Member Spotlight - Q&A with Laura Jones
RL Jones Properties
Member Spotlight Q&A
Laura Jones is a commercial real estate broker at RL Jones Properties, a family owned and operated commercial real estate firm. They own and manage more than 40 properties, comprised of approximately one million square feet around the St. Louis Metro area. Laura graduated from Webster University in 2009 with a marketing degree and has traveled to more than 40 countries. She is hopeful to step on all seven continents one day.
Q: When did you decide to get into the commercial real estate industry? Was it always your focus?
A: My parents started RL Jones Properties in 1980, so I would say this was always something I knew I would end up being involved with. They started by having an office in our house. I was always around listening in to their phone calls and would help my mother keep her lease files organized. I got my broker real estate license at 21; however, I started off as a property manager out of college and have gradually taken over prospecting, leasing and lease renewals.
Q: What are some of the things you love about your job?
A: I love that I get to work with small businesses and help them find a home for their business. I also love that every day is different and brings new challenges. I enjoy lease negotiations and coming up with creative ways to get a deal completed.
Q: What is your CREW-St. Louis origin? When did you join? Why did you become a member?
A: I became a CREW member in May 2019. I joined to network and meet other professionals in the industry. I am blown away by the support that I have received, friendships that I have made, the things I have learned, and the willingness of members to meet for lunch or coffee.
Q: What was the first CREW event you attended and what were your impressions?
A: My first CREW event was the Golf Tournament in 2019. It was a phenomenal event! I ended up joining the golf committee this year, and even though we did not get to host the tournament, I look forward to participating for years to come!
Q: Please name a few of the projects you’ve been involved in, specifically in the St. Louis area that you are proud of.
A: I have worked on redeveloping shopping centers, such as Montclaire Shopping Center (Edwardsville, IL) and Mineral Area Shopping Center (Farmington, MO). I have worked with tenants including Sport Clips, Sugarfire, Harbor Freight Tools, Tractor Supply, Imo’s and Edward Jones, just to name a few. I am currently working on a redevelopment of a former Kmart box with four national tenants and adding two new buildings to our shopping center in Wildwood, MO.
Q: What other associations or volunteer activities are you involved with?
A: I am a member of the ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) and active member with the Wildwood Business Association.
Q: How has COVID-19 impacted you and your organization?
A: This was a learning curve, to say the least. We received a fair share of letters and calls from tenants requesting rent relief, but fortunately, the Paycheck Protection Program, small business loans, grants, and with our help, most of our tenants were able to manage through the shutdown.
Leasing calls and projects/leases all came to a halt as no one really knew what was going to happen and how long it would last, but things are starting to pick back up and move forward.
Q: What else would you like your fellow CREW-St. Louis members to know about you?
A: I am married to my wife, Jaclyn, who also works with me and hopes to join CREW soon. We live in Wildwood with our two boys, Tate (2.5 years old) and Miles (7 months old). We love the community and are spoiled by all the trails and parks! When we aren’t in a pandemic, we enjoy traveling, attending Cardinals games, hiking and playing golf.