Managing Director and Head of Transaction Management & Counsel at Hunt Real Estate Capital
Every deal has nuances. Every deal has a story.— Tracy Dennis
How do you describe yourself?
A: I am a real estate professional and a supermom of two young girls.
What is your business role?
A: I am a managing director and head of transaction management and counsel. It’s a long way of saying I run the closing department and act as loan counsel. My legal background is as a real estate finance attorney, so at Hunt I touch all aspects of a loan, from origination to warehousing to sale or securitization.
I have a team of nine – one other attorney and several closers and transaction managers – and together we handle closing, post-closing, funding and warehouse management.
How did you get started in the Multifamily Industry?
A: In law school I worked part-time at a firm that did real estate which I enjoyed, so when I graduated I started in commercial real estate and never looked back. I spent most of my career closing loans, including at Hunt, where I have been for the last four years.
What is your biggest business accomplishment so far?
A: I truly enjoy the people on my team and feel honored to support them. We closed over 600 loans last year and I couldn’t be prouder of their efforts. I get to manage a team and act as counsel so I am never at a loss for intellectual stimulation. I identified a while ago that that is a big part of my job satisfaction.
How do you in turn help other women who are coming up behind you to succeed?
A: Unofficially I’ve mentored several people over the years. I think itis important to encourage women as much as I possibly can. I finally read Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg a few years ago and what I found interesting and validating was her premise that women think they must 100 percent of the skills listed to do a job while men think they can do anything. I want my daughters to believe they too can do anything.
Have you experienced any challenges as a woman in a predominately male industry?
A: I have always admired women who don’t think too much about being a woman and don’t carry a chip on their shoulder because of it. I have tried to make it a non-event. Not to say that I haven’t experienced a boys club at times, but the only thing I can do is work hard.
What's the best part of your job?
A: Anytime someone says they have a clean deal, they’re lying. Every deal has nuances. Every deal has a story. I enjoy getting immersed in all of the details and truly love the adrenaline rush that often comes when trying to solve an issue or negotiate terms.
Did you have any role models who influenced or inspired you?
A: My grandmother was my biggest role model growing up because she worked her whole life until she retired – she did it all. Back in a time when women didn’t have as many choices, she was a bookkeeper and raised a family.
Another role model was a mentor I had for eight years as a practicing lawyer. He invested in me and I worked hard for him. He taught me one of the best professional lessons which is not to assume everyone else knows more than you. If you don’t understand what someone is saying, they probably don’t either. Ask questions.
Any last thoughts?
A: Sometimes I wonder whether the previous generation did us a disservice. They courageously broke the glass ceiling, but nothing was taken away as far as responsibilities. A woman now can be a career professional but as a mom still often has to do everything at home. It is hard to do everything and do it well. The world is changing quickly so it will be interesting to see how the career paths of men and women evolve in the future.
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