YLG Spotlight

Kate Seabaugh
Manager, Research Group
John Burns Real Estate Consulting
YLG Programs Committee – Co-Chair
Community Development Council Member
Women’s Leadership Initiative Member

YLG Spotlight

How did you find your way into the industry?

I worked at Wall Street and investment firms for the first few years of my professional career and was looking for my next challenge and opportunity. I came across a job posting for John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC) on LinkedIn and became enamored with not only the company and the people, but the housing industry itself. Housing is such an important component of the economy and touches our daily lives. I loved that housing was very tangible and multifaceted, and there was so much to absorb about the industry. Luckily, I was able to leverage my analytical finance and economics background at my research role at JBREC, as there is a lot of overlap between the industries.

What advice would you give to an emerging young leader just starting their professional career?

Really immerse yourself in the industry. Take on as much responsibility as you can handle. Ask a lot of questions. Always strive to improve, grow, and make processes more efficient. Attention to detail is key. Networking is extremely important. You never know who could be your next client or mentor. Professional organizations (like ULI) are a great way to broaden your network and educate yourself on the industry.

What traits do you think define a successful leader?

I look up to leaders who are able to motivate others toward a common goal. Those who know their subject extremely well and are able to articulate their views are very inspiring to me.  Successful leaders lift others up with them and create a strong sense of culture within their organization.

What is your current job and what types of projects are you working on now?

As a member of the Research team at John Burns Real Estate Consulting, I drive content for our team’s economic and housing research. I also write topical articles on local and national housing markets. One aspect I love about my current role is that I’m always learning and broadening my scope of work. Right now, we are working on diving deep into the mortgage industry with the goal of pinpointing how this important industry will impact housing during the next downturn. The new challenges that come with each day make my job fun and exciting!

What do you find most challenging about your profession on a day-to-day basis?

There is always so much to learn and so many trends to stay on top of! My inbox is usually a mess. Given the wide range of topics I cover that are critical to housing at the local, regional, and national level, it can be a challenge to prioritize and make sure I’m staying up to date on all the latest trends. That said, I love a challenge, and I really enjoy that my job is multidimensional and somewhat open-ended. It takes practice and constant effort to stay focused and streamlined in how I’m using my time.

What are you looking for in terms of career development – OR In what areas would you like to professionally develop further?

I’m always looking to grow my network and strengthen relationships with peers in the industry and clients of our firm. I also enjoy learning about other disciplines within the industry including site planning, entitlements, and land acquisition. Being able to put all the pieces of the real estate puzzle together is a fun challenge for me. ULI has been very important in helping me to improve in both of these areas.

Describe a situation that was a great learning experience.

Since graduating high school, I’ve lived in 6 very different cities for both school and work. Moving to these new places all across the country was exciting, but without a social or industry network it could also be a challenge. While there were times of confusion and self-doubt, I also learned a lot about myself and what drives me. I was able to better figure out what was important to me both professionally and personally. And I gained many great friends and cool experiences in the process

How do you deal with stress at work?

I usually feel most stressed when I have way too much to do or deadlines that are all hitting at the same time. To preemptively tackle this, I try to keep an organized calendar and to-do list and make sure the most important projects and deliverables get out the door first. I also don’t hesitate to involve some of my very talented JBREC team members when appropriate. If that isn’t possible, I find that my stress level drastically declines as I start chugging through high-priority reports or projects. This is usually enough of a stress reliever for me.  If all else fails, I try to get in a spin class after work or have a nice glass of Malbec at the end of a long work day.