Celebrating Women’s History Month: Deborah Lutchko

by | 12 March 2019

This Q&A series celebrates Women’s History Month and the dynamic and inspiring women of Colliers, who discuss advice, accomplishments, the importance of inclusivity and more.

What advice would you give to women new to the commercial real estate industry?

Be patient. Understanding commercial real estate is a continual learning process and it can take time for the dots to connect. The industry is constantly evolving based on emerging trends, technologies and economic conditions. Always be ready to ask questions to enhance your knowledge base. Don’t be shy about asking questions, there is no wrong question, and people will appreciate your willingness to learn!

What is your proudest accomplishment?

It was an honor to be nominated and selected by my colleagues for the Colliers USA Service Excellence award, for having demonstrated service excellence in helping accelerate the success of Colliers and its colleagues. It was fun because the recognition came with the choice of a paid trip or a cash award. After the announcement, so many people wanted to know what I selected. I’ll cut the suspense—I took the cash!

Who is a woman you greatly admire and why?

I am an avid reader and a huge fan of J.K. Rowling. I’m in awe of the depth of her imagination detailed in the Harry Potter books—it’s amazing the way she ties intricate plots together so neatly. She was challenged with so much adversity before she became published. When she was writing the first Harry Potter book, she was a penniless, single mother on state welfare, and often wrote in cafes to stay warm, with her infant daughter alongside her. She stayed committed to her craft and became one of the most celebrated authors of all time and has encouraged millions of young children to read.

How have you helped to foster an inclusive environment here at Colliers?

I recently had the opportunity to spend time helping onboard a new employee in another department, as the person’s role was similar in scope to my job responsibilities. We had some great conversations and I was able to share some of my day-to-day challenges and best practices, tips and processes I use to get my job done. It was great to have some interdepartmental camaraderie and welcome someone new to Colliers, offering myself as a resource for any questions or challenges.

What inspires you?

My son inspires me every day. I went back to work full time when he was 5 months old, and as a working mom, I’ve always tried to find the right balance between my work commitments and making sure he was always my first priority. It’s important for me to be a good role model for him, and lead by example, to ensure he has the tools to succeed in life. He’s now 17 years old, and we are waiting on college acceptance decisions. I’m excited to see how this next stage in our family life turns out!

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