Women in Real Estate: Kristin Mueller
The president of JLL Retail Property Management Group is determined not to be the only female in the room.
Kristin Mueller took a giant leap of faith when she graduated from college and began interviews for jobs. Although she was planning a career in banking, a commercial real estate company then known as JMB Realty and later Urban Retail Properties, hired her.
“Luckily, the company placed me in the retail sector, and I am grateful I jumped at that opportunity because it led me to where I am today,” said Mueller, now president of JLL’s retail property management group in the U.S.
Mueller was named to the position late last year when Greg Maloney, longtime president and CEO of JLL’s retail property management business, retired at the end of December. Under Maloney’s leadership JLL’s portfolio expanded and now totals more than 75 million square feet, making JLL the largest third-party retail manager in North America.
Mueller, who was COO of JLL’s property management business for five years prior to the promotion, had spent more than two decades working in retail property management, taking on increasingly important positions. She was COO of retail property management before becoming COO of the property management business in January 2018.
Mueller said she is motivated to do great work every day by internal drivers, such as learning, doing interesting work, fulfilling personal goals, and being surrounded by peers, bosses, and clients. She notes that the pandemic created challenges and uncertainties that showed her how incredible the JLL team is.
Mueller is committed to being a mentor for other women in the commercial real estate industry who want to find success.
“I am focused on inspiring people to make an impact in mission-critical areas, including diversity, equity and inclusion, sustainability, future of space and technology,” she said.
Her advice to others who want to be in a position like hers some day is to identify your towering strengths, lean into them and try to focus as much energy on them as you can. If your weaknesses are holding you back, save some energy to solve those was well. Other tips include delivering when you commit to doing something and saying “yes” as often as you can when appropriate and in situations that will provide growth and value.
Mueller said the CRE industry must continue to hire diverse candidates and provide the right professional development support through careers, along with an inclusive culture in which everyone can thrive.
“While I have seen progress for women since I began in this industry, there are still times when I’m the only woman in a room,” Mueller said. “I am in a small percentage of women who hold a leadership role in this industry, so I will continue to be a part of the continued effort to support women and promote diversity in commercial real estate.”
“What I love about (my team) is that we are rowing in the same direction with a common cause, which is delivering insights that help
clients redefine the future of real estate and strategies that are good
for the planet and also good for business.”
Read the March 2023 issue of CPE.
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