She Has Over 30 Years of Experience in Leasing & Sales of Commercial Real Estate in The Phoenix Market. An Exclusive Interview with Laurel Lewis, Senior Vice President at NAI Horizon
Laurel focuses on the representation of both landlords and tenants through the sale and leasing of multi-tenant office properties and owner-user buildings throughout the Metropolitan Phoenix.
She specializes in real estate related marketing and strategic planning, site acquisition or disposition, renewal and relocation studies, financial analysis, negotiation and development of transaction terms and marketplace analysis
Q: For those in our audience not familiar with NAI Horizon can you tell us about the company and about your position as Senior Vice President?
LL: NAI Horizon is a member of NAI Global with a footprint all over the world. Although we have global support, we are unique in the sense that we have a local perspective and tight-knit workplace feel. NAI Horizon’s roots in the Arizona commercial real estate market are deep and our team of experts is committed to providing the utmost level of service to our clients.
Our broker ownership platform affords our agents the opportunity to play an active role in the strategic planning and future of NAI Horizon—in turn giving our clients the unique advantage of interacting directly with local owners who are positioned to implement real-time solutions and allocate resources based on current local market knowledge and trends. I am honored to be a leader at a company that is proven itself successful, intentional, and knowledgeable, and I look forward to nurturing the growth of my co-workers as well as my own professional self.
Q: How did you get involved in commercial Real Estate
LL: When I started my career 30 years ago there were very few women in the industry. I worked briefly as an assistant to a productive broker and quickly realized that I had the attributes to be as successful as the men in the industry. As a single mother, I took a giant leap of faith and began a commission-only career and never looked back.
Q: What are the best practices you have employed to build a successful career?
LL: 1. Networking 2. Discipline 3. Ethics 4. Hard work 5. Continued learning 6. Take nothing personally.
Q: What is it about your job that most excites you?
LL: I really love meeting new people and enjoy learning about their businesses. It is fun putting into practice the years of learning the process of location and negotiation and helping my clients find the building that’s just right.
Q: What's your advice for women in male-dominated fields?
LL: First and foremost, show up with confidence. You don’t need to act or dress like a man. Use your intrinsic attributes to listen, understand and problem solve. Believe in your own unique skills to help your clients.
Q: Which woman inspires you and why?
LL: I can’t even pick one. There are so many; Mother Theresa for her compassion, Helen Keller for her grit, Susan B Anthony for pioneering the fight for women’s rights, Elenore Roosevelt for championing human rights, Audrey Hepburn for her humanitarian efforts, Margaret Thatcher for being a female political powerhouse, RBG for her intelligence and ability to show lawmakers a different way to think and Oprah for the confidence to create an empire with her talent, compassion, and determination.
Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?
LL: Some of the Old Guard still have an archaic mindset towards women. Thankfully, it is changing generationally. For women with families, there is still a struggle with the preponderance of the household and family duties. The acceptance of women in the workplace having an equal domestic partnership is progressing, but we can do better.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
LL: Be confident, continue to learn, recognize your strength, and demand a seat at the table.
Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance?
LL: Now that I am through the wonderful years of raising my three daughters, I have time for balance. There was a time when it was a struggle. In those years, my nonnegotiable was a daily workout. That is the one thing I did for me. It was crucial to my wellbeing. These days, I am up by 4:30 a.m. and enjoy several hours of me time before the day begins. Work hours are all about my clients and weekends, mornings and evenings are spent on all the other things that make life abundant and beautiful: family, time outdoors, reading, cooking and the pursuit of new hobbies.
10 Things About Laurel Lewis
1. What was the last book you really got into?
The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger, a Holocaust survivor and trauma counselor.
2. Who is your favorite author?
David McCullough, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and historian.
3. What TV shows did you watch when you were a kid?
Oh boy, I will age myself here: The Wonderful World of Disney, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father and Here Comes the Brides.
4. What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve done?
I might buy a whole lot of Lulu Lemons.
5. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
100% morning. I am excited to get my giant cup of coffee and get on my Peloton. I need the good feels from the instructors.
6. Favorite Dessert?
Cheesecake, without hesitation.
7. What’s your big passion?
Health and Fitness are my passions. I have been a gym rat for decades. And anything outside; hiking, mountain biking, back packing.
8. Would you rather cook or order in?
Oh, I love to cook. And I love to bake. That is an easy answer.
9. What was your favorite subject in school?
Science! I still love science.
10. Cake or pie?
Pie, all day long.