Celebrating Women of Influence: Laura Ford

by | 13 August 2019

Following Real Estate Forum’s 2019 Women of Influence issue, this series follows up with Colliers’ female honorees, who discuss mentorship, how CRE has changed for women over the years, what it means to be a woman of influence and more.

What does being recognized as a woman of influence (WOI) mean to you? ​

As a Woman of Influence, I’m honored to have the opportunity to act as a role model for young women and show that success is possible through hard work, integrity and the pursuit of their passions.

Did you have a mentor that greatly influenced your personal and professional development?

Larry Benaroya has been a great mentor to me. When I worked for him as his in-house leasing agent, he coached me and helped me understand the importance of working hard, thinking outside of the box, being creative and staying hungry. Most importantly, he believed in me.

What unique attributes do you think women bring to the commercial real estate industry?

The strongest teams consist of both genders, especially on the agency side as owner’s representatives. Women tend to be detailed, responsive and have a good understanding of how to properly position a property and then negotiate to win the tenant.

As a woman in CRE, how have you seen things change for women in the industry over the years? ​

I think the advances in technology — particularly email and marketing materials — have allowed for greater equalization of the playing field. When I first entered the commercial real estate industry, many deals were cut over cigars or in a men’s locker room. Now with the advances in technology, women can outwork their competition, be more creative and deliver. Owners want to hire the best team, one that will work hard and deliver results — both of which are much easier to track now through technology.

What can women do to uplift other women in the industry? ​

Because we face many of the same challenges each day, women in commercial real estate have countless opportunities to support each other. Collaboration, education and recognition across firms and specialties helps to create and maintain bonds, while mentoring ensures the next generation benefits from lessons learned and progress made.

What’s next for you in your career?

I am fortunate to work with an amazing team of brokers that support each other, work hard, are creative and think outside of the box. I’m looking forward to many more years of challenging myself and my partners to continue to set the standard in client service for the Puget Sound Region!

Read more in: