Each year, Midwest Real Estate News inducts a new class into its Midwest Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. Today we look at the busy career of Laurel Keller, senior vice president with Newmark Knight Frank Valuation & Advisory in Cleveland.
For more than two decades, Laurel Keller has played a key role in the valuation of hotels, resorts, amusement parks, water parks, golf courses and casinos as a senior vice president with Newmark Knight Frank Valuation & Advisory.
And while Keller is based out of Newmark’s Cleveland office, her reach extends much further. This industry veteran has completed appraisal and consulting studies for existing and proposed properties in 35 states, Canada and the Middle East. She has also appraised assets ranging in value from less than $1 million to well over $1 billion.
“I really enjoy the variety of work I do, both in the property types as well as the mix of travel, desktop research and attendance or speaking at conferences,” Keller said. “I gain insight from people in all facets of the hospitality and real estate industries, and appreciate the opportunity to continually hone my craft while also coaching other professionals. We learn new things daily and are never bored.”
Valuing and analyzing commercial property is no easy task. As Keller says, she sifts through mounds of subject and market data. Sometimes she must extrapolate data because the property type is rare or its location is outside an MSA.
Timelines are constantly shrinking, too. This means that Keller and her colleagues must constantly devise ways to increase their efficiency while still providing thorough analysis of properties.
“I was born with a tenacity streak. Thanks mom and dad,” Keller said. “And I’m naturally curious, which is helpful in the research aspect of my work. I love unearthing the ‘why’ behind the ‘what,’ which leads to well-supported forecasting.”
When not analyzing commercial properties, Keller spends time dining out and exploring with family and friends.
“I find traveling abroad to be invigorating, enlightening and centering,” Keller said.
She finds plenty to do in Cleveland, too. The city, she says, has a unique and ever-evolving array of top eateries that she loves to visit.