Vicky Schiff co-founded Mosaic Real Estate Investors in Calabasas, CA, and took a financial and professional risk in doing so. Making that bet to bring a new lender into the marketplace in turn has provided jobs for others and capital for borrowers to fulfill their own goals that may encompass developing an apartment for people to live in, a hotel for people to visit, places to shop, a residence for students, or a facility to distribute products.
Schiff admits to being a “bit of a real estate geek,” so experiencing the expansion of a community through development projects is thrilling to her. She was on her first construction site, a hotel and casino in Las Vegas, at three years old because her father was a developer and builder, and she can still recall the experience vividly and fondly.
That’s one reason she enjoys sharing a love of the business with young professionals, demonstrating that tangible assets, something one can see and experience, is just as cool, creative, and rewarding as a tech idea. Schiff and Mosaic co-founder Ethan Penner are hyper-focused on creating an atmosphere where people feel that they can be rewarded for a job well done.
These are just a few of the reasons we chose Schiff as one of the 2019 Women in Real Estate Award winners. Connect Media’s Women in Real Estate Awards honor the achievements and inspirational stories of women who have reached respected positions of leadership and play key mentorship roles for others.
Schiff’s background is in real estate equity and distressed investing, two abilities that have fueled her success in commercial real estate for more than 20 years. She is a serial real estate equity entrepreneur, and joined forces with Penner in 2015 to forge relationships with investors and quickly created one of the most successful real estate debt shops in the industry.
Starting with nothing, Mosaic has grown rapidly in a market overcrowded with debt groups by seeking sectors in the market that are underserved or have unmet needs, and as a result, the company has surpassed $1 billion of originations. It has done so by being hyper-focused on risk mitigation and downside protection. The company fully aligns itself with investors, establishing a unique fee structure paradigm, one in which they work for zero fees until they produce returns.
Schiff is passionate about bringing more women into the industry and to get younger women excited about the profession. She launched a Women’s Initiative in the Young President’s Organization (YPO’s) Real Estate Network, which lacked in female representation, and a group where she served on the Executive Committee for many years.
Schiff’s entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to take a risk has allowed her to successfully co-found five firms since 1996. Those companies include a real estate investment and development company with over 100 employees in the self-storage industry; a $400 million institutional real estate fund of funds; a national boutique investment banking firm which raised over $6 billion from institutional investors for top-tier real estate and private equity firms around the world. In 2010, she founded Oro Capital Advisors to create value for investors acquiring commercial real estate debt and distressed assets in target markets across the United States, acquiring and managing industrial, retail, office and multifamily properties.
Schiff is an active participant and mentor with industry groups such as YPO, the Urban Land Institute’s Women’s Leadership Initiative, the Price Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UCLA’s Anderson School, and the Toigo Foundation. She is also a fervent supporter of the City of Hope.