among its employees by underwriting the costs of charitable work, donating money to organizations her employees are involved with, and providing paid time off to volunteer.

Today, Tere is my guest blogger and I’m thrilled to have her weigh in on how she balances work, life, and volunteering. She can be reached at tere.blanca@blancacre.com

Tere’s Motto: Volunteerism Drives Business Success

At my company, our passion for social causes has proved one of our most important business differentiators and drivers, helping establish our business in the midst of the 2009 economic downturn and propelling our sustained growth.

The game-changing volunteering I’m referring to goes beyond writing checks, sitting on boards, and occasionally attending galas and events. It involves identifying causes near to our hearts that we are personally passionate about, rolling up our sleeves, and generously donating our time and talents to meaningfully advance the organizations’ missions.

I founded the firm on a non-negotiable pillar of giving back, encouraging volunteerism among all brokers and employees by underwriting charitable work, donating financial resources to the organizations we support, and providing paid time off to volunteer. This linked us with our community, giving us a close feel for its pulse, and enabling us to forge strong partnerships and networks while engaging on deep, human levels.

I did this simply because I wanted to give; I later realized it would drive incredible success, with some major national clients selecting us in part for our deep local community ties, having witnessed first-hand our abilities while involved in volunteer work or leading the charge to positively impact our community.

Another essential driver of business success is the ability to attract and retain talent, which also is enhanced through corporate social responsibility. Research shows most employees consider “contributing to society” indispensable for an ideal job. Millennials who participate in workplace volunteer activities are more satisfied and loyal.

Despite running a demanding business and raising a family, I have been able to find ample time to pour my heart into causes that deeply resonate with me. Often, I am asked, “How do you do it?”

Here is some of my best advice:

First, take a deep look within yourself and identify causes that you are truly passionate about. Identify the best organizations and opportunities that allow you to engage at a meaningful level in supporting those causes. Before committing, get to know the organizations and their boards well upfront to confirm there is a fit. As part of that process, develop an accurateunderstanding of the time commitment and expectations involved.

Next, understand how much time you can reasonably contribute every month and week. For first-timers, it is best to start small and build on your success. It is better to make meaningful contributions to one or two organizations than to join six boards and do a minimal amount of non-impactful work for each. This also avoids over-committing and letting folks down when you realize you cannot attend all the board meetings or have to withdraw from the organization.

Then, when you have decided what organizations you want to join, develop a written plan for your involvement. If you have marketing or public relations support at your company, it is helpful to engage their expertise in this process. Obtain a list of board meetings and key activities upfront and bake them into your calendar.

Most importantly, make sure your team at work and your family at home are well aware of these commitments and ready to support you when needed. Proper planning also can help you identify non-essential activities that may be delegated or cut from your schedule. Something as simple as ordering in dinner rather than preparing a meal can free up your evening. Also, do not be shy to ask for support from your family and co-workers; after all, community is a fabric woven of individual lives and efforts. When we all do our part, no matter how seemingly small or trivial, the whole is strengthened and bettered.

I find it inexcusable that South Florida ranks last among 51 major metros for its volunteer rate. It also is bad business. For example, when we support City Year Miami’s mission to help keep students in school and on track to graduate, ready for college and careers, we’re building a better tomorrow for everyone: one with a broader talent pool, lower crime rates that result in lower insurance costs, and a society that is better equipped to attract business investment, fuel economic growth and enjoy a higher quality of life.

To paraphrase Horace Mann, “Doing nothing for our community is the undoing of business.”

People On The Move

April 22, 2016

Cary Cohen Executive Vice President at Blanca Commercial Real Estate Cary Cohen will oversee the continued expansion of the firm’s investment sales practice group.

BLANCA COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE EXPANDS INVESTMENT SALES PRACTICE WITH ADDITION OF CARY COHEN AS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

April 22, 2016

Signaling a growing client demand for investment sales services, Blanca Commercial Real Estate today announced that noted real estate executive Cary Cohen has joined the firm as executive vice president. Cohen will oversee the continued expansion of the firm’s investment sales practice group.

Cohen draws on 15 years of experience leading the disposition of more than 10 million square feet of property throughout his career. Prior to joining Blanca Commercial Real Estate, Cohen led the Florida operations for the Asset Solutions Group of Flagler Real Estate Services, where he focused on the disposition of commercial real estate.

