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LA Power Women: 5 Questions With Newmark Knight Frank's Laura Stumm

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.

In many ways, selling commercial real estate is like creating artwork. You start with a blank canvas, Newmark Knight Frank's Laura Stumm said. From there, you build on top of it, creating a strategy, add bits and pieces until there is a story to tell.

As a senior managing director at Newmark Knight Frank, Stumm oversees the investment sales process from operations, marketing and analytics to brokerage.

Since 2011 when she joined the company, she has contributed to more than $25B in transactions brokered by the team, according to her company bio.

Newmark Knight Frank Senior Managing Director Laura Stumm with her family

Bisnow: Who are you and what do you do?

Stumm: I’m engaged in institutional office investment sales across greater Los Angeles for Newmark Knight Frank as part of Kevin Shannon’s West Coast team. In my role, I’m primarily involved in pitching new business, conducting periodic valuations for clients, providing market overviews and managing the marketing and disposition process for existing listings.

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

Stumm: Most challenging: We try to be thoughtful and well-read in our response to clients. My biggest challenge is balancing thoroughness with timeliness. I try to follow the adage, “What’s important is not quality, or speed, but the quality of the speed,” and holding to that balance can be delicate.

Most rewarding: I really enjoy the entire sales process from beginning to end. Every deal commences as a blank canvas, and I take a lot of joy in developing a thoughtful story, creating a defined strategy and orchestrating a smooth sales process. We are fortunate to do business with many good friends, which makes the journey even more gratifying.  

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

Stumm: It’s an exciting time to be a woman in this industry. Certainly, there is more of a spotlight on gender inequality in the workforce, but on the flip side, I think there is more female talent in the industry and in the workforce than ever before. The two need to continue to work hand in hand, as corporate awareness can help to open doors, but the increasing number of women in real estate provides critical role models to inspire other women to enter the industry. 

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

Stumm: Los Angeles has been an exciting market to cover by sheer diversity of product type. In one market on the office side alone, we have trophy office towers, suburban office campuses, specialty studio lots, biomedical hubs and creative office developments. It’s been fascinating to watch how capital has transformed various micro-markets like the Arts District, El Segundo, and Culver City in a relatively short amount of time.  

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

Stumm: I’m excited to witness the continued maturation of the streaming market in Los Angeles. The FAANG giants have been extremely influential from both a statistical and physical perspective. As Angelenos we have a front row seat to cosmic shift in how consumers receive entertainment, and it will be fascinating to watch how the continued growth of these firms is woven into the fabric of the market. 

Bisnow's Los Angeles Power Women event will be held Dec. 12 at the JW Marriott Los Angeles LA Live hotel in downtown Los Angeles.