Ashleigh's Field Notes

A Journey into the CRE World

Posted by Ashleigh Kiggans on December 02, 2015 Leave a comment

Following the path of Ashleigh Kiggans as she breaks into the complex world of commercial real estate in Frederick, Maryland.

headshot-300x300-1.jpgI am excited to be sharing my first journal entry with everyone!

I couldn't be more thrilled for this opportunity to chronicle my path toward becoming a commercial real estate sales and leasing associate in Frederick County. This gives me the chance to give others who may be interested in a full time career in commercial real estate a first-hand account of my journey.

First, though, let me share a little bit about myself and how my path led me to MacRo, Ltd.

My Journey

I am 28 years old and grew up in Woodbridge, Virginia. I have always had a strong interest in real estate. When I was growing up, my mother would often take me to tour the model homes in the many new residential development communities that sprung up all over our county.

I was a collegiate volleyball player at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Following my time in college, I moved back to the Washington, DC metro area. In April 2010, after a brief time working in fitness sales, I landed a position with Carr Workplaces, which is a sister company of Carr Properties that provides office space to corporate representatives and many small businesses who seek a high end professional workplace environment. My 4-½ years with the company were eventful—I started out as a receptionist and eventually earned the position of General Manager of the company's Bethesda office.

Then in January of 2014, Carr Workplaces picked me to oversee one of their largest locations on 16th Street, NW in Downtown DC. My duties included overseeing staff, marketing and negotiating leases.

Having been bitten by the CRE bug, I left Carr to find a career track closer to home in Frederick. While I began my search, I decided to enroll in Penn State University's online curriculum with a major in Pre-Law. My goal was to learn more about the legal side of commercial real estate, figuring this would come in handy for future real estate negotiations and transactions.

A Great Opportunity

A few weeks ago while I was checking in on my LinkedIn account, I came across an interesting job opportunity posted on the MacRo Report Blog. Rocky Mackintosh, the president of the firm, was seeking someone who could contribute to the organization and was looking for an opportunity to learn and be mentored as a commercial real estate sales and leasing associate.

What drew my eye to it?

The requirement of writing a 500 word essay "explaining in detail why [I was] applying for this position and why [I] should be selected." It seemed that my passion for a career in commercial real estate came through in my essay, because about a week later, I was asked to come in for an interview.

After a number of meetings and a few "tests", I was offered the job. Over the top with excitement, I immediately gave two weeks notice to the employer where I held a temporary job.

And, well, here we are, the first week on the road to my new career in commercial real estate.

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My First Week on Board

Experience would have us believe that the first week at a new job would start the same for everyone. You arrive (5-10 minutes early, of course), go through standard orientation, learn the “do’s and don’ts” of the office, and then sit around awkwardly waiting for someone to tell you what to do. Needless to say, these were my past "first week experiences."

Well, none of this was true when it came to my first week with MacRo. This first week has been filled with more hands-on training and quiet observations in high-level meetings.

My first day kicked off early with a meeting the firm's marketing team, followed by a staff meeting. After a brief break, we hit the road.

Our first stop was to take measurements for a marketing brochure at a new company listing for a medical office space condominium for lease. When Rocky and I arrived, we realized that the original floor plan we were given did not match the current layout.

What do you do when something like this happens? Well…create one from scratch, of course! That was definitely a first for me.

Immediately following our onsite visit, I joined Rocky for a showing of a large industrial warehouse to another real estate broker and his clients. The discussion covered property features such as the number of amps, ceiling heights and dock doors. It is very interesting to observe the personal interaction between the brokers and the prospects. I could see right away that it’s more about asking questions and listening than just pitching a property.

During the subsequent days of my first week, I observed a meeting with a MacRo client who owns two building lots for sale. He and his wife wanted to get an update on the current activity in the marketplace. The key question: Is it time to reduce the asking price of the lots?

I also attended a showing of a commercial lot for sale, assisted in property searches on the web, made calls to government agencies to gather information and reviewed with the firm's General Manager, Sherri Mercer, the status of all listings, letters of intent, contracts of sale and leases, all of which were in various stages of negotiation with Rocky involved each step of the way.

If this was just the first week, I knew that I am exactly where I want to be.

In summary, my first week has been better than I could have imagined. From client meetings and land and warehouse showings, to taking measurements and creating a floor plan completely from scratch, this week has been one to remember, for sure.

By the time you read this, I will have completed my real estate classes and state testing to become a licensed commercial Realtor in Maryland.

 Stay tuned…

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