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Harriet Tabb Highlights Hard-Earned Lessons in Commercial Real Estate

winning ways in commercial real estateMcGuire, Craddock & Strother’s Harriet Tabb is among 18 prominent female real estate professionals who are contributors to a just-released book highlighting hard-earned tips for navigating the world of commercial real estate. The book, Winning Ways in Commercial Real Estate, debuted on the Amazon e-book best-seller list in the “Real Estate” and “Real Estate Investments” categories on Friday.

Tabb devotes a chapter to experience gleaned in her nearly 30-year career as a lawyer working closely with real estate industry clients. Her contribution – “How to Succeed as a Commercial Real Estate Lawyer Without Even Trying by Trying Really Hard” – includes early career advice, as well as universal takeaways useful for those at any career stage.

Highlights of the chapter include:

  • The best way to learn is to do: “I often say the best thing that can happen to a new lawyer is to be insanely busy for at least a year, preferably two,” she writes. “So my first piece of advice is that you take on every possible piece of work and try to do as much as possible by yourself. You’ll probably screw some things up (and if you do— seek help then), but even your screw ups will be instructive.”
  • Learn something from every experience: “If something goes really well, figure out why it went so well and apply those lessons to make other projects go well. If something goes poorly, then learn what to do to avoid those problems.”
  • The best deals meet the core needs of both parties as much as possible: “It may seem like a great thing to get everything you want at the expense of the other party, but in the long run, that’s not a good basis for a happy relationship.”
  • Bullies are insatiable: “Stand up to them the first time they try to bully you. You can usually spot bullies very quickly and it’s important that you tell your client to stand up to them the very first time they try to bully you. No client should act as if it is desperate when it is merely very eager. There are times when desperation is appropriate, but it’s not as often as people act like it is.
  • Watch what happens in the business community: “Things will never stay in the trajectory they are in now. No matter how hot a market is, no good comes from ignoring basic investment or underwriting principles.”