July 10, 2019 Maria Verdin

AIR CREators: JLL’s Hayley Blockley on the Key to Negotiation

Hayley English Blockley, Managing Director of JLL, is a creative office brokerage specialist, with more than 14 years’ experience representing owners and occupiers across the LA basin. Starting her career at Cushman & Wakefield, she has worked with public and private, entrepreneurial and institutional clients.  Since joining JLL in 2012, she has leased nearly 10 million square feet in transactions, totaling over $2 billion.

Focusing primarily on agency work, Ms. Blockley specializes in creative, media and entertainment-related clients and specialized real estate. She represents a variety of office and adaptive reuse projects, including historic entertainment studios and ground up spec developments. In the past four years, Ms. Blockley has executed major leases with Netflix, Viacom, Fender, WeWork, NeueHouse, Warner Bros., and the Oprah Winfrey Network.


Q. What would you say is your biggest professional accomplishment? A particular sale or lease?

A: I am particularly proud of the assets we have taken from 0% to 100% leased, like The Reserve in Playa Vista, C3 in Culver City, Vine Studios, Hollywood Media Campus, and On Vine and Columbia Square in Hollywood. It’s an incredibly satisfying sense of accomplishment. Being with a building from a set of plans to full occupancy, I’m always learning something new.


Q. At what moment did you know you achieved career success in the industry?

A. Success for me was cracking the “glass ceiling” of the JLL “Top 10.”


Q. What are some misconceptions about your profession?

A. That it’s a “boy’s club.” It may have been once, but that is changing! JLL has an incredible female force and numbers are growing! We’ve galvanized ourselves through our own events and networking.


Q. Where do you imagine yourself in five years’ time?

A. In five years, we may be doing things entirely differently. Expanding metro and ride-sharing services, the impact of coworking are all  factors that will affect the way we office. That and hopefully with my three small kids, then five years older, I’ll be getting a little more sleep!


Q. What topic could you spend hours talking about?

A. Besides my kids? Design. I love learning about design trends, color theory and the way a space can be designed to help us do our best work.


Q. What does a typical workday look like for you?

A. I’m up early trying to get myself ready before getting the kids up, ready, and out the door for school. I have to be efficient with my time, so I do a lot of phone calls from the car, commuting to the office, and driving to meetings and tours. I try to be phone-free when I get home during dinner and pick it back up again after the kids go down to bed. That quiet time is sometimes the best to get head-down focus work done, especially with a glass of wine.


Q. What do you think you do better than 90% of people in your field? 

A. I am a great listener. I try to read between the lines and garner more than what is actually being said. Getting to the bottom of an issue and solving for the pain point is an asset to both sides of the table. The goal on both sides is always to close a transaction; listening without inserting my own bias is key to negotiation.


Q. What is your favorite simple pleasure?

A. Watching my kids play together, or going to the movies and watching their wide-eyed, slack-jawed little faces in the blue light of the big screen.


Q. What sage advice do you have for anyone starting out in the industry?

A. Be kind to everyone. Everyone has a story and something you can learn from. Also, leave your ego at the door and work as a team; never be too big for a job. Carl Muhlstein, my mentor, partner and 30-some-odd year veteran of the industry has no problem making copies or fetching lunch.


Q. Who do you go out of your way to be nice to?

A. A telling trait of someone’s character is how they treat people in the service industry.


Q. Do you have a particular business or life motto?

A. Eleanor Roosevelt said something along the lines of, “No one can intimidate you without your consent.” As a nerdy, ill-fitting suit wearing debater in high school, I had this taped to the inside of my briefcase. Twenty years later, it still runs through my head more often than I’d like to admit!


Contact: Hayley Blockley