Dynamic Duos: News Corp’s property powerhouses

In Dynamic Duos this week, News Corp Australia's head of real estate and planning, Lisa Harries, and strategic partnerships manager, News Property Network, Natalie Cohen, discuss how they met and how their working styles complement each other, and share some fond memories building a network.

In Dynamic Duos, Mumbrella each week asks two colleagues with a professional and personal affiliation to share with readers the importance of workplace relationships in an increasingly hybridised world of work.

Lisa Harries:

I first met Natalie when I was recruiting for my team. I came into my role for the category with limited knowledge of the property industry and knew that I needed someone with deep category knowledge. I needed someone that understood the problems and opportunities within the various sectors across commercial and residential so that we could provide the best possible required solutions. And I must say that reflecting on the last 18 months with Natalie in the team, we’ve achieved a lot. Natalie has undoubtedly shaped a different perspective on what we do here at News Corp Australia and I really appreciate her fresh approach to how we work.

Our professional relationship has grown based on a strong belief of ongoing learning, we are constantly curious and questioning how we work with all of our stakeholders, both internal and external. We always have the underlying view that asks whether we are providing the best solutions possible for our clients, our audiences and our business. We are constantly looking at how we are working with tech, editorial, operations, research and more, to strengthen what we do.

Trust is also a key part in our relationship. With Natalie based in regional NSW, we’ve established systems and processes to make sure that we’re focused and on task. I have always been less concerned about the location of the right person for the job, perhaps because I’ve worked with national teams for a long time. There are so many tools available to make sure we’re working effectively, and it really boils down to how we communicate our vision to drive the action that meets the need. We’re open and honest with each other and always making sure that we’re clear on expectations.

Natalie’s sense of humour is also a winning ingredient. Even when we’re totally under the pump with what feels like 500 balls in the air, we manage to have a laugh.

Natalie Cohen:

I joined News a little over 18 months ago as strategic partnerships manager in the real estate team with Lisa. From the very first interview I knew this was where I wanted to be with the visionary leader that Lisa is. I didn’t take the move lightly, having spent the last 15 years in commercial property valuation, but I was convinced that the road ahead would be dynamic and fulfilling.

I think many would attest to Lisa being the ultimate professional and true enterprise navigator. Her positive, can-do attitude coupled with her extensive media background has earned her the respect of many throughout the industry. As a result, all roads often point to Lisa (hence her never-ending ‘to-do’ list!) and so I feel privileged to be learning from the best. It’s one thing to get the job done, but it’s another to really take the time, making a diagnosis and checking what is being asked of you, before ‘administering the medicine’ as Lisa would say. Going the extra mile to get the best possible outcome is just a normal day to Lisa and one which all of us should aim for.

While Lisa and I have different professional backgrounds, our work ethic and passion for property are identical. Lisa always had an interest in real estate and property, it’s about how people live, whether it’s through looking at a sense of home or the dynamics of suburbia. It stems way back from her uni days, through her time in retail and then media on community, youth mags and commuter newspapers to here. There are so many facets about the industry that visibly excite Lisa, whether it’s architecture and design or how it generally shapes our economy and what living in Australia is.

No matter how much we have on, Lisa always takes a genuine interest in who I am both in and out of the office. For this I feel very fortunate for, and I have to say, no matter what the future holds, I have no doubt Lisa will always be on my ‘favourites’ call list!

Lisa on Natalie:

Most memorable moment with Natalie: Well this has to be a memorable moment that has taken us both out of our comfort zones! If there’s one thing we both agree on, it’s that we both prefer to be behind the scenes, making things happen. Natalie’s also great support, it had been a while since I’d done public speaking and she was cheering me on at the Proptech Summit.

Best word to describe her: So hard to use just one word! Focused is the first one that comes to mind. Natalie is super organised and is a master at prioritising. We both love a good spreadsheet to keep us on track. She’s got solid attention to detail and because we both share a strong belief in ongoing learning, we are constantly curious and questioning how we work. I think that’s what makes us work so well together.

Most annoying habit or endearing behaviour she has: Natalie’s turns of phrases are great. These include ‘Brilliant!’, ‘Thanks ever so much’ and ‘If it gives you comfort…’ are just a few. Natalie is one of the most genuine people you will ever meet. 

Natalie on Lisa: 

Most memorable moment with Lisa: Launching the News Property Network. On completion of this body of work, it really opened all of our eyes to the extensiveness and weight behind what is the second biggest category at News Corp Australia. 

Best word to describe her: There are many, so I will choose a few… visionary, authentic, open-minded, empathetic. I don’t even give a second thought to ‘going the extra mile’. 

Most annoying habit or endearing behaviour she has: Conscious connection and conversation – Lisa does this very well. She takes a genuine interest in people and the problems they are trying to solve. Communication and empathy shine through in everything she does. 


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.