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New York Power Women 2018: CBRE Tri-State CEO Mary Ann Tighe

New York
CBRE Tri-State CEO Mary Ann Tighe

Bisnow: What keeps you in commercial real estate and what makes you want to come to work each day?

Mary Ann Tighe: It’s hard to imagine that I would want to be in commercial real estate in any other market but New York City. New York has always been a magical place to me and the privilege of practicing my profession in this complex, constantly transforming environment makes going to work every day an adventure. Add to that since 2002 I’ve worked at the firm of my dreams, CBRE, with a collection of extraordinary colleagues, I feel like the luckiest commercial real estate broker ever.

Bisnow: Have you had mentors over your career? Who are they and what influence did they have?

Tighe: I have had lots of mentors but I will only give shoutouts to the ones who were transformative for me. Seymore Durst guided me into commercial brokerage and introduced me to Ed Gordon. Carol Nelson taught me to think big and creatively. Ben Winter was the first person who hired me. Ray Wirta and Brett White gambled on me to build CBRE in NYC, and Bob Sulentic and Mike Lafitte inspire me to think in world-class terms. Mike is also the person who formulated our RISE values (Respect, Integrity, Service & Excellence) and we endeavor to live up to them every day.

Bisnow: What’s the one thing you would change about the industry and why?

Tighe: Of course, all of us would like to see a real estate world that was a pure meritocracy. On a far more mundane level, I’d wish for more brokers who lead their customer to explore and don’t just “take the order.” My colleagues and I have wasted too much time jumping through hoops for brokers who wish to create the illusion of value by generating work for others while following their long-outdated playbook. Hopefully, more companies can see through the blizzard of empty process to the true value-add that a gifted broker can bring to a firm.