All real estate, and particularly commercial real estate, is about people: serving users’ professional needs, knowing whom to call to solve problems or get that next deal, and creating the personal connections to get all of the above accomplished.
That focus on building and reinforcing professional relationships is a key goal for Commercial Real Estate Women’s Network (CREW) and especially its New York chapter, NYCREW, which over the past year the chapter has created new events and outreach to expand its membership. The result saw membership double in 2013 and continue to grow this year, creating new opportunities for NYCREW’s professionals to embody its slogan: Power. Influence. Opportunity.
NYCREW’s leaders note that its goal is for its members, already successful professionals, to do business together, something that is more easily accomplished when they’ve interacted on a social and educational level. To that end, the chapter runs a variety of events, from members-only social activities, to educational seminars open to all, to joint events with other organizations that benefit the business community at large as well as New York City.
Recent Industry Spotlights, panel-driven seminars that incorporate time for networking, have focused on the state of financing, current economic concerns and sustainability. Future plans call for a focus on facilities management, among other topics.
These panels have featured some of the most prominent women in their sectors, many of them NYCREW members.
For those looking to begin their day with a quick, informal gathering (as well as some caffeine), the newly instituted CREW Coffees, hosted monthly by chapter leaders at their offices, allow NYCREW members to exchange cards, say hello and then run off to work. During the summer, the Leading Ladies In Real Estate Breakfast Series (held in June, July and August) offers a monthly seminar by one major industry figure, discussing industry trends and her career path.
NYCREW also remains committed to helping the next generation of real estate professionals, hosting an annual fundraiser with its sister New York area chapters CREW CT, CREWNJ and the Association of Real Estate Women for CREW Network Foundation, the philanthropic arm of CREW Network and the only foundation dedicating its resources solely towards advancing women in the commercial real estate industry.
Its programs educate women and girls about the career opportunities available to them and creating mentoring relationships for those new to the industry. NYCREW also annually holds a CREW Career days for high school women to learn more about real estate as a future career from chapter leaders and industry professionals.
This year, the event, to be held at Hunter College on July 25, is offered in conjunction with the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute.
High school students in need also will be part of the extended NYCREW family this year, as the Summer Breakfast Series events also are collection points for donations of school supplies to the Volunteers of America’s Operation Backpack program.
NYCREW will collect donated school supplies from attendees with a goal of filling 30 new backpacks for high-school students currently living in homeless shelters. Members of NYCREW also will participate in filling the backpacks at Operation Backpack’s Filling event, Thursday, August 21.
And as always, the year will conclude with the annual Holiday Gala and Vanguard Awards, which will honor the achievements of members throughout the year, made possible in large part through the connections built through NYCREW’s members and activities.