JLL’s research department ensures it stays up to date on real estate trends in all property types, across all major U.S. markets. Juliet Potter, vice president and director of research says the key to her strategy is to tell the underlying stories that reach beyond mere data. She specifically focuses on providing localized commercial real estate market intelligence that illuminates market metrics, trends, and analysis – and integrates economic and business dynamics and larger national / global trends – in order to highlight opportunities for both occupier and investor clients.
We spoke with Juliet about her background, the Atlanta market and how she has led her team to perform the highest out of JLL’s 43 U.S. markets.
What does an average day for your team look like?
Potter: Most days are filled with meeting the various requests for information from the brokerage community. It might be everything from the changes affecting a specific industry segment to demographic specifics within the metro to lease comps. The team spends time strategizing for upcoming pitches with potential corporate or investor clients as well as working to incorporate new ideas into content to share with current clients.
What about your team do you think makes it the highest performing research team of JLL’s 43 U.S. markets?
Potter: I believe in finding an individual’s passion and working to incorporate that into everyday practices. We all have something that speaks to us and drives us to move forward – no matter the difficulty or complexity – I say find and do it! I also work to create an atmosphere that encourages and plays to everyone’s strengths collectively, so that the team trusts one another and works to solve problems as a team. I especially like to cross people over into areas that they don’t normally own, so that they are exposed to new data and ideas and can lend help when one of the team members is experiencing a really tough deadline. No one should ever feel alone.
How does your past as an economist working with communities help you tell a differentiated “Why Atlanta” story?
Potter: It has helped me see everything from a different angle. After 12 years of working with people to solve the most wicked of problems, I came to the understanding that people work to change what they feel they affect. It means that I work to create a story that compels a person to see themselves in it, whether as a tenant or an investor. It’s a recognition that has left an indelible mark on my life because it is the key ingredient to solving issues and creating new opportunities.
You have developed your own internal talent program. What does that look like?
Potter: It actually plays to the idea that people work to solve what they feel they affect. When people have a say in the way a problem is named and can also affect the outcome – they will own the solution. When you think about a typical corporation, risk takes on many forms: low employee engagement, poor client satisfaction scores, missed revenue targets, poor internal communication, business lines that work against each other, to name a few. All erode the bottom line, yet employees are uniquely in a position to solve these if engaged in a much different manner. This is what I have worked to create, framing issues in a way that allows for people to collectively identify and collectively solve problems.
What do you love about working at JLL?
Potter: Point blank, JLL has some of the most incredible people that I have ever had the pleasure to work with. It is also an environment based on thinking like an entrepreneur. It means things are always changing with new solutions required at any given moment. I am a strategist at heart as well as an economist and I get to be both at JLL.
What does the future of the economic environment look like for Atlanta?
Potter: Atlanta is in a fantastic position. It has the perfect mix of low cost of doing business, low cost of living, a high quality of life, access to world class talent and higher education institutions, and is a metro where economic entities are working together. One of the most powerful tools in being competitive is to learn from the past and to use that knowledge toward future decisions. In many ways, Atlanta is a lens of how the world is changing and now looks, learning from past missteps. It is also one of the most diverse economies of the large metros and is a place that thinks about what it takes to attract both business and talent. There will always be economic highs and lows. Metros that think in terms of what it takes to remain competitive are the ones to endure and Atlanta thinks in that way. It’s a competitive contender for all the reasons that brought me here five years ago through a Fortune 500 HQ relocation – a move I am grateful to have made.