Employee Spotlight: Alma Miluso
Cresa is committed to building an inclusive workplace that encourages, supports, and celebrates the diverse voices of our employees. Our employee spotlight series gives our team members the opportunity to share their unique experience.
With over eight years of proven commercial real estate experience in strategy, transaction advisory, and business development, Alma focuses on serving office and industrial occupiers, and prospective buyers, with strategic planning, financial analysis, site selection, lease and purchase negotiations. Throughout her career Alma has leveled the playing field for small and medium sized companies, who have historically lacked effective representation. Her client experience includes advising and supporting established firm companies such as Amazon, Bay City Mechanical, Alvi Armani and Decision Logic to startup firms like Yoga Lab.
What is your Name, Office, and position at Cresa?
Alma Miluso, I’m a Senior Advisor at Cresa, San Diego.
How long have you worked at Cresa?
9 Months and I’ve been a broker for about 5 years.
How did you get into the industry?
After being forced off my path of becoming a court reporter - due to serious carpal tunnel issues - I relocated to San Diego and joined my sister's small investment company, Sunwood Ventures. They were working on purchasing multiple office and industrial buildings and wanted me to be their property manager. After a few years of managing their buildings and negotiating leases on their behalf, I found myself advocating for the tenants and wishing I could be a part of their growth once they would move out of our business parks. It was at that point I decided to explore brokerage and specifically tenant representation. I always find myself thinking back to how I got introduced to the commercial real estate industry and am grateful that I had a family member to open the door for me. If not for my sister, I probably would never have been exposed to it or considered it as a career.
What are some challenges you have encountered during your career and how did you overcome them?
Historically, the commercial real estate industry has lacked diversity, and I knew going in that I was entering a male dominated space. Being a woman, and more specifically, a woman of color, I had to essentially forge my own path, and work harder to earn a seat at the table. It took several years of being established as a broker to get my phone calls returned or even be seen as a peer in meetings - as I was oftentimes overlooked or even ignored. I decided long ago, however, to use what makes me different in this industry to my benefit. I promote the fact that I am a woman, that I speak Spanish, and that I can bring a different perspective to the equation. It has not been easy, but through persistence, self-belief, and colleagues supporting me along the way, I do feel as though I have earned the trust and respect of my peers and my clients.
Why are you passionate about what you do?
I truly believe our services can potentially change the outcome of the businesses we are representing. I am fascinated by each of my client's stories, and am grateful to play a small part in them. My transactions tend to be somewhat personal, and when I care about the successes and failures of the individuals I am working with, I am able to focus on the 'Why' of what we do, and not just the 'What' or 'How' we do it.
Are there any projects or contributions to your local Cresa office, that you would like to share?
As a native Spanish speaker, I am bringing in a whole new market of clients to the San Diego office. A large portion of my clients are successful, Hispanic business owners, many of whom would prefer or need to transact in Spanish. This skillset, and cultural competency, opens up the office to a growing sector of potential clientele that they would not otherwise be able to serve.
What organization(s) are you currently involved with?
I’ve recently become involved with Crew. Crew (Commercial Real Estate Women) has been instrumental in meeting likeminded women within the industry; women who truly care and support one another. It's always fascinating how broad commercial real estate is, and yet we struggle with a lack of female representation throughout.
How did you become involved with this organization?
Simon Terry-Lloyd, our Managing Partner, is a huge advocate of women in commercial real estate. He motivated me to join Crew, knowing I would find the support I needed with the ladies of Crew!
Why is their mission important to you?
I am eager to bring more women into brokerage. Their mission in recruiting more minority women into our industry is very exciting to me. I know my uniqueness can help motivate young women to give our industry a chance! If they see someone like themselves, they are more likely to see it as a career option.
What has your involvement with this organization taught you?
Crew is made up of women who truly care about the success of other women. It is powerful to be around other women who have shared experiences of struggle and challenges, but that have overcome and gone on to do amazing things. Being involved in Crew has taught me that there are other women throughout the commercial real estate industry, many incredibly successful, but all who have gone through similar struggles. This gives me the confidence and additional support needed to persevere when times get tough.