New York Power Women 2018: Rosenberg & Estis Managing Member Luise Barrack
Bisnow: What keeps you in commercial real estate and what makes you want to come to work each day?
Luise Barrack: I love the work I do and the people who I work with — my clients and my colleagues. I derive great joy and fulfillment from resolving the challenges my clients present to me. It is very rewarding to know that I made a difference in the success of their project, or helped them to avoid, de-escalate or resolve a negative circumstance. It is problem solving and counseling, pure and simple.
Bisnow: Have you had mentors over your career? Who are they and what influence did they have?
Barrack: When I was in high school, I had a mentor who motivated me to become an attorney, Joy Tannian. She was the mother of one of my classmates, and she graduated No. 3 at University of Michigan Law School in 1956 and became a senior vice president and general counsel at Con Edison. Tragically, Joy died at 55 years of age, much younger than I am today, but her impact on those who knew her, including me, is long-lasting.
I had tremendous respect for her. She was my lodestar and inspiration.
Bisnow: What's the one thing you would change about the industry and why?
Barrack: I would change the public’s perception about the real estate industry. Real estate development requires a lot of effort and risk-takers, who understandably expect to be compensated to justify the effort they expend and the risks they take. The media and public tends to unfairly perceive their success in a negative light and to selectively highlight unflattering conduct. If they looked behind the scenes, they would also see the effort developers and landlords put into complying with the myriad laws that govern the industry and ensuring tenants’ rights are protected, in addition to donating to charitable causes and investing in underserved communities.