Interview with Johanna Pudlarz: Founder of the Women in Tenant Representation (WTR) Network
Johanna Pudlarz, Senior Consultant at Tenant CS and Founder of the Women In Tenant Representation Network talks to us about tenant representation, why she founded the network and provides some tips for women starting out in the industry.
Before we talk about the network, tell us a little bit about tenant representation. What is it?
That is a good question!
Most people I meet have never heard of tenant representation. It is still a very niche industry. What’s more, many of the people who have heard of it regard us as brokers or agents when we’re actually the opposite.
Tenant representation advisors are exactly what they sound like. They are consultants who assist/advise corporate tenants on their commercial real estate strategy – whether it be lease renewal or renegotiation, subleasing, lease exit, office/warehouse search, site consolidation, market analysis.
One of the biggest advantages of using a tenant representative is that they take away the stress of the commercial real estate process. They work exclusively for the tenant, bring years of market knowledge and know how to spot (and work around) landlord tricks in order to negotiate the best terms on behalf of the tenant.
I really believe that tenant representation is a service that most companies need to optimise their real estate and to create a better workplace for their staff.
Why did you decide to get into the field of tenant advisory?
As I said before, tenant representation is a niche industry. In fact, I didn’t even know it existed before being offered the job! (Life really is made up of opportunities that we create and accept.)
I started my tenant rep career six years ago working for big corporates in Kuala Lumpur and Mumbai before arriving in Sydney. Now, I work for Tenant CS, which is an independent, boutique firm, and have been with the team for four years. I really enjoy the way we do business and assist our clients.
What is the Women In Tenant Representation Network (WTR)?
The network aims to increase awareness and inclusion within the sector and provides women with a platform for personal and professional development. We organise monthly business events to bring like-minded people together. Our main goal is to connect people in and out of tenant representation and to increase gender equality within our industry.
What made you establish the WTR?
An alarming statistic.
The ratio of women and men in tenant representation is a measly 1:10 in Sydney! I am a feminist and would like to see more diversity in the workplace, so I started the network.
I’ve spoken to a lot of people about this issue and now realise that I’m not the only one. There are many men working in real estate who would like to see more inclusion also. So, it is no longer just a women-only network – it is there for anyone who shares our mission and values.
I am very pleased because, since establishing WTR, we’ve welcomed a new female team member at Tenant CS, Sophia Bockisch. Sophia is already very involved with the network, which is great.
What are your top five tips for a woman starting out in your industry?
- Manage how people perceive you
In an industry dominated by men, it’s important to be intentional about your image. So, while you can be friendly and social with your peers, you also need to act and communicate as a leader.
If I think about the most successful tenant reps (or business people) that I know, the one thing that distinguishes them from the pack is perseverance. Perseverance almost always leads to success.
- Keep learning
The real estate industry is continually evolving, so you always need to keep ahead of new market trends.
- Be yourself
Your client is not just paying just for your real estate or business knowledge. They are paying for your support, communication, problem-solving ability, communication, respect, patience, helpfulness, attention, assurance, personality – really a mix of things that only you can bring to the table.
- Lighten up
Laugh, have fun and enjoy what you do.
Please visit and follow our LinkedIn page to find out more about the WTR Network. We would love to welcome you to our growing community!