Photography by Juwan Platt
I love being a commercial agent because… My job is so unbelievably rewarding. I get the privilege of doing what I love – helping owners realize the maximum potential in the assets through leasing/management and helping businesses find the perfect location to help their business grow. I’ve been involved in almost every aspect of real estate from the time I was 16 – working in residential, hotels, multi-family, commercial, development/construction, and management. Anyone that knows me well will tell you that I”m a bit addicted to what I do – it is completely thrilling for me – you never have the same day twice and if you’re not learning something new every day in this industry, you’re doing something wrong. I enjoy applying business analytics in all my dealings, as I’m a bit nerdy that way.. I want to see the numbers.
Any real estate tips? I’d offer this advice with a smile: “Have a direction. Have a plan. Then go after the best fit.” In commercial real estate, our clients typically already have a pretty solid idea of their space/location requirements, budget, etc. But making the decision to relocate, grow your business or open a new business is a huge undertaking – that’s where we come in. There’s so much overlap between leasing and management of a property. On a commercial management side, owners have to understand that attracting new tenants and holding on to existing ones is directly interlinked with property management. Income figures and monthly reports show more than rent accumulated and utility expenditures, it also shows new business generation and extrapolated numbers for the upcoming months. Having this knowledge has provided a value – adding service for our clients as they maneuver through.
Favorite neighborhood in Savannah? I’m biased… I live in South Harbor on Skidaway Island and I love everything about it. I love being so close to the water and South Harbor is a smaller, family-oriented neighborhood where you’ll see tons of kids out exploring, families out boating, or hanging out by the pool… it’s like its own small little oasis tucked away on the outskirts of Savannah.
I can’t live without… I can’t live without my family. I lead a crazy, but great life – with three children under 4 years old (yes, 2 of the three are twins in case you were wondering), life never has a dull moment. I have 3 1/2 year old twins, Eva and Preston, as well as a 1 1/2 year old little girl, Ella. They are all 3 type-A personalities and stubborn as they come, but they are the sweetest, funniest little kids I could have ever asked for. And they teach me far more than they will probably ever realize. And my husband, Robert Howard, is the Chief Information Officer at Armstrong University, and my best friend and rock – he pushes me to reach my fullest potential and is such an amazing person. At the end of a long day of work, it takes these smiles to wipe everything away and help me realize waht life is really about – they’re amazing.
What makes me happy in Savannah… I’m an avid runner and love doing long runs down Green Island Road with my husband, Robert, and across the new Skidaway Island Bridge – running is somewhat therapeutic for me. One of my favorite events in Savannah every year is running in the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon in Downtown Savannah. It’s incredible – the people that come out to cheer all of us on and the businesses and organizations that volunteer for the event that make it a really great time!
Favorite tools of the trade? Well, the obvious favorite here is my iPhone, but aside from that, it would by my MacBook Air… it goes with me everywhere. I’m a fairly big research nut, so I spend a lot of time gathering data for my clients, preparing reports, researching market trends, etc., in order to stay on top of the ever-changing climate we’re in.
Savannah is an amazing city because… Some things about Savannah never change – it remains one of the nation’s prettiest cities, planned around a network of 21 squares, where tourists shop, children play, and lone saxophonists play their favorite jazz soundtracks for people passing by. But that doesn’t mean Savannah has nothing new to offer. In fact, most notable is the economic growth we continue to experience: between 2012 and 2013, tourism spending increased from $2 billion to $2.6 billion, in six years Gulfstream has gone from 3,500 employees to over 9,000, the Georgia Ports Authority continue to see gains year-over-year handling more cargo than ever before, and the region’s health care sector increased employment by 3.8 percent last year, adding some 4,500 workers since 2005. There’s just a ton of great things going on here and the potential is huge for our city.