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The New Closers: Why Streetwise's Sarah Starry Is One Of CRE's Next Market Leaders

The pressure of jewelry sales is enough to form diamonds.

After six years as one of Zadok Jeweler’s top sellers, Streetwise Associate Sarah Starry got her broker license in 2014, bringing her unique sales ability to the world of commercial real estate, where she has become a rising star in Houston retail.

Sarah Starry

“In jewelry sales, you go from just meeting someone to selling them the most expensive item they’ll buy all year in under 30 minutes,” Starry said. “And they still have to like you after spending all that money. That was my training ground.”

Starry still has former jewelry clients that call her, but these days she is busy pursuing the hottest retail spots in the Bayou City for her clients, which include Sprouts Farmers Market, iPic Theater and the Barteca Restaurant Group.

Sarah Starry fishing

"She hasn't been in the business long enough to lease mega-numbers, but she is nonetheless a future superstar in this industry," Streetwise Managing Partner Ed Page said.

He would know. Page has more than 40 years of experience in retail real estate brokerage in Houston and has played an integral role in the inception, leasing and/or sale of more than 35 high-profile shopping centers across the city.

Starry joined Streetwise Retail Advisors in 2016 after previously working as an associate with S.E. Covington & Co. At Covington, she worked as an office tenant rep. While that might be where brokers make the most money, Starry said she could not get pumped up about poring through pages of phone numbers cold calling potential clients.

The retail world is different.

Sarah Starry with her husband, Victor Mendoza

“In retail, there’s no database to look up, no numbers to call,” Starry said. "Gathering information and market knowledge is a totally different game.”

It is a game she is up for.

Earlier this year, Starry and Page brought Sprouts Farmers Market to a 30K SF space at Sugar Land's University Commons.

"Sprouts made it clear they wanted her on the team, and not as a sidekick," Page said. "They reach out to her, not me. It shows how quickly people gravitate towards her."  

Starry and Page have been hired as the exclusive leasing representatives for Crosspoint Properties’ newest mixed-use development in Midtown, working alongside a team of Gensler architects to influence the planning and design through the retail lens, literally from the ground up.

“Sarah and I are both very passionate about mixed-use,” Page said. “We’ll be in a meeting with people who have been in the industry for decades and she can offer value. She’s a quick read with a good gut feeling, her credibility quickly becomes obvious.”

Sarah Starry working the RODEO Houston Parade

Starry got her start as an entrepreneur in her hometown of Fredericksburg, where she founded the “bed. no breakfast” concept at Starry’s Studio, a 700 SF guest house she designed and helps to manage to this day.

A resident of the Heights since graduating from Texas A&M University, Sarah sits on the Young Professionals Board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston and is an active member of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Parade Committee.