Former medical student finds career passion at JLL

Damaris Torres’ love of helping others led her to building engineer role 

As an Operating Engineer in Houston, Texas JLL’s Damaris Torres has always loved her work and is passionate about learning and taking on new challenges. She originally went to school to pursue medicine and had plans to become a doctor, until one fateful day her plans changed. In March of 2016, Damaris witnessed a car crash and jumped in to pull two children from the wrecked vehicle, saving their lives. That day something shifted for her and she realized medicine wasn’t her path but working with her hands and helping people were still the things she wanted most out of a career. That’s when she found her first job as a building engineer for Heron Lakes Properties, a seven-building complex in Houston, Texas. She quickly realized this role would fulfill those career aspirations.

When Damaris started the role six years ago, she was focused on cleaning and maintaining the seven buildings on the property. Her teammates saw how she constantly was looking for more work to do and asked if she was interested in learning about HVAC. After comfortably mastering that, the electrician on her team asked if she’d be his apprentice. Once again, Damaris said yes. As she mastered more skills, members of the team began leaving, and soon enough, Damaris was the only person left on the seven-building property.

When JLL took over as the Property Manager at Heron Lakes, they brought resources, best practices and new opportunities for Damaris.

“I’ve been at this property for six years. JLL came in about a year ago and this last year has been better than all the others,” said Damaris. “I only had a backpack of tools didn’t even have a drill. When JLL took over the property, they gave me every kind of drill and tool. They made doing my job so much easier.”

A typical day on the job includes surveying the numerous units per building multiple times a day. Some of this work includes maintaining motors, cleaning the compressors and fans, troubleshooting VAV boxes, and more…the HVAC Queen does it all! Above all, she loves the tenants in her building and the relationships she has formed with them. Though the tenants are staggered throughout the buildings on the property, she says getting a chance to make them smile each day is the best part of her job. “I just love to spread positive vibes to them every day – that’s what matters most to me.” 

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Today, Damaris is proud to be part of JLL and experience the supportive, team-oriented culture firsthand, saying, “I’ve learned so much on the technical side, and everyone is willing to help out and pitch in.”

Outside of work, Damaris and her fiancé just bought a house and have stayed busy with projects at home. Though COVID-19 changed how they thought their life with a new home would look, Damaris says they’re making it work. “We thought we’d be hosting game nights and going out for brunch. Instead we just make mimosas at home now. We always find ways to stay busy.”

Damaris’ positive attitude keeps her going every day, despite the unusual circumstances.

“I wake up at 6 am, Monday through Friday, happy to be alive. I do everything with a smile, and I love my job. I’m proud to work at JLL.”

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