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Karen Simon | President and Managing Partner | Emersons Commercial Real, Estate | Tarrant County Division

Karen Simon: Delivering Perfect Real Estate Solutions

Emersons Commercial Real Estate has put together a team of experts who run a platform designed to align resources and maximize values, specializing in property management, sales, leasing, and consulting. Due to the sheer dedication of the company’s passionate team led by Karen Simon, Emersons is delivering industry-leading solutions matching clients’ expectations. As the President and Managing Partner at Emersons Commercial Real Estate, Tarrant County Division, Karen exceeded every parameter with flying colors.

Leading by example, Karen aims to impact the real estate business by being punctual and exploring vast opportunities. She is a mentor for other women who have been forging their way into the sector for the last 30 years. She believes that female industrial and commercial realtors have made a great deal of progress and emphasizes that there is still room for growth and opportunity. She intends to bridge the gap between learning and executing by being the helping hand for individuals who wish to learn.

Capitalizing on the Right Opportunities

Karen began her journey in the Real Estate business when only a few women were counted in the ranks of commercial real estate. She was an executive working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. One day, a flyer landed on her desk, which presented an opportunity of getting a real estate broker’s license without having the mandatory salesman license by clearing a particular exam. Karen saw this as a surprising opportunity and immediately sent her college and graduate school transcripts to the Texas Real Estate Commission.

Karen was amused after learning that she needed three semester hours or nine classroom hours to pass the minimum requirement. She immediately completed the required hours and took the exam after that. She shares, “To my delighted surprise, I passed the exam. As a broker in Texas, I could hold my license, have no conflicts of interest, and determine my future cause of action.”

“Six months later, I accepted a position to head the Industrial and Land Division for the Henry S Miller Co, then the largest real estate company in Texas. They wanted the first woman to head a commercial division within their company in 1983, and I wanted a new and exciting challenge. They agreed to give me six months to learn the industrial real estate business before I hit the ground running, so I began attending industrial classes with other eager real estate professionals. The first class I attended had 36 men and me,” clarifies Karen.

The odds got better with time, and Karen learned that her clients were not gender-biased. The only thing they valued was the knowledge and preparation she possessed.

After gaining six years’ experience, she had to leave Henry S. Miller and Grubb and Ellis as there was a downturn in the real estate market which closed down offices, cutting staff. Her next few years were spent as a head of a boutique real estate company with a woman, and  minority status as the largest real estate holder was the federal government.

Karen benefitted from being minority-owned company as she dealt directly with the government. She gained valuable lessons which helped her with future endeavors. Her next assignment was with Woodmont Co, a brokerage and development company, where she worked as the head of the Industrial and Land division.

Karen mentions, “But in 2003, I opened a Tarrant County office for the Bradford Co, whose business was Industrial, Land and Office leasing and sales. After being with them for 12 years, my entrepreneurial spirit and desire for ownership participation overtook me. After a very short stint with a company called TIG, I found my niche and my home with Emersons Commercial Real Estate and opened the Tarrant County division in 2016.” As the multi-job role challenged Karen to do her best and taught her to never be afraid of confessing lack of knowledge and learning the lacking pieces gracefully.

The Company’s Growth

Emerson was founded in 2004 by two motivated individuals, Matt Price, a former CPA, and Richard Webb, a banker. Karen says that they are talented individuals with varied complementary skill sets. Emersons managed approximately 7 million sq. ft in DFW when she met Matt and Richard.

After 2019 and the formation of 1045 with their friend Priority Properties, the area the company manages ranges over 80 million sq. ft. across the country. She expresses, “We manage all of Kroger real estate and have incorporated many of the client’s duties and most of the Kroger Real Estate employees as part of 1045. We are busy, but our goal is great service.”

Emersons has created open and equal work environment for gender equality and national diversity. This attracts major talent across the country for the betterment of the organization. Running a future organization in the modern era requires technically sound systems and a great knack for innovation. Technology plays a key role in research for the clients at Emerson to acquire new business. Karen often finds her pace at research slower than her younger associates, but they preserve for good.

Ambitions and Future Plans

Talking about the changes she would like to make, Karen shares, “If given a chance, I would like to see our pay structure developing more toward the way lawyers and accountants are paid, service fee and not mostly by completion of a transaction. So often, we can work on deals that, at the 11th hour, fall apart. It is a tough deal to see our efforts fail to collect a paycheck.”

Karen aspires to teach again in a community college in the long run, taking her back to where she began. She also advises not to only chase deals but work for the betterment of oneself and the company. She believes that real estate has a bright future and wishes to guide Emersons to grow and prosper. Karen concludes with a valuable suggestion, “I would advise young realtors to continue to educate themselves in their craft and remember that every deal is not their only deal. Work well with each other, and the future will be brighter.”