Carolyn Nielsen | Property Manager

Why did you decide to go into commercial real estate?

Commercial real estate is a fourth career for me. I spent some time marketing for law firms, event planning, buying and selling homes, and even selling designer wedding gowns. Nothing was ever quite the right fit. I didn’t know much about commercial real estate; brokerage licensing courses just didn’t cover it enough. But I decided to take a chance.

What was the toughest challenge you faced when you were starting out?

When I started at Hiffman, I was part of a team of two, supporting over 900,000 square feet of industrial/flex space with 70 tenants. It was a lot to take on with no commercial real estate experience. I had to train on the job, presenting confidence I did not yet have in myself.

What resources have been invaluable to you?

I have been very lucky to have been part of strong teams of engineers, assistants, and accountants who I trust to not only get their jobs done but also to show as much pride in their work as I do. I also have had a number of wonderful managers at Hiffman, who all taught me something new and were always available for collaborating and open to hearing new ideas.

Who have been your mentors and how have they impacted you?

I would feel remiss if I didn’t mention the mentorship that I have found in Carrie Szarzynski. From the day she joined Hiffman, she has spoken up for what she believed was best for the company and its employees. I have seen how her influence has changed Hiffman, in small and large ways. Perhaps without her even knowing, she has shown me incredible strength and I know that I feel more comfortable speaking up for what I want or need because of her example.