Leading by Example
Successfully meeting challenges head-on defines the career path taken by Nancy M. Lane, CCIM, an entrepreneur who built her track record on client service, active participation in industry associations, and personal dedication to advancing the real estate profession. Lane's accomplishments helped secure her election as the 2005 president of the 5,100-member Mississippi Association of Realtors and being named one of the Top 50 Women in Business in 2004 by a leading state trade journal.
As president of Mississippi's largest trade association, Lane will balance national issues — such as the battle to prevent banks from selling real estate — with statewide concerns that include proposed new-development impact fees and appointments to real estate and appraisal commissions.
“My goal is to keep the state association's goals in line with the wants and needs of its members so we are truly representative of our membership,” she says.
Although she was one of only two women serving on a commercial overlay board that later evolved into the Mississippi Commercial Association of Realtors, Lane says she never encountered any gender-related obstacles.
“It's never really bothered me, and I never found it to be a disadvantage,” she says when asked about her role as a woman working in commercial real estate. “I was lucky enough to find something in life that I love, and I have followed through on opportunities that have come my way. Professionally, I have been able to survive and succeed in what has been a male-dominated field.”
In the early 1980s, Lane parlayed experience as an interior decorator and sales representative in her hometown of Jackson into a staff position with the McCarty Homan Co., a local holding company that owned a grocery store chain. After working as director of real estate for 18 years, the company was sold, prompting Lane to move “from the corporate world to the real world,” she says.
At Cook Commercial Properties, Lane learned that the “real world” of commercial real estate brokerage and leasing worked at a much faster pace and required quicker decision making than the corporate side. Company broker-owner William Cook, CCIM, gave Lane the opportunity and partnered with his new colleague as they both pursued and earned the CCIM designation in 1996.
Six years after joining Cook Commercial, Lane formed the full-service commercial real estate brokerage and property management firm that bears her name. Nancy Lane Commercial Realty represents clients in and around Jackson and across Mississippi.
Among her personal goals is advancing the real estate profession, Lane says. She counts her CCIM designation among her leading accomplishments, and she has completed International Council of Shopping Centers courses. “There's a real need to make the real estate industry more respected,” she says. “That's how I've been successful in this market. I've learned what's happening in the industry and use what I can to serve my clients.”