Every year, Midwest Real Estate News runs its Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame issue, highlighting the careers of the most successful CRE pros in the Midwest. Our 2018 CRE Hall of Fame class will soon be announced, but as we wait, we are running the profiles of 2017’s class online. This week, we look at the busy career of Marge Stratton, a Realtor with Mel Foster Commercial Real Estate Services in Davenport, Iowa.
Riding the roller coaster: Marge Stratton has seen the commercial real estate business’ roller-coaster ride from the aspect of the rising Quad Cities area on the Illinois-Iowa border.
“The commercial real estate business in an ever-evolving industry,” she said. “We have survived many ups and downs in our market and have seen a number of changes in the landscape. Office space has gone from a multitude of private offices to wide open spaces with gathering areas to collaborate. Our industrial market has seen massive changes, as well, from heavy manual labor to robotics, massive distribution and out-sourcing. Retail has moved outside the mall arena to big box users offering everything under one roof.”
Stability: Stratton is helping lead the way to bring stability and growth to her corner of the world. She’s a 10-year director of the Downtown Davenport Partnership, an organization that is promoting the city’s central business district. Progress is being made: the $60 million Class-A City Square project is taking shape.
“I have been in the commercial real estate business for more than 25 years,” Stratton said. “When I began my career, I was honored to be able to work with my father and learn much of the industry from him. In 1996, I succeeded in becoming an SIOR.”
Meeting the challenges: “The challenges I face become opportunities,” Stratton said. “Being creative and thinking outside the box have proven to be successful. I believe to be successful in this business, you must continue to grow and learn. Education and training are key successors to anyone in the industry. Finding a mentor or a coach to help you navigate and remain on the cutting edge. Communication and trust create client retention.”
Strong work ethic: Stratton’s peers say that no one outworks this industry veteran.
“Her work ethic is above reproach,” said Beth Richlen, president of Bank Building Investors, LTD, of Davenport. “She has been my leasing agent for over 15 years. She is very conscientious of her clients’ needs.”