The key hire comes amid a flurry of commercial real estate investment activity in Miami and South Florida, especially from out-of- state investors; in fact, New York firms alone have spent $586M in one square mile of downtown Miami in the past two years, about 56% of the total investment in this area. BCRE is representing one such investor, the New York private equity firm Brickman, after its recent acquisition of the downtown landmark Courthouse Tower.

“As we continue to meet increasing demand for first-class client service and deep market intelligence across a range of commercial real estate services as the sector evolves in Miami and South Florida, we are very pleased to welcome Cary, a respected thought leader and well-known industry heavyweight, to the team,” said Tere Blanca, president, CEO and founder of Blanca Commercial Real Estate. “With his experience and connections, we are confident that our investment sales practice group will continue to thrive and grow, offering clients the unsurpassed service and data-driven strategic direction on which we’ve built our reputation.”

Sharing the firm’s commitment to community service, Cohen takes an active role in key organizations working toward a greater good. He is a founding member of the Young Professionals benefiting Easter Seals, a graduate of the 2013 Leadership Miami class, and a member of the steering committee for P.A.T.C.H.E.S., a charity benefitting children with complex medical issues. He also serves the Salvation Army and Miami Rescue Mission.

Cohen received a bachelor’s degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University, where he graduated magna cum laude.

About Blanca Commercial Real Estate :Blanca Commercial Real Estate, the leading independently owned commercial real estate brokerage firm in South Florida, provides a complete range of brokerage and advisory services to owners and users of commercial real estate. Established in 2009, the firm is noted for delivering distinct client value through a unique methodology, data-driven insight, vast network and deep community roots. Practice areas include landlord representation, tenant representation, build-to- suit advisory services, and land/investment property acquisition and disposition. For more information, visit www.blancacre.com

What Tere Blanca Looks For In CRE Talent

April 15, 2016

There’s a certain attitude she’s looking for as she continues to grow her commercial real estate business.

MIAMI—Tere Blanca has accomplished plenty in her commercial real estate career—and moved through transition. Beyond spearheading Blanca Commercial Real Estate, she’s also a member of the board of directors of BankUnited and several other organizations.

GlobeSt.com caught up with Blanca to learn more about her goals moving forward, the opportunities she sees in the market, and how she’s leveraging these opportunities in this exclusive interview. You can still read parts one and two: Tere Blanca’s Serendipitous Start in Commercial Real Estate and Tere Blanca: I’m an Expert Juggler.

GlobeSt.com: What are your goals moving forward?

Blanca: We are focusing on continued growth through tenant representation, investment sales representing local and foreign owners and buyers, and developing various other target submarkets. Also, we’re committed to continuing to recruit bright, new talent. We look for team members who share our core values and commitment to exceptional client service, and who have a “can do” attitude and are creative solution-finders who don’t hesitate to forge new paths when necessary.

GlobeSt.com: What opportunities do you see in your market?

Blanca: Our greatest opportunity at Blanca Commercial Real Estate is to stay true to ourselves, to the unique blueprint which has defined our success: excellence in client service, a customized approach, exceptional market knowledge, and commitment to our community. We continue to see growing client demand for our services based on this formula, so we recognize there is a real market opportunity to continue to build and expand upon it.

GlobeSt.com: How are you leveraging those opportunities?

Blanca: Again, it’s essential that we develop our talent pool, recruiting and mentoring outstanding professionals who view the world through our same lens. As an example, we’re very excited to have just brought on a new team member, Cary Cohen, as executive vice president,

Cary is a distinguished industry leader who exemplifies these characteristics and brings a wealth of experience in the South Florida market, having been responsible for the sale of over 10 million square feet of property. And of course, we also will continue to expand our client relationships, cementing ties and expanding our service offerings with existing clients while developing new ones.

Tere Blanca: I’m An Expert Juggler

April 12, 2016

MIAMI—“I’m very fortunate that I haven’t faced some of the typical challenges that confront entrepreneurs who are trying to grow their businesses.”

