Nicole Milhalka SVP, JLL
As a broker, Nicole Mihalka’s specialty is leasing and selling creative space in Hollywood and LA’s East Side, including office, retail and industrial. Given so many tenants who want to be in those spaces, “This has been my best year yet, even being out on maternity leave for part of it.” Properties she reps with her team include Columbia Square (where NeueHouse signed for 93k SF), The Lot (where Oprah’s OWN subsidiary inked over 60k SF) and the Hollywood Media Campus (where SAE Institute leased 41k)—some of the biggest leases of the year. Hollywood has always been Nicole’s niche—she started in the submarket at Daum Commercial because she was living there at the time. She was later recruited to work with Carl Muhlstein’s team at Cushman & Wakefield, then moved with them to JLL in 2012. How it came to be: She majored in clinical psychology (she even had an NIH fellowship to study monkey behavior), then worked for Disney’s Go.com. After the dot-com bust, she looked for a new path and was recruited by a headhunter into real estate. The new mom (son Pierce was born in August) says she’s glad to see the number of female brokers increasing, but some young women are still hesitant joining the industry given income isn’t guaranteed for your first two or three years. “Be brave, and don’t be afraid to take risks,” she says.