Member Spotlight 

December 18, 2022

Q&A – Laura Jones of RL Jones Properties

 


Laura Jones
Broker / Lease Admin
RL Jones Properties
 

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 is also a project manager for RLJ Construction, the firm’s construction division, where she oversees new developments, landlord scope of work and tenant buildouts. Laura graduated from Webster University in 2009 with a marketing degree. 
 
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 to their phone calls and would help my mother keep her lease files organized. I got my broker real estate license at the age of 21; however, I started off as a property manager out of college and have gradually taken over prospecting, leasing, lease renewals and most recently as a project manager overseeing buildouts.
 
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: architects, engineers, attorneys, bankers, etc. 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 the first year that I joined and have been on it since. 
 
Q:    Please name a few of the projects you’ve been involved in, specifically in the St. Louis area of which you are proud.
 
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, Five Below, Burke’s Outlet & Home Centric, Marshalls, Tractor Supply, Old Navy, Imo’s and Edward Jones, just to name a few. I am currently working on a redevelopment of a former Kmart box store with four national tenants and working on a redevelopment project in Farmington, MO. 
 
Q:     What other associations or volunteer activities are you involved with? 
 
A:    In 2023, I will be the president-elect of the St. Louis Commercial Realtors. I am also a member of the ICSC 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 picked back up quickly. We are now facing the supply chain issues with getting materials in time to meet delivery deadlines. 
 
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. We live in Wildwood with our two boys, Tate (5 years old) and Miles (3 years old). We recently got a Bernedoodle, Huck (4 months old). We enjoy traveling, attending Cardinals games, hiking and playing golf. I have been to more than 40 countries and hope to step foot on all seven continents one day!