Commercial Real Estate
Tammy Jones on Building a More Diverse Commercial Real Estate Pipeline
Tammy Jones, co-founder and CEO of Basis Investment Group, talks with Chad Tredway, Head of Real Estate Banking, about how she got started in the industry and how she’s paving the way for others.
Chad Tredway, Head of Real Estate Banking, kicked off our Changemakers You Should Know series with Tammy Jones, a 25-year industry veteran. Jones is the co-founder and CEO of Basis Investment Group, which has closed roughly $4 billion in debt and structured equity across the U.S.
During their discussion, Tredway and Jones covered many topics, including:
- Humble beginnings: Jones grew up in a two-bedroom apartment in South Jamaica, Queens with her family of eight. She attended Cornell University and was the first woman in her family to graduate from college. “My family never owned a home,” Jones said. “So when I think about me diving in and getting into commercial real estate, it really was by happenstance.”
- Co-founding Basis Investment Group: Jones has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and loves building processes and platforms. But she couldn’t imagine herself in the C-suite or on the boards of firms. “I never saw anyone who looked like me,” she said.
- Building a more diverse talent pipeline: “I’m really focused on making sure there’s access to opportunities for women and minorities in commercial real estate,” Jones said. She’s proud that 78 percent of her team members at Basis are part of those underrepresented groups.
- How others can help women and diverse firms succeed: Jones is one of the few Black female CEOs in multifamily commercial real estate. “I don’t want to be the only one,” she said. Jones advocates for increased mentorships, partnerships and access to credit for women and minorities in the industry. She also emphasizes diversity in the board room.
- “In challenges, there are always opportunities”: Jones sees commercial real estate moving closer to normalcy in 2021 and emphasized patience for investors and lenders. She’s keeping an eye on migration to the South and West U.S. and looking at options in life sciences, distribution centers and cold storage. Jones is also eager to see the adaptive reuse of properties—especially into affordable housing—and how we use office spaces when employees return to the workplace after the pandemic.