Q&A with Lisa Herceg, Director, Business Insights, Research, National Association of REALTORS®

Research colleagues share their work + play stories in this interview series created by Nancy Cox, founder, Research Story Consulting.   

Passions, hobbies, healthy distractions and even guilty pleasures – discover how the research community plays and how that plays out in their work life. 

Hello to Lisa Herceg, director, business insights, research, National Association of REALTORS®. 

What is the “play” in your life?

It used to be acting – mostly live theater here in Chicago. I did some voice-over and indie film work as well. But after 25 years of spending evenings and weekends acting – or hustling for the next gig – while holding down a full-time job that actually paid the bills, theater started to feel like work instead of play. And I already had work … that I liked. So now the “play” in my life is travel – as much as I can possibly manage. I have a frighteningly long list of places I want to see, and I’m ticking off at least two a year now that the pandemic has started to wind down.

How has your play influenced your work life?

Theater has influenced my work in so many ways. The skills I’ve learned as an actor have been invaluable. My acting training makes me an excellent communicator, a strong presenter and a very good focus group moderator. I learned how to build rapport, truly listen and create empathy from my work on the stage. Training as a director makes me a good team leader and manager. Meanwhile, travel – and reading about cultures and destinations worldwide – gives you greater empathy for and understanding of others, including your respondents.

What would you tell readers who want to know more about your area of play?

If you’re interested in learning some of the skills you can develop from theater, take an acting class. Take an improv class. Every mid-sized or major city has them. They’re great ways to learn how to really listen, to give and take, to build your curiosity and follow your impulses in a healthy way. And those are excellent skills for a researcher.