Multi-housing expert paving the way for women at JLL

Roopa Modur says she is proud to be part of a company that leads on key issues

May 25, 2022

Multi-housing Director of Revenue Roopa Modur’s determination and drive undoubtedly stems from her unique identity as a second-generation Indian American born and raised in the United States. Before she was born, Roopa’s parents immigrated from Southern India, her dad from Salem and her mom from Kambadur to Baltimore, MD in search of the same opportunity that many come to the U.S. to find.

Despite Roopa being born and raised in the U.S., she was brought up with the “typical Asian parents” emphasis on education. “My parents came [to the U.S.] armed with degrees – the great equalizer in this country. But the immigrant experience can also come with a lot of fear – something that parents can inadvertently pass onto their children. It’s also something that I understand more fully now that I have a child of my own. The idea of building a career and a family in a foreign place is daunting,” Roopa shares. 

All parents want their children to be successful, but for Roopa’s parents, they had a narrow view of what types of degrees and careers offer security. Her mom was a doctor, and her dad was an engineer (who also happens to dabble in real estate investments). Even though her parents may have seen things differently in the past, Roopa knows that people can find success in various ways – as long as they work hard. It’s clear that Roopa’s not afraid to take the road less traveled, even if it means establishing a career in what her parents may think is a “riskier” industry. 

Roopa will tell you that she “fell into” pricing and multi-housing, because she was hired by a company specifically looking for people from outside of the industry. Fast forward to today, and she’s more passionate than ever about her career. Always a go-getter, Roopa went back to school in 2007 for her master’s degree in public policy. After graduation, she got right back to revenue management working for a company based in Dallas, TX followed by a company based in Oakbrook, IL.

Roopa found JLL after receiving a message on LinkedIn. After a great conversation with Mendowa Martin, Lela Cirjakovic and Mark Zettl, Roopa accepted the role of Director of Revenue for Multi-housing. As the Director of Revenue, she uses technology to help find the right balance between rent prices and occupancy to maximize revenue – like how plane tickets or hotel rooms are priced. 

Roopa Modur and her family. 

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Throughout her career, Roopa has been fortunate to work with inspiring female leaders, who became role models and advisors. These women showed her how to forge a successful career despite a lack of representation of Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) women in the industry. Since joining JLL, though, Roopa has been pleasantly surprised with representation. 

At Management U!, Property Management’s annual conference, Roopa experienced a powerful moment as she was sitting in a conference room of about 30 people. For the first time in her career, she wasn’t the only “Roopa” in the room. “It’s probably one of the few times in my career where there was more than one South Asian woman in the room - let alone another Roopa. What I appreciate about JLL’s DEI initiatives is that they feel authentic - from the business resource groups to having an actual global Head of DEI focused on expanding diversity and, more importantly, inclusion - I’m very happy to be part of a team and company that leads on this issue.” 

Roopa explains how “the opportunity to build a new business line within a company like JLL is incredible.” But working at JLL isn’t just about career trajectory. It’s about shaping the future of real estate for a better world, and Roopa knows she and her culture have a role to play. 

“The customs I celebrate today were sources of embarrassment as a kid, being one of the few Asians in my hometown, and sometimes made me feel like an outsider. That outsider perspective is something I see as an asset now especially in my professional life, making me less susceptible to group think and more willing to challenge the status quo when it makes sense to.”

We can’t wait to see Roopa in action as Multi-housing launches and grows, especially as she paves the way for APIDA women at JLL and in the commercial real estate industry as a whole.

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