Jacqueline Novotny literally worked up a sweat while landing a deal with The Edge Fitness Clubs, her first big client for CBRE. “I have been a member for almost 20 years, so I really know and like their product,” she says. “It was a natural for me to bring them into the firm to oversee their expansion.” She adds that the 10-location Connecticut health club operator will open two more clubs this year and is currently looking for Westchester locations.
Novotny, 33, joined CBRE in 2013 from Sheldon Good & Company, a New York real estate auctioneer. The move to CBRE as both a tenant and landlord rep has been eye-opening. “As one of the largest real estate companies in the world, the service platform is unmatched,” she says. “I love tools like labor analytics, for example, where we analyze the addresses of a company’s employees to see how a potential move would affect them.”
No career move is without challenges, but Novotny says she has no regrets. “Everyone warned me [the industry] was very cutthroat. But everybody has been very helpful and supportive,” she notes.
Novotny is attuned to the surprising amount of innovation happening today in commercial real estate. One trend that fascinates her is Workplace 360, a flexible office design concept that basically eliminates enclosed offices or even cubicles. “You can have an open, paperless environment that not only saves you space costs but provides a work environment people like,” she says. “You can have stand-up desks or even work stations with treadmills.”