Many notable retail leasing deals like King+Duke, The Shops of Buckhead, Mill Creek, Peachtree Center, and Moderna have the impressive fingerprint of Amy Fingerhut, first vice president of CBRE Advisory & Transaction Services | Retail.
Full of high energy and dedication to community causes, veteran marathon runner Fingerhut says, “I absolutely love what I do. Retail is the most “female-friendly and ‘sexy’ part of real estate, aligned with fashion and food.”
From the D.C. area, Fingerhut chose the University of Georgia to major in restaurant management (a degree they have since discontinued) on which she built a strong base of related skills and relationships.
Read on to see how we may see “FOR LEASE, call Amy Fingerhut CBRE” on prominent building signs.
Jaffe: How did you arrive in this dynamic part of commercial real estate?
Fingerhut: I have been in the restaurant business since I was 14 working in Jewish delis in the D.C. suburbs, even in college at the local bagel shop in Athens. Then as an adult for Rio Bravo, Mick’s, even through the Olympics. Then I decided not to work 75 hours a week forever and landed a temp job at Deloitte in the tax department, which lead to full-time employment and attending appraisal school. I picked up great skills in property taxation, assessment and appraisals, arguing values in the commercial tax division. In the early 2000s, not many women were doing this.
In 2009 in the economic downturn, I joined CBRE to diversify my platform. I worked my butt off to build a pipeline. I had a blast cold calling. By 2011, when things turned around, I was representing landlords in mixed use, office with retail, and apartment retail inside 285. Also doing tenant representation for many restaurants and retailers. I ate out a lot and was friends with the chef/owners, … so therein solidified my niche.
Jaffe: Lots of females in residential real estate. Why not commercial?
Fingerhut: Men run the show. Women have to make their own places. You could count on one hand the females at the top levels of commercial real estate. I would say I would be “shocked” to find many women in ownership.
We are most likely making less compensation. Not any less per se for equal work; but the retail deals are smaller, and the terms are less, so the commissions are also smaller.
I am going to a party tonight where I am proud to be a female represented as a Top Producer.
Jaffe: Describe your community engagement.
Fingerhut: I have been an active volunteer for the JF&CS, specifically the tasting event for the Zimmerman-Horowitz Independent Living Program in conjunction with [JF&CS’s] Intellectual & Developmental Disability Services since 2009. This year’s is scheduled for May 16 at The Stave Room, and I am co-chair. It’s a natural for me to pool the participating restaurants and work on the silent auction. After all, it’s an amazing cause.
In 2018 I ran for Woman of the Year for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and raised $125,000 to claim the first runner-up spot. When I began running in 2002, I completed my first half marathon with them (LLS) and was deeply moved by our coach who later succumbed to leukemia. Since then, I have been involved in their leadership team, mentoring, and spending much of my free time.
Jaffe: Other than running, what do you enjoy?
Fingerhut: I work 60 to 65 hours a week. I am addicted to travel. And marathons do combine nicely with travel like Iceland, Buenos Aires, Lisbon, Paris, Athens, Greece, and 18 U.S. states. Upcoming marathon No. 51 in Atlanta, and 52 in St Louis. Cheer me on!