Employee Spotlight: Hayley Mueller
Cresa is committed to building an inclusive workplace that encourages, supports, and celebrates the diverse voices of our employees. Our employee spotlight series gives our team members the opportunity to share their unique experience.
Meet Hayley Mueller
Hayley Mueller is an Advisor with Cresa where she assists with office and industrial transaction management for occupiers throughout the Portland area. As a Portland native, she is passionate about advocating for occupiers in her community and is dedicated to aligning clients’ real estate and business goals to develop effective real estate strategies.
Hayley comes to Cresa’s Portland office from the Commercial Banking Industry and utilizes her background in financial data analytics to bring value to our clients through evidence-based strategies and market research.
How did you get into the industry?
I was introduced to the industry through family, but my first introduction to the Portland professional commercial real estate industry was a CREW event that I went to in college before I was a member and before I was working full time. I fell in love with it and decided this was what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to set my sights on having a career in the industry as a broker. Next, I went forward with obtaining my broker's license while still attending college. My career journey began in the banking industry at U.S. Bank before making the decision to go over to brokerage. Once my decision was made, I was like “Where do I even start”? I knew I needed to network and that was the first thing I did.
What are some challenges you have encountered during your career and how did you overcome them?
I won't name a specific challenge or one instance, because everyone has these types of things happen to them. But the main overarching things that cause challenges in my career are being young and being a woman. If you're either of those things, or both, I think you know exactly what kinds of challenges I would be facing. A lot of it is people not respecting me, underestimating me, all kinds of those things. How I combat those challenges is, first of all, accepting they're real and they actually happen and I'm not making them up. And I let everyone know that I'm not making them up. And once you do that, what do you do next? Well, you figure out workarounds and you get creative and that's how you can stick it out. The only way that you can fail even with things stacked against you is if you quit, and I'm not quitting. I'm not going anywhere!
Why are you passionate about what you do?
I'm passionate about what I do because I think being an advisor is the perfect medium between my creativity and analytical side. When you mix those together, they create a synergy that helps business owners, which I think is really exciting. These people are depending on us for the physical place that their business is going to rely on to exist. It’s a huge responsibility, and to see things come together and work out, that's like magic to me. I think that may be kind of nerdy, and maybe just us at Cresa or people in the industry get that excited, but that's why I'm passionate about it.
What talents or contributions to you bring to your local Cresa office?
I would say that the main two things - and these are more concepts than actions – I bring two things: organization and morale. I make it fun!
What organization(s) are you currently involved with?
One of the organizations I'm involved with is CREW. CREW is an acronym that stands for Commercial Real Estate Women. The goal, purpose, and mission of CREW is to further advance women in the commercial real estate industry. It's been in place for about 30 years and it's just grown exponentially. It's a global organization, a network of 13, 600 women, and I got to see 1,400 of them at the CREW convention, it was crazy to see that many women in one room that do the exact same thing as you. It's surreal. If you're in CREW and ever get the chance to go, definitely take it! I think that locally here, CREW connects you with the people who are doing the same things as you, and creates a community. You don't always see anyone that looks like you in this industry, and you can go there and know that everyone is in your same shoes and wants to be your friend and help you out any way they can with your career.
How did you become involved with this organization?
I joined our chapter right around when the time I joined Cresa two years ago, but my first introduction was a few years before when I was in college. So I went to one event and fell in love with the industry. Years go by and my older sister had been a part of CREW through her career, and met Kelsey Machuca in our office, and they stayed in touch here and there. My sister actually DJ'd at Kelsey’s wedding, which was really fun. So that was a CREW connection that led to a job, which then led to me joining CREW full time as a member. So over the last two years, I've served on two different committees and I just started on a new one, Membership and Sponsorship, and about a year ago, I got the opportunity to move up in my sponsorship committee and serve as the Co-Chair. That's been about a year now, and I have another year left. This winter, I'll be joining the brand new Finance Committee as well. So lots of involvement on the leadership level there. I really just give credit to the organization for letting younger people in the industry have opportunities to build leadership skills. It’s volunteer work, but it's building our career at the same time. So something that was really exciting that just happened was the CREW convention in Atlanta. Usually just the board members go (and anyone else that wants to pay), but it's usually just the board of the local chapter. Each year they give out a scholarship, I think going forward it will be for a rising star that just joined the industry, someone new, giving them the opportunity to see what the convention is like and experience that. Kelsey Machuca in our office encouraged me to apply. I didn’t think I would get it, but I applied and of course I got it because Kelsey is never wrong! And of course it was a very good decision. I was really excited. At the end of September I joined about nine of our board members and we all flew to Atlanta for a three-day conference where we got to see some of the Atlanta Cresa CREW members, as well as hang out with the board and get to know them better. It's been a really great experience and a really big part of my career. Joining CREW was one of the best decisions I could have made as far as joining an outside organization other than what I do day-to-day in my career.
How can other people get involved?
So, the main way you can join CREW is if you're in a major city, you just look up CREW, and then your city. I'm in Portland, so I would search “CREW Portland”. Alternatively, you can always go to crewnetwork.org.
How do you think we can better promote diversity, inclusion and belonging within the CRE industry?
I talked a lot about CREW and that's how I'm supported in the DIBs space, but that's not the only organization. There are a lot of people and individuals who fall under the DIBs umbrella and there are organizations for those people. It's the responsibility of leadership to support those individuals who want to participate in those organizations because those are environments where people can feel uplifted. Maybe they don't have that in their day to day and maybe they do, but across the board, support your employees to do things like CREW to advance their careers and open the doors for more people like them to join the industry. That's what it's all about!