On the Rise: A Conversation with Lauren Larsen, 2024 Recipient of the Women’s Alliance Champion Award

NAI Affinity
March 25, 2024

On the Rise: A Conversation with Lauren Larsen, 2024 Recipient of the Women’s Alliance Champion Award

At the NAI Global Convention in February, Lauren Larsen was announced as the 2024 recipient of the Women’s Alliance Champion Award.

Lauren is the Managing Broker at NAI Affinity in Northern Colorado. Lauren focuses her time in the industry on self storage and multifamily investment sales, along with development land transactions.

NAI Global spoke with Lauren to find out more about her meteoric rise to success.

You earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Real Estate from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder, and related to this, do we understand that you became a licensed real estate agent in the State of Colorado at the age of 20?

Correct! I had just turned 20.

Just to clarify that, you got your sales license while still at the University of Colorado?

Yes, I started working on my license when I was a sophomore in college and also working full time between NAI Affinity and coaching/managing Orangetheory Fitness.

When did you know you wanted a career in real estate?

I grew up around residential real estate given that my dad was a general contractor and built custom homes. I always found it interesting and was encouraged down this career path because I have always had a very persistent personality. However, I wasn’t fully convinced that commercial real estate would be my career path until I talked to my family friend that is an Investment Manager in our company and she shared more about the industry. She also shared that there were not many females, which I knew would come with challenges but also create opportunity. One of the goals I have always had is to be a good role model for other young women wanting to join the industry and to be able to help mentor them.

When did you know that you were leaning more toward commercial real estate rather than residential real estate?

Commercial real estate had always had an appeal to me, but as soon as I started learning the ropes as a Real Estate Assistant for NAI Affinity, I knew this career was for me. I loved that every assignment and every day was different and the complexity of the deals. I also like commercial real estate because I know that each day, I am helping to build the community and region that I have lived in most of my life which will create an impact for generations to come.

When you first started out in the industry, what was your toughest challenge, and how have you overcome that, or them?

Once of the toughest challenges when I first started in the industry was gaining respect of others when I came into the industry at 19 years old. I have overcome this with time, hard work, gaining knowledge, and providing to clients and colleagues that even though I have only been in the industry for three years I will serve my clients with the utmost care and diligence.

What motivates you to succeed?

I am motivated to succeed because I have always been competitive and hate to lose. I also want to show that it doesn’t matter how young/old you are or male/female and that if you put in the work and dream big you can achieve all you set out to do.

Do you have a mentor(s) and if so, what is the greatest value in that, to you?

I have many mentors, but the most influential to me would be my two teammates Jake Hallauer and Ryan Schaefer. I don’t know where I would be without them. They took me under their wing since day one and helped immerse me into the industry by taking me to in-state and out-of-state conferences, client meetings, and giving me opportunities very early on.

(Editor’s note: Jake Hallauer is NAI Affinity’s President; Ryan Schaefer is NAI Affinity’s CEO.)

What is a pretty ambitious goal that you want to achieve in the next few years?

One ambitious goal that I have is to be partner of our company within the next three-five years and grow the company revenue significantly in the next 3 years.

What would you tell a young woman, if she expressed interest in a career in commercial real estate?

I would tell a young woman that while there are some challenges being in a male dominated industry, as a female, there is lots of opportunity and there are great women that have come before her and that are very supportive and willing to lend a helping hand. I would also tell her that it is imperative to find a mentor (or a few) that can take you under their wing and be a listening ear as you grow in the business.

On a personal note, in your bio it says you like the active life that is so readily available in Colorado. What activities are your favorites?

In the summer I love to go to the lake and water ski, wakeboard, lake surf, etc. I also enjoy spending time hiking our beautiful mountains.

My most exciting trip so far was when I went with my family to London, Paris, Venice, Rome and Florence. My younger sister is currently studying abroad so my next trip is to visit her. We are doing a Rhine River cruise that goes from Basel, Switzerland to Breisach, Germany, to Strausberg, France, to Speyer, Germany, to Rudesheim, Germany, to Koblenz, Germany, to Cologne, Germany, to Kinderdijk, The Netherlands, ending in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Source: "On the Rise: A Conversation with Lauren Larsen, 2024 Recipient of the Women’s Alliance Champion Award", NAI Global

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