Pulice's powerhouse career inspires women.
When Jodi Pulice, president and founder of JRT Realty Group, says something, she means it. At a time when few women ever dared to enter the commercial real estate industry, Pulice did so--and thrived. But she took her success further when she launched her own firm in 1996, and to this day JRT remains the largest certified woman-owned commercial real estate services company in the country.
"Whenever I heard 'What do you want to do that for,' I turned my head and I would said 'I'm going to do that,'" said Pulice, whose firm is certified as a Minority-and Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE). "I didn't take 'no' easily."
Pulice, a native of Staten Island, had little interest in real estate during college. She majored in the sciences at Wagner College, earning a Bachelor of Science degree, but her heart was in traveling. So she took a position at an airline, working as a reservation sales agent selling flights and group packages.
"My sales numbers were fairly high compared to everyone else but it was salary. There weren't any bonuses there at the time," Pulice said.
Wanting to reap the benefits of her strong sales abilities, she opted for a field that was commission based: commercial real estate. Pulice was a natural at cold calling, canvassing and grassroots sales. "There were a lot of late nights at libraries too," she added.
Her first deal was a 750 s/f lease at 875 Sixth Avenue. "Boy, did I think I was the richest woman in America," she recalled. But the best was yet to come. Her first major transaction came with the relocation of AC&R advertising firm from Madison Avenue to 32nd Street. Her illustrious career also includes the handling of the $370 million sale of the Seagram Building. But her favorite deal was, essentially, 18 years in the making.
Nearly two decades ago Pulice established a strong relationship with the United Nations Federal Credit Union, which she represented. When they built Court Square Place in Long Island City three years ago, they tapped Pulice for the task. United Nations occupied 150,000 s/f of the 275,000 s/f project, leaving 125,000 s/f left for leasing in the class A building.
"I'm happy to say that, as of a month ago, we are 100% leased," said Pulice, who also used the opportunity to employ women and minorities in the building.
Being the nation's largest certified woman-owned commercial real estate firm, it's a role Pulice doesn't take lightly. She travels every few weeks speaking on the matter, in an effort to empower future women and minority entrepreneurs. She sees the firm as an enabler, to help foster more women and minorities in the business.
"It's really tough for a woman to step out of the box; I had strong family support and have a great 24-year relationship with my husband," Pulice said. "The best thing I can do is encourage these women ... it's like giving back."
Pulice said the business world is changing for the better. And she said having either a female or minority presidential nominee should continue to inspire women and minority business owners to pursue their dreams.
"I think people are realizing that diversity is not going away," Pulice said.
Pulice attributes her entrepreneurial success to her "pure unadulterated hunger," as well as a strategic alliance formed six years ago with Cushman & Wakefield. The alliance enables JRT to provide global realty services in specialty areas (Cushman & Wakefield operates in more than 50 countries around the world).
Pulice approached Bruce Mosler, who she once played softball with in the industry's league, about establishing such an alliance and the idea was well received. "He was great ... from the top-down they have an open door policy of communicating at Cushman & Wakefield," she said.
Pulice has the distinction of being named one of the Top 50 Women in Real Estate by the Association of Real Estate Women. She is also considered among the "100 Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) Impacting Supplier Diversity" according to Women's Enterprise USA, and she was also named one of the top 20 "Women of Influence" in commercial real estate by Real Estate New York. And she is also involved in The Columbus Citizens Foundation.
Pulice's driven nature also translates well in her personal life: she describes herself as a fitness fanatic and works out regularly with a trainer. She's also an avid tennis player and a no-holds-barred Yankees fan. But she most enjoys spending her free time traveling with family.
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|Title Annotation:||PROFILE OF THE WEEK|
|Comment:||Pulice's powerhouse career inspires women.(PROFILE OF THE WEEK)|
|Publication:||Real Estate Weekly|
|Date:||May 14, 2008|
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