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LA Power Women: 5 Questions With Common's Amalia Paliobeis

This limited series profiles SoCal Power Women who have helped shape cities, neighborhoods, businesses and lifestyles in Southern California. These women will be honored at Bisnow's Los Angeles Power Women event Dec. 12.

As anyone in real estate knows, it is not as easy as 1-2-3. 

When developing a building, there are several challenges: designs can change, construction costs could escalate and delays happen.

Common's Amalia Paliobeis loves to attack and overcome these challenges. As senior director of real estate for the West Coast, Paliobeis enjoys working with developers to find solutions to problems that may arise during the construction process, she said. 

Prior to joining Common, Paliobeis was vice president at Regent Properties. Her résumé also includes stops at Barclays Capital and Deloitte.

Common Senior Director of Real Estate for the West Coast Amalia Paliobeis
Common Senior Director of Real Estate for the West Coast Amalia Paliobeis

Bisnow: Who are you and what do you do?

Paliobeis: I’m the senior director of real estate for the West Coast at Common. Common is the nation’s leading residential brand designing and operating community-focused co-living, microstudio and traditional multifamily apartments in six cities. Common takes what millions of people across the world are already doing, living with roommates, and makes it easier through purpose-built housing at attainable price points. 

Bisnow: What is the most challenging part of your job? The most rewarding?

Paliobeis: The most difficult parts of my job often turn into the most rewarding. Everyone knows it can be quite a challenge to navigate issues that arise during the development process like increases in construction costs or construction delays. However, it’s extremely rewarding when I work hand in hand with developers to discover forward-thinking design and operational solutions that make sense for everyone. It’s also very exciting to tour the finished product and see happy Common members move into those buildings (with rents affordable to those making the median income).

Bisnow: How have you seen companies change the way they address wage and gender inequality in recent years?

Paliobeis: Definitely, and I’m particularly seeing it at Common.  I am proud to work with a company that has addressed inequality issues head-on. Common provides several gender-neutral initiatives and processes to ensure that people are treated fairly. For example, they provide up to 16 weeks of paid parental leave (and it doesn’t matter if you’re the primary or secondary caregiver). This enables both men and women to take the time off they need to care for children after birth or adoption. We are also lucky to have women leading traditionally men-led departments such as design and construction, asset management and finance. Even though real estate is a traditionally male-dominated industry, it has always been incredibly important for me to build my career with companies that value female perspectives because quality, attainable housing is not a gendered issue. 

Bisnow: What do you enjoy most about living and doing business in Los Angeles?

Paliobeis: Los Angeles is amazing for so many reasons, but I love the accessibility to outdoor activities. You can go hiking, biking, swimming in the ocean and more the majority of months out of the year. At work, I love discovering new neighborhoods throughout the city with our real estate partners that may be a good fit for Common.

Bisnow: What are you most excited about, professionally, as we head into 2020?

Paliobeis: I am really thrilled to see the continued growth of Common in 2020 and particularly in Los Angeles. We quadrupled our signed beds under development this year alone! I am also excited about the way institutional real estate investors are taking notice of co-living’s prominence as its own real estate asset class. Last, I think 2020 will be the year that cities begin to take notice of co-living as an Affordable Housing solution. The housing crisis is felt especially hard here on the West Coast, and Common has already begun to work with cities like New York City and Atlanta to come up with solutions for low-income renters. Los Angeles next!