Excepted from Bisnow story on the 2018 Atlanta CRE Power Women inductees.
Franklin Street Real Estate Services Senior Vice President Monetha Cobb
Bisnow: How do you describe your job to people who are not in the industry?
Monetha Cobb: Because I’m in retail, I believe what we do resonates a bit more with non-real estate folks. Everybody shops or eats out, so it’s pretty simple to explain that my teams assist retail operators in locating the best real estate for their particular use. I think the harder part is explaining just what all tenant rep services entail, from creating a strategy for expansion, market analysis, site due diligence and negotiations.
Bisnow: What is the biggest business problem you have faced and how did you solve it?
Cobb: The biggest business problems aren’t typically a one-time fix in my world, although we are constantly working to improve them and have found successes along the way. One of the most important ongoing challenges we have is communication at all levels within the company. This issue is common in all companies, but especially so in companies like Franklin Street, where we have experienced exponential growth over the past 10 years, going from three guys in an apartment to over 350 employees in six offices. I’ve found consistency with communication is key. When the teams know what is expected and understand when it needs to be done, we achieve much more engagement. Another way we’ve improved training communications is allowing team members to do it based on their own work schedules. Instead of having a one-time presentation or meeting, we’ve made recordings or videos of those events available to the employees to watch or listen at a later date to when they can do so.
Bisnow: What is one thing you think companies can do to address wage and gender inequality?
Cobb: Having male corporate leadership discuss it more openly in public forums. So many people, men and women, hear “wage and gender inequality” and still dismiss the problem, especially when you hear about it from a woman who has been very successful in her career.
Bisnow: What piece of advice do you give others entering the industry?
Cobb: Seek out a team or boss that appreciates your abilities. No matter your age or experience level, you need to bring a skill set to the group that nobody else on that team possesses. Make yourself invaluable and be prepared to work hard.
Bisnow: What do you do to unwind when you’re not working?
Cobb: Spend time with family and friends [and] enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. I have a first grader right now and trying to find more time to spend with him is my highest priority. I don’t want to miss a moment watching him grow up.