Lauren Berry, Gershman Commercial Real Estate
Lauren Berry currently serves as an Associate retail broker for Gershman Commercial Real Estate, the largest locally owned commercial real estate firm in the St. Louis metro area. Gershman Commercial Real Estate (formerly Solon Gershman Inc.) is now in its 68th year of business, and is a full-service real estate firm involved in every phase of the commercial real estate process. The company’s current management and leasing portfolio exceeds 7.5 million square feet of office, retail and industrial space located throughout the St. Louis market.
Lauren has been active in the commercial real estate industry since 2015, after graduating from University of Missouri – Columbia with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Finance and Banking and Real Estate. Lauren’s focus in the commercial industry is retail brokerage, including Landlord and Tenant Representation along with Investment Sales of retail commercial properties. The first year and a half of Lauren’s career was spent at CBRE specializing in retail investment sales.
In addition to her involvement in CREW, Lauren is also involved with the Retail Brokers Network and several charity organizations, such as Project Wake-Up and Safe Connections. Lauren is interested in eventually obtaining a CCIM designation, and enjoys hobbies outside of work, including horseback riding and golf.
Q: When did you decide to get into the commercial real estate industry? Was it always your focus?
A: My desire to go into Commercial Real Estate developed during my senior year of college. While taking the more in-depth finance classes at Mizzou, I realized that I’m not interested in (nor good at) configuring the numbers behind stocks and bonds. Rather, I was intrigued by the analysis behind commercial real estate, and it seemed much more tangible compared to stocks and bonds analysis. I was also drawn to the idea of creating a positive impact on a city’s commercial real estate growth and as a result, the city’s overall economic development.
I also must contribute a big part of my interest in the industry to a few individuals I grew up with who are or were in the commercial real estate industry. These individuals include a family friend, John Porta, along with my now-retired aunt and uncle in-law, Sam and Eileen Glasser. Growing up, I heard countless fascinating and entertaining stories about their experiences within the industry. Many stories involved positive impacts on communities and cities, which is admirable to me. After discussing the potential career paths with such contacts and diving into Real Estate at Mizzou, I decided it was the industry for me.
Q: What are some of the things you love about your job?
A: I really enjoy the amount of people interaction and constant learning that comes with my job. There is always something to be learned, no matter how long someone has been in the industry. I really enjoy hearing about market activity and all the changing trends throughout the industry. Lastly, I love matching a client’s needs and figuring out creative solutions to do so.
Q: What is your CREW-St. Louis origin? When did you join? Why did you become a member?
A: I joined CREW-St. Louis in March 2016 after attending several events as a guest. A long-time friend, mentor and CREW member, Vicki Dolan, invited me to the events and stressed the value CREW could provide to a young, female broker. I received an intangible amount of advice and mentorship at these events, and I was not even a member yet. Having already experienced value from the organization as a guest, it was obvious CREW-St. Louis could offer even more mentorship, support and value through joining as a member and continued involvement.
Q: What was the first CREW event you attended and what were your impressions?
A: The first CREW event I attended was as a guest of Vicki Dolan at the 2015 Award Ceremony. I was amazed by how many women were in attendance to support one another. I was also blown away by how welcomed I felt by the CREW members. It was great to see and meet so many successful women in the industry that were being awarded for their challenging work and dedication throughout the years.
Q: Please name a few of the projects you’ve been involved in, specifically in the St. Louis area, that you are proud of.
A: I was one of the founding members of Project Wake Up, which is a non-profit organization targeting suicide prevention and awareness. I previously was a Board Member and heavily involved in the organization’s start up and awareness throughout the St. Louis community. Nowadays, I am a volunteer for the organization, and it is wonderful to see something I worked so hard on turn out so well - even if it is now from the background. I enjoy being able to stand back and appreciate all that Project Wake-Up has become.
Q: What other associations or volunteer activities are you involved with?
A: Retail Brokers Network – NextGen (Midwest Regional Captain); Project Wake-Up (Volunteer); and Safe Connections (Volunteer)
Q: What else would you like your fellow CREW-St. Louis members to know about you?
A: I am the youngest of four kids and am very family-oriented. I have ridden horses competitively for majority of my life and hope to get back into it eventually. Although I am awful at golf, I play it for fun with friends and family. I grew up and currently live in Chesterfield and attended Parkway West High School.