Spotlight On: Liz Nunan - Welcome to Her World
Mary Prenon | October 2015
Liz Nunan is definitely a woman of the world. As Vice President of Global Business Development for Houlihan Lawrence Real Estate, Nunan and her team help find homes for people relocating to the Hudson Valley from as close as the Midwest to as far away as China and Australia.
“Every day is different—it’s never boring around here,” she said. “I love meeting new people and it’s fun getting to know people from all parts of the world and learning about so many different cultures. It helps me to grow every day.”
For the past 18 years, Nunan has been working to help create more business opportunities for the more than 1,000 Houlihan Lawrence agents through referrals from relocation inquiries. She and her team have also been developing some strategic corporate alliances with businesses and relocation management firms.
Typically, when a company plans to transfer employees to the Hudson Valley region, Nunan and her team will work with them to assess their needs for housing, commuting, hobbies, and other requirements. “We want to get a good understanding of what they’re looking for and help them to find the community that might work best for them,” she explained.
Once they narrow the search to a specific area, a team member sets the client up with a local agent. “Real estate is all about relationships, so we try to find the best match for them,” she added.
Some of the bigger challenges for those relocating to the Hudson Valley are home prices and taxes. “People coming from the West Coast may be used to the higher prices and taxes, whereas someone from the Midwest may be very surprised. Still, the Hudson Valley has such a wide variety of communities and home prices,” she said.
Nunan has seen an increase in international relocations in the past two years, with quite a few families coming from the United Kingdom and South America. Over the past year, the team has also seen more domestic relocations as well.
She remembers one family in particular with a special needs child. “They were from Texas and wanted to find a place where they could continue a therapeutic horseback riding program for their child,” she explained. “My team researched the area and found Pegasus in Brewster, which offered the same type of program. The family was so happy and so grateful.”
Nunan credits her team with helping to make the company’s relocation division a success. “We have six talented people and I couldn’t do the business development without their support,” she added. “They are the ones working directly with each individual client and are holding their hands through the entire process.”
A veteran in the real estate and relocation industry for more than 25 years, she previously worked with Associates Relocation in Washington, D. C., and Fox and Lazo Realtors in Philadelphia before moving to New York and joining Houlihan Lawrence. She is on the Advisory Council of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors for NAR and HGMLS.
In addition, she served on the Advisory Councils of RELO Direct and Lending-Tree and has received a Meritorious Service Award from the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council as well as the Hall of Fame Award from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World.
Ironically, growing up in Bay Head, NJ, Nunan never gave real estate a second thought as a possible career. An English Literature major at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, she “fell into” real estate at a post-college position at the Korman Company.
“I learned about rentals and the art of customer services and just got the real estate bug,” she admitted.
In her spare time, the Pawling resident is passionate about several causes and is a member of the executive leadership committee for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and is also involved with the MS Society.
Nunan also loves to travel for business and pleasure. Most recently she’s been to France and to China for a global luxury real estate conference. “It’s interesting to see the differences in how real estate is structured there,” she said. “Chinese clients are very loyal, but that loyalty needs to be earned.”
Now that Nunan and her husband are “empty nesters,” they have a lot more time to travel. Her favorite place remains the Jersey shore, where her dad still lives in the house where she grew up. “It’s a free place to stay in the summer,” she joked. Meanwhile, the next international stop on her travel “bucket list” is Australia.
Nunan admits that many times when traveling for pleasure, she just can’t help herself—she visits different real estate offices and introduces herself! “I remember the motto of my college—‘education for service,’” she said. I believe I’m following through on that now. I really like making a difference in people’s lives.”