Name: Alison Weisman, Esq.
Title: Senior Associate, Commercial Real Estate Department
Company Name: Romer Debbas, LLP
Real estate associations or organizations that you are currently a member of:
- Recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers
In the past year, what project, transaction or accomplishment are you most proud of?
In June 2020, together with my colleague, I represented a prominent regional lending institution in connection with a $23 million loan on loan transaction involving a portfolio of commercial properties. Handled completely remote, this complex transaction required a deep understanding and nuanced approach to navigate the many layers. It ultimately provided additional liquidity to the original lender and was unique in the fact that very few lenders offer this product.
Why should women consider a career in commercial real estate and related services?
Commercial real estate is a dynamic, ever-changing field where success is found in the details. I have seen a notable increase in the number of women entering commercial real estate and have been in closings where the room is all females. Each transaction is different, but the essential skills remain the same. Women with strong organizational skills, and a demonstrated ability to focus on the finest point without losing sight of the big picture are respected and will succeed in the field.
What steps have you taken to ensure the continued success of your firm?
I prioritize professionalism and diligence in all communications and interactions. By doing so, I practice under the halo of an untarnished reputation, bolstering my ability to bring on new and maintain relationships with existing clients.
How have you adapted and changed in the last 12 months?
Like many, the most notable change was the shift to working fully remote and making in-person tasks and communications both efficient and effective in an online environment. There was a learning curve to perfecting all the steps from escrow to closing out the deals. I relied heavily on my core skills and found that the more organized, practiced and prepared I was, the smoother the transaction was. We have really perfected the process and will carry a lot of the best practices that we refined forward.
How do you keep your team motivated despite conflicts and obstacles?
2020 brought the challenge of balancing a marked increased activity with a whole new way of working. I looked to both formal and informal ways to help ease the void of in-office camaraderie and face-to-face interactions. I also impressed that no question was ever too small to ensure that on a day to day and week to week basis, the team had a clear understanding of the work at hand, prioritization of tasks, and a clear path forward.
Women have made significant progress in the last year towards equality in the workplace. How do you advocate for your fellow women in real estate?
I dedicate a significant amount of time to teaching our paralegals the underlying what’s and why’s of their job. By encouraging them to broaden their understanding of the work, I can effectively help them identify the potential in becoming a lawyer and envision the advantages of that career path.
What books or social media influencers would you recommend to other women?
I am an avid reader of Harvard Business Review articles. I was a psychology major and appreciate the timely insights they offer in navigating complex workplace and inter-personal matters. I find that the articles help me deepen my understanding and acceptance of various points of view, while simultaneously adjusting my mindset to successfully satisfy the expectations of all parties, including my own.