Celebrating Women in Multifamily


How women in multifamily have shaped the industry 

It’s Women’s History Month, and as a team of women business owners, we celebrate the achievements of all women around the globe. In particular, we want to acknowledge the women in multifamily who have shaped the industry in important ways. 

Top Women in the Field

Multifamily Executive recently highlighted 10 influential women who have risen to leadership positions at some of the biggest multifamily companies nationwide, writing: 

“Long before Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In movement began, women had been breaking barriers and shattering multifamily’s glass ceiling. Indeed, they’ve taken our industry by storm by introducing innovative technologies, chasing competitive contracts, ushering in IPOs, chartering new initiatives, and redefining resident services.”

That article shines a spotlight on women like:

  • Susan Ansel, who became an early leader in multifamily technology advancement
  • Julie Smith, who serves as president of a 200-property, 50,000-unit multifamily company
  • MaryAnne Gilmartin, who helped her company secure the New York Times Building deal and now is helping define modular multifamily development in New York

These leaders demonstrate incredible thought leadership and innovation. They each exhibit business savvy that has allowed them to change or shape the direction of their companies and the industry as a whole. 

Elevating Women in Multifamily and CRE

Women show strong representation in residential real estate: 64 percent of residential realtors are women. That number drops to 36.7 percent in commercial real estate, and women occupy only 9 percent of CRE C-suite positions. (Source)

Some industry organizations are working to change that imbalance. The organization Multifamily Women, for example, hosts an annual summit for women in the industry. It also produces a podcast focused on the industry and women’s issues. Recent podcast episodes have covered topics from women’s executive influence to mindfulness and goal-setting. The conference will happen live in Phoenix this September. 

Locally, the Urban Land Institute’s Women’s Leadership Initiative recently celebrated 10 years of work to support women in commercial real estate leadership roles. Among other programs, the WLI connects CRE professionals with mentors outside of their immediate area to support the exchange of ideas and resources; 20 percent of participants in these mentorship circles are women of color.

These programs represent progress in encouraging women to grow their CRE and multifamily careers and to lend their important voices and perspectives to the future of the field. 

Après Creative – Women Supporting Women in the Field

As an all-woman team who cut our teeth in multifamily firms years ago, we would love to see more women in leadership roles. When we worked as Creative Directors and Brand Specialists in a large multifamily management company, we saw first-hand the grit and determination of the women in our field. 

The women around us at that time contributed to the growth and innovation of multifamily, and we see that same leadership in our multifamily clients today. We had the great honor of collaborating with women-led operations and marketing teams that were among the first to embrace branding for a multifamily company, which is the foundation we still build on today. 

Before becoming Après Creative, our former company Archstone was the first to create a national brand for apartments 20 years ago – and it was a radical move back then. We put practices into place that were adopted and continue to be utilized by many organizations even today. Over the years, it’s been inspiring to see so many talented women from Archstone continue to thrive in the multifamily industry through their strong contributions in operations, marketing, training and more. 

We adore all of our clients, and we feel honored to work with leaders of all genders and backgrounds. In our work every day, we have seen the incredible intelligence and strategic thinking put forth by all the multifamily professionals we meet. It’s an impressive group of people overall that includes some of the smartest women, men and non-binary folks we know.

As women continue to rise in the ranks, we cheer them as they bring their individual strengths and contributions to their organizations. We are proud to be women in multifamily, and we proudly work alongside all professionals who have helped shape the industry.


Want to learn more about the women on our team? Meet Kim, Pauline and Sara here. Then check out some of our work or reach out to start a conversation about your multifamily branding and marketing needs. 

Posted By

Sara Bess