Q&A with CREW Atlanta Director Yvette Turner

December 10, 2020

As a way to get to know the CREW Atlanta leadership better, we will be interviewing the board members on their thoughts on CREW Atlanta, the commercial real estate industry, workplace issues and life in general. This month, we caught up with CREW Atlanta Director and Crocker Partners Property Management, LLC General Manager, Yvette Turner.

Q. How has COVID-19 impacted your business?

It has greatly impacted our business in terms of managing building health. We formed a task force at the very beginning and developed new policies and procedures regarding mask wearing, way finding, elevated cleaning, deep sanitization, tenant interaction and the like.

Q. What attracted you to commercial real estate?

Honestly, I fell into it. I was leaving the military and unsure what path I would next take. So, I went to a job conference and met a recruiter who specializes in placing junior military officers. The next thing you know, one of the largest commercial real estate firms, Jones Lang LaSalle, hired me, and the rest is history!

Q. What did you learn by being in the military that has helped you in your role today?

The opportunities given to young men and women in the Army are incredible: Leadership and responsibility, and certainly I was able to travel, which has shaped who I am today. I’m not a “yes man,” so it was not where I saw myself spending a career, but the skills I learned have all translated well for commercial real estate.

Q. What do you like about working at Crocker?

They accept me as I am – the good, the bad and everything in between. They know that I truly care and that I am constantly working hard for the company.

Q. What keeps you up at night?

I lose a lot of sleep because of all of the decisions I have to make on a daily basis, but overall, I hope that most of my choices are pushing us in the right direction.

Q. What is your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge is management. There are so many personalities and goals at play, and it is important that I understand how to best motivate individuals to achieve our goals as a company.

Q. What is the most important thing you’re working on right now?

Repositioning an asset from zero capital invested in over 10 years to an asset that will have $15 million of significant exterior and interior renovations in 2021.

Q. What makes a successful leader?

I believe a successful leader develops people. She coaches, generates enthusiasm, fixes the breakdowns, works on goodwill and says, “We.” She asks, gives credit and says, “Let’s go!”

Q. What commercial real estate trend is top of mind?

Sustainability and healthy buildings. The pandemic has caused building owners to reevaluate the health qualities and sustainability of their assets to better respond to tenants’ needs to provide safe environments for their employees.

Q. What is your best advice for women in commercial real estate?

Adapt, persevere and be your own biggest advocate.

Q. What are you most proud of?

I’m proud that I’ve lasted 20 years in this industry and have only worked for two companies. And I’m still not a “yes man!”

Q. What are your favorite words of wisdom?

You will always catch me saying, “Keep it moving.” What I’m ultimately trying to convey is to try not to get lost in the minutiae!

Q. Who is a mentor or a personal hero?

My oldest sister, Yvonne. She is a 26-year military veteran, the mother of two successful children and a cancer survivor. She constantly worries more about others than herself – and she is super funny!

Q. What keeps you busy outside of work?

Traveling with family and friends.

Q. What is your favorite travel destination or place you hope to visit?

My favorite destination is always somewhere warm! I hope to visit New Zealand one day soon.

Q. What would you like to share about your family?

I did not have my own family, per se, but with four siblings and eight nieces and nephews, I have so much to be thankful for.

Q. What would you be if you weren’t in commercial real estate?

Wow, I have thought about this often and two things come to mind: An editor, because I enjoy turning written material into a finished product and/or a paid world class traveler because I want to experience different cultures.

Q: What has CREW done for you?

CREW has given me a base of like-minded professionals who I can communicate with on all things commercial real estate. My CREW understands the industry, offers advice, supports me in my endeavors and just so happens to be mostly other female professionals!