Presented By: Monday Properties

How Monday Properties Enhanced Operations for Employees and Tenants


Jennifer Burns is Executive Vice President, Asset Management and Operations for Monday Properties, a vertically integrated real estate investment firm that has completed over 86 property transactions, representing 36 million square feet and $16 billion in capital value, since 2002.

For Commercial Observer’s “Women in CRE” issue, Partner Insights spoke with Burns about how Monday Properties ensures a nurturing and supportive environment for its employees, tenants and visitors. 

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Commercial Observer: As the early waves of COVID were fading, Monday Properties took extensive measures to ensure that people returning to the office felt safe. Were there any specific measures taken to ensure that women, and especially mothers, felt safe returning to the office?

Jennifer Burns: We brought in PropTech solutions that vastly enhanced operations and helped to reimagine the tenant experience. This included a new, portfolio-wide tenant mobile app, and touchless technology that optimized the tenant journey from the parking garage to the office suite. In addition to making the building a more desirable destination for tenants, this elevated our overall brand and visibility, highlighting our expertise and commitment.   

While many companies were unsure about how to approach the return to office, by June of 2020, Monday Properties, relying on extensive research, had successfully devised and navigated a strategy that provided reassurance and support to both employees and tenants. 

Some of the initiatives my team rolled out included:

Spearheading a partnership with One Medical which involved using its app for daily health checks before reporting to work; fast testing at a variety of locations for anyone who had been exposed to the virus; assistance with planned travel; and precautionary measures. 
Instituting highly effective rotations for staff in all departments to ensure office coverage and personal protection. 
Working with industry leaders to ensure Monday Properties was implementing or upgrading cutting edge solutions including cleaning protocols, technology, equipment, and communication strategies. 
Establishing flexible schedules that allowed people to work remotely when the vaccination rollout was in the initial stages and throughout various waves of different variants. This was very important, as several female employees were pregnant or on maternity leave during the pandemic.
Jennifer Burns giving an update to the team during a corporate retreat Monday Properties

Many commercial real estate companies have been vocal about DEI moves and the need to make more space for women to rise in recent years. But despite this, the percentage of women in the C-suite, and in high-level positions in general, has remained small. What are some of the most important moves commercial real estate companies need to take to start driving real progress in this area?

I’ve always believed that bridging the gap between DEI initiatives and women reaching high-level positions requires a concerted effort from both individuals and organizations. At Monday Properties, the promotion structure is designed to recognize talent, foster professional growth, and ensure that employees are continually challenged to reach their maximum potential. The firm and I are deeply committed to nurturing our junior team members and empowering them to discover and realize their inherent potential.

Female leadership within the CRE sector is a vital asset that warrants recognition, celebration, and encouragement, and we must actively strive to increase the representation of women in leadership roles, fostering an environment where their talents can flourish and contribute to our collective success. The managers at Monday Properties play a pivotal role in shaping the work experiences for all employees, and need to be perpetually cognizant of ensuring that women are offered the same opportunities for advancement as everyone else.

Everyone requires varying levels of support, whether it be a flexible work environment, assistance with building confidence, or exposure to new experiences and opportunities. There is not a “one-size-fits-all” path forward in this industry. 

How do you think the dearth of women in high-level positions in commercial real estate impacts women trying to rise up the ladder?

Being able to see other women succeed and occupy positions of influence is essential for younger women advancing in CRE. This can serve as powerful inspiration and motivation while also directly benefitting a company’s bottom line. I strive to maintain strong relationships with women throughout all levels of commercial real estate management, construction, real estate law, and many other sectors of the business. Women in senior positions throughout the industry need to provide mentorship and support to younger staffers – and many of them are doing that – therefore helping to cultivate the next generation of female leaders and fostering a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

What are some of the greatest advantages for a company to having women in the C-suite and on the board?

Having women in leadership roles directly enhances a company’s ability to innovate, adapt, and thrive, because their presence brings diverse perspectives and decision-making styles to the table, enriching the overall strategy and approach. Women are often recognized for their hard work, exceptional attention to detail and organizational skills. These are all qualities essential to managing complex projects. Additionally, women are generally not afraid to take ownership of initiatives and seek assistance when necessary, fostering a collaborative and supportive work culture. 

Jennifer Burns receiving WBJ’s 40 under 40 award recognition Monday Properties

Did you have any women mentors who helped you navigate your path through the industry?

Linda Rabbitt, founder and CEO of rand* construction who holds a dominant and prominent seat at the table in the construction industry, has been a valuable friend and mentor. She has provided me with great career advice over the years, including on the importance of authenticity, and various insights on navigating a male-dominated industry.

Talk about how Monday Properties supports its women employees and helps carve a path for them toward management.

At Monday Properties, fostering support for women is a cornerstone of the company’s culture. Monday Properties is proud to have women in senior leadership positions, including in Operations, Marketing, Accounting, HR, and Property Management. Additionally, the women at Monday Properties gather regularly to collaborate and to celebrate both personal and professional achievements. 

What are some of the tips you give to women just starting out in commercial real estate now?   

Find your voice. Don’t hesitate to express your ideas, opinions, and aspirations. Your unique perspective and contributions are valuable assets to the industry. Be confident in sharing your thoughts and advocating for yourself in meetings, negotiations, and collaborative projects.

Also, get a mentor. Seek out experienced professionals within the industry who can provide guidance, support, and advice as you navigate your career path. 

And finally, make an effort to take on a stretch assignment. Don’t be afraid to take on projects outside of your job description. You will gain valuable exposure and knowledge that will allow for professional growth.  




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