Courtney Trunnell is a Director with Cushman & Wakefield’s Capital Markets Group based in San Francisco. Courtney specializes in the production of marketing proposals, offering memorandums, and marketing campaigns and also coordinates due diligence collection and analysis for the sale of office and industrial product in Northern California. She has been involved in the marketing and sale of over $4.5 billion in office and industrial sales. Courtney holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from UCLA, where she was a collegiate rower. She is an active member of C&W’s Women’s Integrated Network (SF Committee), Urban Land Institute (Young Leaders Group, SF Engagement Committee), The Belden Club (Board Member), and NAIOP’s Developing Leaders (YPG). She is also a member of The Junior League of San Francisco.
Here we get to learn a bit more about Courtney as a standout woman in real estate with a few questions, as we kickoff our celebration in honor of Women’s History Month in Northern California:
What led you to pursue a career in real estate?
My career in real estate was actually more of a happy coincidence, in that I needed a job, and the team that I started with needed someone like me. I’d graduated from UCLA with a BA in Geography/Environmental Studies, and figured I would end up doing something in sustainability. I saw so many opportunities in the depths of the commercial real estate world, and was intrigued by how it seemed to touch everything one way or another. It was the dynamic and generous people that I worked for and with from the beginning that drew me in, along with the tangibility of the real estate itself that interested me.
What are some of the necessary progressions you’ve noticed in the CRE industry that have positively impacted women?
I’ve noticed a lot more organizations making gender equality and inclusion a priority, acknowledging that diversity is key to a successful business. I love that all the large brokerage companies now have a women’s group (e.g. Women’s Integrated Network “WIN” at C&W), and I know some of our clients do as well. I think these groups are really fostering career development and mentorship, encouraging more diverse recruitment, and spreading the word for leadership and educational opportunities. I’ve also noticed a lot more (overdue) recognition of the incredibly smart, driven, and successful women in CRE.
How important is it that women, particularly young women, have not only mentors but role models in the CRE industry to learn and grow from? And in one sentence, what is one message or piece of advice you learned you would share with these women?
In a perfect world, everyone would have a mentor, no matter your gender, age, or even experience in an industry. We can always benefit from the sage guidance of someone who’s been there. I think it’s important for young women in the industry to have role models to show them that women can be successful in CRE, in all capacities whether operations, marketing, sales, leadership, etc. My advice is to not be afraid to reach out to anyone in the industry that you admire—I’ve found that people are very willing to share their successes and trials.
Political and or personal views aside, who is a public woman figure (past or present) that you model yourself after and or hold deep admiration for? And why?
I very much admire Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who’s taught us to know our value, and not accept excuses. She’s really shown you can do it all as a woman—family, pursuing education, fulfilling career. Not to mention the fact that at 85, she still has such vigor and passion for what she does! There are so many women who have made fantastic strides in their industry, and I deeply admire their perseverance, vision, and gumption.
What are some of your favorite enjoyable hobbies outside the office? And which ones do you find help balance or propel you forward as a professional? How or why?
I’ve always got a travel bug, I’m an avid reader, fascinated with interior design, and I especially enjoy cooking and hosting dinner parties. I love having friends and family to the house, preparing a great meal, enjoying nice wine. This time outside the office helps create balance. It feels like me time, allowing me to express some creativity through creating an experience for people, and throwing an awesome party really brings me a lot of joy.
What is something you have never done but would really like to do in your life?
SKYDIVE! I have a terrible fear of heights but it’s something I’ve always wanted to (and most likely will) do at some point!
Story by Joshua Deale, Senior Communications Specialist