Tere Blanca has seen her fair share of challenges during her commercial real estate career. The founder, CEO and chairman of Blanca Commercial Real Estate and former Cushman & Wakefield executive, has managed to thrive in the midst of adverse market conditions.

GlobeSt.com caught up with Blanca to talk about the challenge she’s faced and how she’s navigated them in part two of this exclusive interview. You can still read part one: Tere Blanca’s Serendipitous Start In Commercial Real Estate.

GlobeSt.com: What was the biggest challenge you’ve had to navigate in the commercial real estate industry?

Blanca: Commercial real estate is a business that requires a considerable investment of one’s time, energy and attention. Personally, the biggest challenge has been to juggle delivering the ultimate value to clients, while also tending to my team, family, and community. Thankfully, I’m getting to be an expert juggler and I believe that with careful planning, prioritizing, and time-management it is possible to have it all: a rewarding, successful career; a highly-motivated and expert team; a deeply committed and involved family life; and a meaningful role in helping our community.

I’m very fortunate that I haven’t faced some of the typical challenges that confront entrepreneurs who are trying to grow their businesses. Although commercial real estate is a very competitive industry, clients turn to us because of our all-out dedication to customer service and going the extra mile.

We customize our approach according to each client’s unique needs and objectives. We also pride ourselves in having exceptionally honed market knowledge that also helps advance our client’s goals. These have formed the blueprint to our success, enabling us to avoid many growing pains and challenges.

GlobeSt.com: How did you get through that challenge?

Blanca: In trying to juggle the daily requirements of work and family, I’m very fortunate to have an outstanding team at my firm as well as an incredibly supportive husband at home. My team at Blanca Commercial Real Estate is always ready to step in for me and similarly they know I am always there for them. And I’ve always shown to my daughters that they’re my priority, so they understand why I was not a homeroom mom at school.

They recognized that I always made it a priority to spend quality time with them, and that ultimately I have been committed to provide a great education and quality of life for them. I have always maintained a very close, positive relationship with my family, and those bonds have only grown stronger over the years.

As to avoiding many of the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in trying to grow their businesses, I’ve also greatly benefitted from the excellent advice and experience of high-level leaders in our community and my YPO/WPO colleagues who through the years have served as my mentors and sponsors.

Tere Blanca’s Serendipitous Start In Commercial Real Estate

April 7, 2016
“Well-meaning friends tried to discourage me, but I listened to my gut.”

Tere Blanca has over 25 years of experience in South Florida’s commercial real estate market. During that time, she’s done everything from land acquisition to master planning design and from construction, marketing and lease up to the sale of office and mixed-use assets.

Before launching Blanca Commercial Real Estate in 2009, she served as senior managing director for Cushman & Wakefield of Florida for five years. There she successfully led the firm’s South Florida operations, achieving significant revenue growth and increased profitability. Blanca also held the position of senior vice president at Codina Realty Services, ONCOR International where she was consistently among the top producers during her 14-year tenure.

GlobeSt.com caught up with Blanca, founder, president and CEO of Blanca, to learn more about her journey and the challenges along the way in this exclusive interview. Stay tuned for part two of this article, in which Blanca will share her career challenges and how she overcame them.

GlobeSt.com: How did you get your start in commercial real estate?

Blanca: It was purely serendipitous! I was in San Diego working in sales at a tech company and not feeling completely fulfilled, when a friend suggested commercial real estate. I looked into it and liked the fact that it would enable me to draw from my background in finance as well as my sales experience. I had the luck of a fantastic mentor who took me under his wing, and I absolutely fell in love with the industry! It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

GlobeSt.com: What have been some of the key turning points in your career?

Blanca: Certainly a key turning point was opening Blanca Commercial Real Estate in April, 2009, during a time when the real estate market was in crisis. Well-meaning friends tried to discourage me, but I listened to my gut.

I felt that the time was actually ideal for starting my own firm and helping people who were in deep distress, navigating through incredibly difficult situations. They needed professionals like me who were willing to roll up their sleeves and see them through the storm.

But in many ways we also face turning points on a daily basis, in light of a myriad of factors including our firm’s continued growth, the nature of our dynamic industry, changing client needs, and emerging trends which include innovative technologies. The collusion of these elements creates ongoing turning points and an incredibly exciting ride.