“At the end of the day, it’s all about relationships and how you treat people.”

Name: Constance (Connie) Thomas
Title: Senior director at Tower Commercial Real Estate
City of business: West Palm Beach

When Connie Thomas negotiates a lease agreement for a commercial property, she knows it has a positive impact on the economy.

“I feel like I create a bouquet of jobs,” said Mrs. Thomas, who recently joined Tower Commercial Real Estate (tower-cre. com) as senior director, overseeing the firm’s high profile leasing portfolio in Palm Beach County.

“When I lease office space, it has a snowball effect on the community, creating jobs for lawyers, architects, sometimes engineers, electricians, painters and others,” she said. The jobs come with adding value to a property, which may mean anything from painting and landscaping and repairs to tearing an existing structure down and starting anew. 

Creating jobs, she said, is one of the things she enjoys most about her work.

“I also like meeting new people and finding out about their businesses, the different types of commerce,” Mrs. Thomas said. “It’s stimulating.”

Mrs. Thomas joined Tower Commercial Real Estate just as the company announced its latest leasing assignment — the 246,992-square-foot Northbridge Centre in downtown West Palm Beach, owned by Crocker Partners.

Besides the 21-story Northbridge Centre on the Intracoastal Waterway, Mrs. Thomas will team with Jon Blunk, Tower Commercial Real Estate president, on other Tower Commercial Real Estate exclusive leasing assignments, including Esperanté Corporate Center in downtown West Palm Beach, and 400 Royal Palm Way and 125 Worth Avenue in Palm Beach.

Mrs. Thomas, 53, has more than 20 years of full service commercial real estate experience.

Before joining Tower Commercial Real Estate, she was a senior associate with Touchstone Webb Realty Company, responsible for leasing, marketing, brokerage, tenant and capital improvement budgeting for a portfolio of office, medical office, industrial and retail properties throughout the county.

Previously, she was a broker/associate with WGCompass Realty partners, and with the Trammell Crow Company’s South Florida leasing team, providing leasing and management services for institutional owners of industrial and office properties throughout the region.

“The internet has become a huge tool in our business,” Mrs. Thomas said. “A lot of people don’t want to talk, but look on the internet for postings on commercial property,” she said. “Your presence on the internet is very important.”

Less and less interface is required.

“But you still need some face-to-face contact,” Mrs. Thomas said. “At the end of the day, it’s all about relationships and how you treat people.”

A resident of Palm Beach Gardens, Mrs. Thomas is married to David Thomas, an accountant and owner of Holyfield & Thomas in West Palm Beach. They have two children: Corinne, 21, and David, 17.

Mrs. Thomas was a founding member of Commercial Real Estate Women of the Treasure Coast, has served on the board of the YWCA of the Palm Beaches and the Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County.

Where I grew up: Miami Shores

Where I live now: Palm Beach Gardens

Education: Miami Country Day School. Graduated from Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C., with a B.A. in Business Administration. In 1985 and 1986, I attended Real Estate school and received a salesman license; in 1990 attended real estate school for broker’s license; in 1997, I completed CCIM education, which took three years. The program involves classroom work as well as practical transaction experience to complete and receive the designation.

What brought me to Florida: I was born and raised in South Florida. I was not planning on working in South Florida after college. Due to family and job opportunities I returned to South Florida and started working for an advertising agency. After a year and half in the ad business, I decided I wanted to try commercial real estate.

My job today: I am a commercial real estate broker. Part of my work is to create value for institutional and individual owners. Other aspects of my work involve finding value added commercial real estate assets and negotiating leasing terms for both tenants and landlords.

My first job and what it taught me: At age 15, I bused tables at a family owned restaurant in Miami. After a year of setting and clearing tables I decided I needed to work harder in school and attend college then find a challenging career.

A career highlight: A career break or turning point happened in 1993 when I was hired by Rubloff Real Estate (later became Koll) to lease four institutional owned commercial real estate assets. The properties were owned by Aetna Life Insurance and MetLife.

What I do when I’m not working: I enjoy walking on the beach, tennis, snow skiing and kayaking.

Best advice for someone looking to make it in my field: If you like working with people, numbers and problem solving, commercial real estate is an exciting and challenging career. Try not to get discouraged when deals don’t work out; you need to be flexible and open-minded. Patience benefits everyone around you. Your reputation is most important; therefore, always be honest with yourself and with others and in turn you will receive respect and loyal clients.

About mentors: I have been fortunate to have many mentors, my husband being one, and the brokers I have worked with at Rubloff, Trammel Crow, Walters/Gottlieb and Touchstone Webb.

See Original Article: http://palmbeach.floridaweekly.com/news/2016-07-21/Business_News/MOVING_ON_UP.html