Blog: Marilyn Nix, Rachele Downs, & Jumana Judeh

The new Detroit Revitalization Fellowship Program garnered 650 applicants for 30 spots -  proof positive that the city's real estate is a hot topic. A trio from CREW Detroit, the founding member of a national organization of women commercial real estate pros, blogs on how their group and incoming fellows will be stamping a new ID on the city.

Marilyn Nix: A CREW of women in commercial real estate area real estate is a big topic these days.  Everyone knows how the value of their home has decreased and that there is excess commercial and industrial space due to the lost jobs in this region.  One thing you may not know about real estate in the Detroit area, however, is that there is an organization called CREW Detroit that is made up of primarily women in commercial real estate and that is celebrating its 25-year anniversary this year.  Not only might you wonder if there are enough women in the commercial real estate business to have their own organization, you may be surprised that the group has been thriving for 25 years!  CREW Detroit is the local chapter and founding member of CREW Network, a national organization with 74 chapters in the U.S. and Canada and over 8,000 members.  Our organization is dedicated to influencing the success of the commercial real estate industry by advancing the achievements of women.  

We began the Detroit chapter three years before the national organization to bring together capable women that had a desire to succeed in the Detroit commercial real estate field despite being in a male dominated profession.  They believed in education and networking, building on each other's strengths to learn the business and be successful.  Today CREW Detroit has over 120 members and is an active, vibrant organization with members from all segments of the commercial real estate field.  We have appraisers, developers, brokers, builders, attorneys, economic development representatives, accountants, architects, title experts, environmental engineers, surveyors, and move specialists.  We like to say we have the people to do the transaction from A to Z.  This cross-functionality of our organization makes it a great place for networking as our members can always find others to make their team more complete.  Examples of recent projects involving CREW Detroit members include the Book Cadillac, Henry Ford Hospital West Bloomfield, the RiverWalk Conservancy, Eastern Market, and the Dequindre Cutway.  

I am proud to be the 2011 Chapter President of CREW Detroit.  2011 has already been an exciting year for CREW Detroit and we have more planned for the balance of the year as we celebrate our 25-year anniversary.  In March we announced our Woman's Advisory Board that boasts some of Southeast Michigan's most influential women business leaders.  In April we held our fourth annual CREW Careers Building Opportunities event at Quicken Loans in Detroit.  Twenty-four girls from the GoLightly Technical Education Center in Detroit participated in learning about different careers in real estate and completing a development project challenge on the old Hudson's site in Detroit.  

On September 22nd we will hold our 10th Annual CREW Impact Awards at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills.  This sell-out event honors properties with a positive impact on a 10-county area of southeast Michigan.  A prestigious panel of judges will recognize one new development, one redevelopment, and one special impact project.  Entries are now being taken so there’s still time to get your project in. In October we are planning our 25th Anniversary celebration dinner.  Our keynote speaker will be Senator Debbie Stabenow.  More information about CREW Detroit is available here.