Lori Joyal is the managing broker for the Watch Hill offices of Lila Delman Real Estate International. She is consistently ranked among the top five associates of the company for sales volume in Rhode Island and recently was named one of the top Realtors in a national study by REAL Trends: “America’s Best Real Estate Agents.” Joyal, a Realtor for 11 years, has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Springfield College and a master’s degree in human resource management from American International College. She responded recently to several questions posed by the Providence Business News.

PBN: You have two degrees that seem to be unrelated to real estate, but perhaps not. How has having a master’s degree and a business undergraduate helped you succeed in the real estate profession?

JOYAL: College degrees correlate to discipline. My daughter is a freshman at Providence College and to that end, it is about learning, focus and discipline. My master’s degree was a concentration in human resource development. I was in a corporate environment for 25 years and prior to embarking in real estate was a director of human resources. Coming from a corporate discipline, human resources equivocates directly to real estate as it’s all about people and customer service.

PBN: What is the best characteristic for a real estate agent to possess?

JOYAL: Communicate, follow through and deliver excellence in customer service.

PBN: Why did you want to enter real estate? Was it always a hope or did it come by chance, through life’s turns?

JOYAL: Through life’s turns. Having my daughter in my 40s was the greatest thing that happened to me and made me rethink what did I want to do going forward. Embarking in real estate initially was, in my mind, a part-time venture. Well, that lasted about a month when I totally became enamored with the business through Lila Delman Real Estate. The company gave me the ability to become successful by enabling me to make my own path to success, and giving me the tools to become what I am. When I decided to join Lila Delman Real Estate 11 years ago, I can tell you, without hesitation, I never looked back!

PBN: What is the “secret” to selling luxury property? Do you sell the location more than the home?

JOYAL: The beauty of our company is we have the reputation for luxury real estate albeit we dedicate ourselves to each customer regardless of the price point. The secret to any real estate transaction is ascertain the desires of our customer. That is done by developing a relationship with the customer whether it be a buyer or seller. Much of the Rhode Island market is a discretionary spending or second home market, as we have the most beautiful stretch of coastal paradise in New England. It couldn’t be any better to sell something you believe in and love.

PBN: What is the smartest thing a real estate company can do to build its pool of associates?

JOYAL: Finding the right people who love what they do, believe in what they do and are able to deliver to the customer the same level of service they would expect from themselves in any customer-driven profession. Lila Delman Real Estate gives our associates an amazing level of professional tools and they, in turn, are able to run with it and dedicate themselves to our customers. The perfect mesh.