After spending time on job sites growing up with her father, who worked in the construction business, Janelle Gallagher found herself drawn to the financial side of the built environment when she interned with a private equity group during college. Gallagher, a recipient of NAIOP’s 2020 Developing Leaders Award, realized that she enjoyed problem solving that combined real estate and financial expertise.
“I liked the idea of being a part of creating and facilitating people’s experiences in the built environment,” she said. “We spend a majority of our lives within buildings, so I thought it would be impactful to be a part of shaping what those experiences looked like.”
In her role as vice president within the Office Brokerage Services Group for CBRE Nashville, Gallagher provides consultation and strategic planning to both landlords and tenants. Prior to joining CBRE, she worked as a real estate analyst for Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where she assisted in the lease negotiation of a 1.8 million-square-foot portfolio, as well as the management of Vanderbilt’s owned facilities. She previously served as a project executive for Erdman, working with the health care clients on the development and design of medical facilities in the Southeast.
Gallagher is considered a rising leader in her company and the Nashville commercial real estate industry. She received the Power Leaders in Commercial Real Estate: Rising Star Category award in 2019 from the Nashville Business Journal. She received an award for Brokerage Team of the Year in 2018 from NAIOP Nashville. And in 2017, CBRE Nashville recognized her with their Rising Star Award.
Gallagher is an active member of the NAIOP Nashville Developing Leaders program. She volunteers with her church’s winter program to shelter homeless individuals in the community at Room In The Inn, and is a board member of Make-a-Wish of Middle Tennessee.
We talked to this talented leader to get her perspective on lessons from the pandemic and how to make the most of professional opportunities.
NAIOP: What do you think will be the biggest opportunity emerging from today’s crisis?
Gallagher: I think people will start to think differently about health and wellness in general, work environments and flexibility to work remotely, and more awareness around work-life balance and the challenges that working parents face. People will be more likely to stay home when they’re sick. Companies that have not already adapted to flexible schedules for staff will start to do so. I also believe it has become very apparent all the hats that working parents wear on a day-to-day basis, and society seems to be extending more grace and accommodations to working mothers and fathers.
NAIOP: What is your favorite part of your job and why?
Gallagher: I love that no day is the same and that I get to work with fun people; real estate seems to attract interesting and fun individuals. I also like that my job requires technical focused work on some days, being social, and taping into creativity with marketing and fresh ideas on how to get deals done.
NAIOP: What is one piece of practical advice you would give to Developing Leaders who are just starting out in their careers?
Gallagher: Meet as many people as you can and try to say “yes” to as many opportunities you’re presented with that give you a chance to learn or connect with others in your industry. You never know where your path will take you and how your connections can help play a role in where you end up.
This is part of a series of profiles of NAIOP’s 2020 Developing Leaders Award recipients, who have distinguished themselves through exceptional commitment and contributions to the industry. This prestigious award was presented at NAIOP’s CRE.Converge Virtual 2020 conference. Watch this two-minute video to learn more about NAIOP’s Developing Leaders program. Applications for the 2021 Developing Leaders Award will open this spring.
Marie Ruff is Communications Senior Manager at NAIOP.