Cassidy Turley has built a strong, national reputation for the creative sophistication of its real estate advice and service delivery since its inception four years ago. To expand its reach and become a global, full-service commercial real estate firm, the company agreed in September to be acquired by DTZ Investment Holdings, a consortium backed by TPG, PAG Asian Capital and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
“Certainly a goal is to see smart and steady growth,” Executive Managing Director Marla Maloney says. “We want to come to work and make a difference. We are doing that by growing our client base, creating career paths and stability for our team. To do that, we have to be accountable to our clients and we have to exceed their expectations.”
The Washington, D.C.-based company was founded in 2010 with a mission to provide integrated services – from strategic planning to execution – that are creative, cost-effective and responsive to clients’ specific real estate needs, while enhancing their business performance. “We are a service firm, and every client and building is unique,” Maloney notes. “That’s one thing about the company that differentiates us from the competitors – every client is different with unique challenges.”
Today, Cassidy Turley represents more than 4,000 clients that range from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies and local nonprofits to major institutions. The firm completed transactions valued at $25.8 billion in 2013 and supports more than 24,000 domestic corporate services locations.
The company serves owners, investors and tenants with a full spectrum of integrated commercial real estate services, including capital markets, tenant representation, corporate services, project leasing, property management, project and development services, and research and consulting.
Maloney leads a team that manages approximately 400 million square feet of office, industrial, retail and healthcare space across the U.S. and has led her team to win business with top commercial property owners including Starwood Capital, Equity Office and Liberty Property Trust. Cassidy Turley’s 1,653 property management professionals cover 2,858 assets with 520 owners and 4,500 leases abstracted or audited in 2013.
“About one year ago we were called a ‘challenger brand’ by Real Estate Forum, which means we don’t take anything for granted and always try to raise the bar to prove we are a safe choice,” Maloney says. “When I get an opportunity to compete for new business, I don’t dust off my last proposal and put on a new client logo. I visit them, walk the buildings and do my homework on the client.”
Leading with Transparency
Maloney has been an executive managing director at Cassidy Turley since the company began. The position appealed to her because she was looking to make her mark in the industry and was drawn to the strong entrepreneurial spirit the company promised.
Although men dominate the industry, Maloney says that moving her way up into a leadership position has not been a major struggle. “I’ve always been treated fairly and given opportunities that sometimes I wasn’t quite ready for,” Maloney says. “Uniquely, the male partners around me have identified I have a level of talent and pushed me to the next level.”
As a mom of two, Maloney believes that her daughters have helped shape her into an empathetic leader and better listener. “As with any working mom, that’s my first title and really important to me,” she says. “I do think you can do both and do it with grace. It’s about finding people in and out of the office that you can be transparent with. I’ve been humbled at times and very open with those around me.”
Maloney practices what she preaches by leaving her title at the door when needed and talking honestly with the staff she works with directly about her personal challenges as well as theirs. “I’m open with those around me and tell them when life throws me a curve ball and I will be less visible,” she says. “Every family has dysfunction and challenges. I’ve chosen to be transparent and that’s been beneficial. When I don’t have family obligations, I’ll put extra hours in and because of the flexibility I’ve been granted. I give more than I take.”
If there were one piece of advice Maloney says she would give to her peers it would be to think before speaking. “All things cause us to react emotionally, but we need to remember it’s business and words can’t be taken back,” she explains. “I’ve taken a lap around the office before responding because words can do a lot of good or harm. I like to be measured by my communication.”
Cassidy Turley COO Shelley Radomski has worked hard for everything she has achieved personally and professionally. “My mother was a very hard worker and stressed how important it was to work hard and do my best in everything,” she says. “I’m also a very organized, structured person in my personal life, which helps in my work life.”
Before being named the COO this past January, one of Radomski’s responsibilities at Cassidy Turley was to hire and mentor young talent. Although she would always hire the best candidate, Radomski also knew being a woman in the industry can be an advantage. “It’s a very male-dominated industry and because there aren’t many women, you are going to be memorable,” she explains. “I think it’s a good advantage, but a delicate balance.”
Radomski says it is also important not to use the fact that it is a male-dominated industry as a crutch or impediment. “Serving as COO of a commercial real estate services firm really positions me to be a role model and mentor and set an example for all of our associates, particularly women entering the industry,” she says. “Yes, it’s a male-dominated industry, but success is based on effort and the ability to grasp the strategy and intricacies of the business, not gender.”
Radomski joined the firm in 1997 and subsequently led brokerage services in Washington, D.C., growing headcount from 150 to 380 and revenue by 250 percent. As COO, she’s responsible for Cassidy Turley’s legal, insurance, licensing, corporate real estate and facilities, as well as M&A transitions and creating, streamlining and driving consistent processes, systems and tools to support employees and business development.
Moving forward, Radomski wants to get involved again with hiring and growing new talent, both men and women. She also strives to continue being a key leader after Cassidy Turley is officially acquired at the end of the year. “To be a key leader in the new organization is a huge goal for me,” she notes. “I’m also really focused on gaining additional industry knowledge and awareness and think that the combination of Cassidy Turley and DTZ and the growth trajectory ahead will help accomplish that.”