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Karen Leslie Simon

Traits that Define Excellence: The Story of Karen Leslie Simon

Investing in commercial real estate can be a lucrative endeavour, as rental income from commercial properties can be much higher than from residential properties. However, commercial real estate investing requires a significant amount of capital and expertise, as it involves larger deals, more complex legal agreements, and greater risk.

Commercial real estate values can be influenced by various factors, such as the health of the economy, the supply and demand for space, interest rates, and local regulations. Changes in any of these factors can impact the value of a commercial property. Thus, to successfully venture into this arena, most need a guide who knows the market and commands the expertise needed to navigate these rough waters.

Among the various CRE firms listed on the market, Emersons is undoubtedly one that checks both these boxes. As a leading full-service commercial real estate company, Emersons specialises in property management, leasing sales and investment services across 40 states in the US. The company offers best-in-class in-house real estate management services without the costly overheads. Though its partnership with 1045, it manages all Kroger real estate nationwide.

All Emersons services are geared towards client value generation. Moreover, Emersons has a network of contacts in the industry, including brokers, lenders, and investors, that can be leveraged to help clients find properties, secure financing, and negotiate deals.

Leading Emersons to New Horizons

As the President and Managing Partner of Emersons, Karen Leslie Simon heads the Fort Worth, Tarrant County office. Karen is the first female industrial realtor in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, and she was brought onboard to open the company’s Fort Worth office in 2016.

Before joining Emersons, the teacher-turned-real estate Karen already had an illustrious commercial real estate career. Starting her journey in 1983, Karen was among the first women to join commercial real estate. Her career had a momentous beginning as she worked for the largest real estate firm in Texas at the time—Henry S. Miller. After being named the highest industrial producer in the DFW area, Karen went on to helm the role of Managing Partner at the Bradford Company and TIG.

Karen’s speciality lies in leasing and sales in the retail, office, industrial, and land sectors. She has completed over 900 transactions, encompassing over 6,000,000 sq. ft. of property. Currently, she dispenses the responsibilities of business development for Emersons’ Tarrant County division. Leveraging over 30 years of hands-on experience in the commercial real estate market, Karen leads Emersons with the same tenacity, zeal, and determination.

Her efforts at Emersons have been honoured with several accolades, including being named ‘Business Woman of the Year’ by the Texas Women’s Chamber of Commerce in 2007, the Most Influential Woman in Texas in 2011 and One of the Greatest Women of Texas. Her inspiring story and journey through a male-dominated industry were covered in the Top 100 Magazine’s list of the Top 100 People in Real Estate and featured on the Marquis Who’s Who of Top Executives List.

Apart from dispensing her duties at Emersons, Karen spends time mentoring colleagues, teaching them the core values of becoming a real estate genius. Karen, a woman of many virtues, was recently also a member of the Advisory Board at the Adrian College of TCU and a custom jewellery designer.

Emersons’ Foundation of Success

At Emersons, value creation and sustenance is prioritised. To this end, the Emersons empire rests on the four following proven cornerstones:

  • Expertise – With over 100 years of working experience in the real estate sector, Emersons brings valuable industry insights to the table. Leveraging the expertise of industry professionals across all real estate verticals like finance, accounting, leasing, development, property management, and construction management, Emersons brings unmatched value to its clients.
  • Technology– Client-friendly tech is at the heart of every Emersons service. Basing its operations on proprietary and customised software, Emersons offers real-time access to property details, tenant information, and other crucial data.
  • Flexibility – Unlike regular real estate companies, Emersons believes in maintaining malleability of operations. As such, the flexible model adopted by the firm is attuned to sufficiently deal with various real estate scenarios, while ensuring savings and top-notch solutions.
  • Reach– A wide market coverage is the hallmark of the brand. With offices in multiple regions, and 2900 properties under management though its partnership in 1045, Emersons commands a wide and comprehensive market bandwidth. Clients benefit from its strategic partnerships and nation-wide sphere of influence.

Comprehensive Services

Emersons offers a broad spectrum of commercial real estate services that cover every aspect of real estate. Such a comprehensive service offering ensures that a client partnering with Emersons has to look no further for additional assistance.

  • Property Management—Leveraging the latest tech tools, Emersons integrates leasing, maintenance, and capital improvements. At the same time, they focus on maintaining strong tenant relations. These integrations aim to offer clients opportunities for data-based planning to increase their asset values.
  • Full-Service Customised Accounting—Full-service accounting services are also part of Emersons’ service portfolio. Clients can choose to use them en masse or supplement their own accounting team’s expertise.
  • Asset Management – Each asset management strategy is drafted in keeping with the client’s objectives and goals, while also ensuring compliance with state laws. At the same time, these strategies are focused on coordinating activities that contribute towards tenant retention and maximising NOI.
  • Investment Sales – Thanks to Emersons’ wide network of individual and institutional investors and proven track record of success, clients reap the maximum value of an acquisition or sale. Whether they want to sell a listing or buy one, they are sure to receive the right support at Emersons.
  • Construction Management – Constructing a new property from scratch can be a difficult undertaking. However, Emersons works to simplify the process, supervising it every step of the way – right from the start to finish.

As a commercial real estate bigwing, Emersons is not just into property and asset management, but also leasing. Given the extensive experience of the company in the commercial real estate field, its command over a diversified asset class, and its sprawling geographical presence, Emerson’s is well poised to offer exceptional leasing support. The brand offers leasing services either directly or through its network of leasing partners. By focusing on an integrated marketing strategy, the company ensures maximise value enhancement and tenant retention for the client.

Under the Specialty Leasing program, the company takes control of every aspect of leasing, leaving the client worry-free. From marketing the client’s portfolio or properties to managing leasing documentation and legal hurdles, the Emersons team works with all the stakeholders to ensure optimum results.

Fine-Tuning Services to Meet Client Requirements

Emerson has secured a market niche owing to its ability to fine-tune services to fit the specific needs of the client. Valuing client satisfaction above all else, the Emersons team tweaks each of the services listed above to suit the client’s hands-on or hands-off approach. Additionally, the company drafts management programs that meet the client’s business needs.

The Way Forward

In 2019, the Emersons team formed 1045 in partnership with St. Louis-based Priority Properties. 1045 is a management company that oversees Kroger’s nationwide holdings, which translates to overseeing around 100 million sq. ft. of Kroger’s real estate. This was a significant step for Emersons, increasing its influence exponentially.

Today, as the company continues to grow and prosper, the focus remains on integrating state-of-the-art tech tools to further simplify operations and return the best value to clients. The team at Emersons wants to focus on exploring novel tools to further cut costs, boost efficiency, and bring tangible data-driven strategies to its clients.