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NAU Alumna is Growing Her Company, Showcasing Communities, Inspiring Colleagues

Lori Anna Harrison has always had big ideas and could not wait to be in business. Growing up in Flagstaff, her sister, Faith Zember, recalls how the two of them dreamed of owning a hotel and would dig through the Sears catalogue to decide how to furnish it.

“She has this relentless, creative drive and ambition,” said Zember. “Lori was always inspired to come up with new ideas or a new perspective for how to get something done.”

As a teen, Harrison would spend weekend afternoons exploring newly framed homes with her dad, envisioning what beauty and warmth the finished product would bring.

“In junior high, Lori was very much like she is now,” said Karrilyn Thomas, a corporate financial consultant with MCA Financial Group in Phoenix, who grew up with Harrison. The two studied accounting together at Northern Arizona University.

“You could clearly see she had an outgoing, event-oriented type personality, not your stereotypical accounting introverted personality,” added Thomas. “She had a passion for helping people through philanthropy or professional networking associations, and [she was] a go-getter.

With a life-long fascination in real estate, an unyielding desire to make things beautiful and the laser-sharp focus of an entrepreneur, Harrison is celebrating nearly six years as the owner and CEO of DLP Marketing. In that time, the firm has become well established in the industry, with clients throughout Arizona and across the country.

“It’s always exciting to collaborate on a marketing strategy with our builders, implement and execute the messages and imagery, and support them as they take a parcel of land and transform it into an integral part of a community,” she said.

Harrison earned her undergraduate degree from NAU and an MBA from San Diego State University. NAU classmate Noah Dipasquale, CEO and founder of software company Transcend.Solutions, says Harrison was destined to succeed in any endeavor she chose. “From the light in her eyes and the smile on her face, I could see there was no way she wouldn’t be successful.”

Colleague and three-time roommate Sara GilBride calls Harrison “smart, motivated and the hardest worker around.” The owner of Dream Dinners in Phoenix and Scottsdale, GilBride says Harrison is constantly thinking and learning. “She is always reading books about business leadership, marketing or motivation. Every time I talk to her, I wonder how she has all this energy and ability. With an accounting degree, she understands the numbers. She also has this brilliant marketing mind. She is not afraid to try things.”

The Scottsdale-based real estate marketing firm has grown and expanded from 800 to 3,000 square feet, now located at 1525 N. Granite Reef Road, #5, in South Scottsdale. “It was an incredible year for us and the builders and agents we work with,” said Harrison about 2018. “There were a lot of victories in the industry in general and 2019 looks strong, as well.” 

As the Phoenix area is anticipated to be one of the top real estate markets in the country this year, DLP marketing combines branding, content and relationships, along with a myriad of online and on-the-ground marketing tools to successfully promote builders, real estate agents and communities. “Our new office reflects the spunk and inventiveness of the minds behind DLP’s innovative promotions of breathtaking homes,” she said.

The DLP team moved to its new location in October. “We re-imagined the new space and really had a lot of fun with the design. We wanted people to know how creatives operate. With a mid-century modern, ‘Mad Woman’ (Madison Avenue) style, funky color scheme and pink velvet couches, we wanted clients to notice right away that we are unique.”  

Bob Shiota, managing director of Isles Ranch Partners in Newport Beach, California, says he discovered the DLP difference after years of experience working with project marketing consultants who do beautiful creative design with “wimpy” messages. “DLP Marketing is creative AND impactful with their messaging. DLP integrates the selling proposition into the marketing product, resulting in more on-target project traffic. