Elizabeth Birch had already made a name for herself — working as a top attorney for Apple, having spent a decade as the head of a major civil rights organization, and even running her own D.C. consulting firm — before she ever closed her first commercial real estate deal.
Elizabeth started her career as a lawyer San Francisco at global law firm Bingham McCutchen before becoming chief of litigation and human resources counsel at Apple Computer Inc in 1987. In 1995, she joined the Human Rights Campaign as the Executive Director where she rapidly expanded the organization, both in budget and in membership.
While at the head of the largest LGBT advocacy group in the United States, Elizabeth was pushing lawmakers and presidents to support more inclusive policies. She even dipped her toe into commercial real estate when she led her non-profit in opening their national headquarters in 2003. But since 2017, Elizabeth has been serving as the Vice President of the CBRE, working full time representing office occupiers in D.C.
In a recent BISNOW feature story, Elizabeth Birch explains how her all-star career eventually led her into the commercial real estate business and shares some of the advice and insight she gathered along the way.
A lifelong advocate, Elizabeth wasted no time encouraging others to explore the commercial real estate business. “Anyone can learn on the job,” Elizabeth said, “but it is a complex industry where the scenarios you develop for your client must be analyzed with financial precision as to every variable.”
“Fortunately, CBRE has a deep bench of exceptional talent,” she added.
Elizabeth also offers hope for young folks and those who are also coming from outside the industry. “I had no formal CRE training,” she points out. “On the other hand, I am a lawyer and had vast experience in negotiating lawsuits and contracts both at a major San Francisco law firm and while running litigation at Apple Computer Inc.”
When BISNOW asked Elizabeth if she ever thought of quitting, she responded: “No. But young people should know the competition is fierce. I believe that anyone who puts their client first with laser focus on the details can succeed.”
For the full interview, you can follow this link.