Name: Jen Ogden
Title: Senior Director
Company Name: Avison Young
What is your favorite motivational quote?
“Winter always turns to Spring.” ~ The writings of Nichiren Daishonin. I have always loved this quote, it is full of hope and encouragement and has helped sustain me in this business which can have its ups and downs.
Who inspired you to join the CRE Industry?
Patrick Murphy, who was a vice chairman at CBRE, was very influential in my decision to join the industry and his team. As a former banker and high yield bond analyst who had been out of the work force for 19 years, Pat saw lots of opportunity for a woman of my age and background. My lack of real estate experience was not an issue. I’ll never forget him saying it’s easy to teach someone about commercial real estate, what you can’t teach is maturity, motivation, instinct and intuition. My years of relationship banking, negotiating deals with business owners and the C-Suite, reading legal documents, preparing financial spread sheets and credit reports have served me well as a broker.
What books, blogs and podcasts, resources or influencers would you recommend to women?
First, I would make the same recommendations to both men and women entering the business. I typically read as many trade papers as possible to keep current with what is going on in the industry. These include Crain’s, The Real Deal, The Commercial Observer, The New York Post, I Forbes and CEO Magazine. I follow several influencers on Twitter, have many Google and email alerts for items relevant to my business interests as well. I also try to attend industry events hosted by Bisnow, CREW, REBNY amongst others. I think it’s important to support REBNY and I am a member of the Grand Central submarket committee.
How do you hold your own in a negotiation?
I think it’s important to understand both sides in any transaction. The art of the deal is about compromise and I believe in being honest and transparent, I think people appreciate that.
What is the best advice you have received, and who was it from?
I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best in the industry. Pat Murphy is the consummate professional and I learned some very good habits from him. Susan Kahaner has been my business partner for several years and she has taught me to be a better writer. She always says it’s important to be passionate about the business you go after. Susan likes dealing with interesting people and I agree because this makes the work all that more enjoyable!
What recent project or transaction are you most proud of?
Definitely the sale of my friend’s church, Jan Hus Presbyterian Church on the Upper East Side. My friend, who is the pastor, reached out to me on Facebook asking if I had an interest in helping her sell her church. Of course I said yes, and fortunately, Avison Young had just hired James Nelson to head our investment sales group so on his first day we met with the Jan Hus team and were hired. This was a truly one of those “feel good” deals because the church was able to monetize an aging asset by selling their building for an above market sale price while simultaneously buying a building in their preferred neighborhood for over 25% below the asking price. The church was able to create a nice endowment to support their congregation and continue their important community work while gaining a new home specifically designed to meet their needs.
What was one of your biggest accomplishments in the last 12 months?
Closing on both the disposition and acquisition for Jan Hus.