Shelley is the co-founder of Hazelbrook Advisors, a firm that provides conflict-free representation of tenants, investors, and users of real estate in Seattle.
International Women’s Day Spotlight: Shelley Gill
Shelley is the co-founder of Hazelbrook Advisors, a firm that provides conflict-free representation of tenants, investors, and users of real estate in Seattle. With over three decades of insightful leadership and expertise in commercial real estate, Shelley is passionate about delivering measurable value for her clients.
Shelley started her career as a financial analyst for a local boutique commercial real estate company and quickly realized that she was drawn to value creation through real estate. Shelley specializes in tenant representation, site selection, and strategic planning in the office, medical, life sciences, lab, industrial and flex space sectors. She not only leads but also plays an integral role in client projects, working diligently to understand the unique needs of a particular business or community challenge. Shelley helps her clients leverage real estate to support their missions.
As many women in the industry she had to climb over several barriers to reach success in her career. “Unfortunately, commercial real estate continues to be a very male dominated field. Historically the most important deals were cut on the golf course or men’s clubs … luckily that is changing.” She recalls an awkward moment, when she was finally invited for a business lunch at an exclusive private golf club, “the entire group was relegated to the empty formal dining room because women were not allowed in the more casual dining area.”
She encourages women interested in entering the commercial real estate industry to get “as smart as they can as quickly as they can, tour as many buildings as they can, join and actively participate in industry groups, identify mentors, and begin building their network right away”. Shelley believes that “self-confidence, strong work ethic, networking skills, good listening and negotiating skills, and a good sense of humor are essential for success” in commercial real estate.
Some of the exciting projects Shelley has worked on included assembling almost two full city blocks for a hospital to establish a research institute in downtown Seattle. A sizable building on the acquired site was sitting fallow, so she assembled a team to plan a complete retrofit of the structure, pulled together a marketing package and secured a lease for the building with a third party to turn the building into a revenue generator to support growth of the research center. “The most rewarding projects are those where their work is sincerely appreciated by their clients” says Shelley.
Shelley sees the future of commercial real estate as facing a hybrid workplace and believes that whenever there is significant change, there is always opportunity. She believes that the change they will experience in the next several years will be transformational for their industry.
Most of Shelley’s volunteer leadership roles have been in industry organizations. She and her female counterparts have been focused on encouraging women to stick with the industry as things get more challenging. They have also made a concerted effort to educate young women in local universities to consider commercial real estate as a career. Shelley tries to be a mentor to as many young women as possible and is a strong supporter of Seattle Children’s Hospital and other local life sciences companies focused on cures for cancer and other medical issues.
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