My Story: Tara Stacom
Cushman & Wakefield executive vice chairwoman Tara Stacom (who like Leslie Himmel will be on our upcoming Bisnow NYC Power Women list) may not have planned to go into commercial real estate, but her father, Cushman broker Matt Stacom, made the necessary arrangements.
"I had spent many a summer interning in all types of disciplines within the industry," she tells us, "and it was my father's hope and expectation that I would go into the business." She got a finance degree from Lehigh, but the 1980 recession quashed her interest in Wall Street. She took a job in HBO's new sales division, eliminated a year later by the '81 recession, and moved back home. "Dad said, 'You have to work until you find the right job.'" He must have been correct. In 1981, Tara joined Cushman & Wakefield, and today, she's still engaged in her job. Among her favorite deals of her 32-year-career is helping Durst lease 1.2M SF at 1 WTC.
But Tara also has a warm spot in her heart for her first deal, in 1974, when she was 16 and the year she got her license: a lease on a tiny jewelry store on Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich, Conn. Her first solo agency assignment as a lead broker, in 1987, also ranks high: 1500 Broadway, which we snapped moments ago. "That I won it pitching against the bigwigs of the industry at the time meant an awful lot to me. It was my breakthrough," she tells us. A byproduct of the deal: Her name (and number) went up in lights. "At that time, a woman's name on a construction bridge in Times Square was for questionable women's services that were other than real estate." Her phone rang off the hook.
Above are Matt (now 95) and Tara 25 years ago (before the advent of color photography). Her advice/needed skills for young women starting out in the industry: perseverance, resilience, confidence. You should distinguish yourself as someone who has integrity in business, she says, and after you've mastered all that (and mixed in a husband and maybe a couple of kids), cut yourself some slack, "particularly if you're striving to be the top in the industry and you're a perfectionist at heart." But maybe the key to Tara's success: "I'm passionate about what I do and I am 24/7 on it and I love it. And I'm also in love with a man that I married 21 years ago."