Jennifer Watson joined Newmark Knight Frank Retail in 2013 as a senior managing director to focus on the management of the company’s national franchise retail practice. Based in Chicago, Ms. Watson has 16 years of real estate experience. A proven leader in the representation of fast-growing national and international businesses, Ms. Watson’s appointment supports NKF’s burgeoning national retail advisory services and its ability to offer more specialized expertise, unique tools and customized solutions to both existing clients and new retail concepts. Ms. Watson works alongside Greg Kirsch in Chicago to further enhance the “Franchise Focus” approach, reinforcing NKF as the national leader in the niche retail sector.
Prior to NKF, Ms. Watson served as vice president of National Real Estate Solutions at Baum Realty Group, where she developed and implemented site selection and advisory services for a number of clients seeking to increase their national footprint. She successfully spearheaded the strategic rollout and expansion of company-owned and franchise retail outlets in hundreds of U.S. markets.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Watson was a sales manager for Pulte Homes Corporation, where she developed and managed master-planned communities. Achieving over $100 million in sales, she was one of the company’s top producers.
Ms. Watson currently serves as co-chair for the Women’s Franchise Network Chicago chapter and is a board member of Gateway Green. In addition, she is a member of the Franchise Business Network (FBN), International Franchise Association (IFA), International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Urban Land Institute (ULI) and Commercial Real Estate Women Network (CREW).
She has contributed to a number of industry publications, including Franchise Times, Franchise World and Shopping Centers Today.
Ms. Watson earned a B.A. in finance with a minor in mathematics from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.