Bay Area Power Women: 5 Questions With Wendel Rosen Attorney Candace Neal
This limited series profiles Bay Area Power Women who have helped shape Bay Area cities, neighborhoods, businesses and lifestyles. These women will be honored at Bisnow's Bay Area Power Women event in San Francisco on May 30.
Wendel Rosen attorney Candace Neal has five years of experience in real estate and civil litigation. She has worked on commercial and residential real estate transactions for new developments, land use and zoning issues. She is a member of the East Bay chapter of CREW and serves on the board of directors for the Center for Youth Development Through Law. She also is the secretary for the Black Women Lawyers of Northern California.
Bisnow: How do you describe your job to people who are not in the industry?
Neal: My job is to be an adviser to my clients, whether it be in a residential or commercial transaction, to inform them on the meaning of contract provisions, which can sometimes be full of legalese [and] difficult for even a sophisticated person to understand, and to guide them from the negotiation stage through execution of their real estate contract. I perform these services mostly for clients with retail, office and industrial leases and for those that want to acquire or dispose of any real property. Because every deal and piece of real property is unique, quirks sometimes show up during the transaction, and I help them navigate those as well.
Bisnow: What is the biggest business problem you have faced and how did you solve it?
Neal: My biggest difficulty so far has been finding the time outside of the work I have on my desk now to go out and meet new potential clients. The Bay Area is saturated with real estate transactions right now, and my firm is at the center of much of what is happening in the East Bay. This keeps me very busy! Towards my goal, however, I continue to focus on building deep industry relationships. My overarching vision is to work closely with the developers, companies, nonprofits and agencies that are dedicated not just to individual success … but also to making positive impacts on the communities around them.
Bisnow: What is one thing you think companies can do to address wage and gender inequality?
Neal: Identify female and/or diverse talent and invest the time, energy, training and financial resources in developing that talent, pay competitively for retention, have transparency in the compensation program, and have a strategic hiring plan that allows the “powers that be” to fill open slots with faces that otherwise do not have a seat at the table within your organization.
Bisnow: What piece of advice do you give others entering the industry?
Neal: Pace yourself. Decide what you want to build for your career. Get others involved in mentoring and coaching you to reach for that goal. Make sure that whatever you do, you are passionate about it and you are able to have a life outside of it, too.
Bisnow: What do you do to unwind when you’re not working?
Neal: Oh, this one is easy. I dance (samba in Carnival and salsa on Sundays), [enjoy] outdoor activities (fishing with the family or taking my German Shepherd on hikes, rafting, camping, etc.), work out (all-female boot camp and running Lake Merritt) and spend as much time as possible with family and friends.
Meet Wendel Rosen attorney Candace Neal at Bisnow’s Power Women event in San Francisco May 30.