When Adrienne Bryant first entered the world of commercial real estate, she had to make ends meet on $25 commissions. She had recently moved to Phoenix from California’s Bay Area, where she sold homes, and was planning on continuing on the residential path until a friend recommended the commercial side of the industry.
“I did a crash study in two months and went through the full battery of CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) courses,” Adrienne recalls. “That was the baseline for me to go into commercial real estate.”
She connected with some local landlords and began bringing them tenants. “I realized that there was a gap in the market,” she says. “There weren’t a lot of brokerages working exclusively with tenants and making sure they were represented in the transaction. Because I was a buyer’s agent on the residential side, it was easy for me to transition into the tenant rep line of work.”
Adrienne built her reputation while working at a number of small local boutique brokerages. At the same time, her daughter, Jonvieve, was studying urban planning at Arizona State University. After graduation, she was offered but didn’t take a job as a planner with the Town of Florence; instead she did a short stint in corporate America. Both women soon realized that they preferred the autonomy of working for themselves.
In 2013, the duo teamed up and opened their own brokerage, Bryant Commercial Real Estate, that exclusively represents buyers and tenants.
“We worked with small tenants, and those small tenants became bigger tenants,” Adrienne notes. In addition to small-business owners, the Bryants have worked with franchises, international companies and the booming biomedical industry. “Just because we’re small doesn’t mean that we’re not mighty,” Adrienne remarks
Adrienne’s knowledge of real estate and Jonvieve’s experience in urban planning combine for a unique community-focused perspective that benefits clients who are interested in entering the Phoenix market or expanding into new parts of the Valley.
“Jonvieve’s background — and the fact that she’s a millennial — gives her a different set of eyes than I have and a different set of experiences that come to the forefront,” Adrienne remarks.
The younger Bryant adds, “When handling transactions, you have to make sure that all parties are on the same page. I need to know what my clients’ demographics are. If they’re going into an underserved market, I make sure that it’s give-and-take on both sides; that they’re also offering something to the community. That’s where my insight comes in.
“I live and breathe buildings. Not from a real estate perspective but from development as a whole,” Jonvieve continues. “With the uptrend of growth and development in Phoenix, it’s cool to see how certain areas are impacting communities.”
Building a successful brokerage has not been without its challenges.
“There’s not a diverse enough representation in the commercial real estate component in Arizona — let alone nationally,” Adrienne says. “When I started my first CCIM class, I felt out of place because I was the only person of color. Then I looked around and said, ‘Girl, stop it. You’re in the room; they’re in the room. That’s all that matters.”
The obstacles the Bryants have overcome make the success of their firm that much sweeter — but the pair are not content to rest on their laurels. “For me, every day is Monday, and I hustle the same as I did when it was for the
$25 commission,” Adrienne explains. “There are roots and humble beginnings, and I never forget that.”