Boston Power Women: 5 Questions With Liz Berthelette
This limited series profiles Power Women who have helped shape Greater Boston’s cities, neighborhoods, businesses and lifestyles. These women will be honored at Bisnow's Boston Power Women event on Dec. 4.
It is difficult to find anyone who knows Boston or knows where the city’s real estate cycle is going better than Hunneman Director of Research Liz Berthelette. Responsible for market data and market trend analysis, she keeps the city’s real estate community — and many journalists — well-informed with her quarterly reports, white papers and blog posts about Boston’s active market.
Before she joined Hunnneman, Berthelette was an assistant director of market strategy and research at Colliers International and a real estate economist at CoStar subsidiary PPR. She graduated from Assumption College in Central Massachusetts with degrees in economics, geography and global studies.
Bisnow: How do you describe your job to people who are not in the industry?
Berthelette: My first response is usually to tell people that, no, I cannot produce a valuation for your home nor can I help you with your stock market picks. All kidding aside, when talking to people not familiar with commercial real estate, I explain that my job includes researching, analyzing and writing about the macro economy as well as trends related to local and national commercial real estate. I also emphasize that I spend a lot of time working with data.
Bisnow: What is the biggest business problem you have faced and how did you solve it?
Berthelette: In my current role, the largest hurdle I’ve faced is building our data collection processes from the ground up. Most of the firm’s data lived in disparate systems. To gain efficiencies and provide one repository for all our data, I spearheaded a months-long project to build out a proprietary database that now houses all our leasing information, property information, building photos and the like. To solve this problem, I consulted with industry experts to guide the implementation of this system as well as help in my decision-making processes. I also broke down the larger tasks into smaller, more manageable projects.
Bisnow: What is one thing you think companies can do to address wage and gender inequality?
Berthelette: Elevating women to executive-level and leadership roles is key for companies to address wage and gender inequality in commercial real estate. We need more women partners, directors, executives and board members in this industry. Providing avenues and support, including management training, continuing education and mentoring, for women to reach these positions is a critical component to achieve this goal.
Bisnow: What piece of advice do you give others entering the industry?
Berthelette: Here are few pieces of sage advice I give to others just starting in commercial real estate:
- Commercial real estate is an interesting industry. It is very dynamic and always changing.
- Read anything and everything related to the business.
- Continue to learn and always ask questions.
- Don’t be afraid to take risks or try something new.
Bisnow: What do you do to unwind when you’re not working?
Berthelette: I enjoy hanging out with my family and friends when not at work. You can also find me binge-watching Netflix or reading British crime novels.
Meet Hunneman Director of Research Liz Berthelette at Bisnow’s Boston Power Women event Dec. 4 at the Westin Copley Place.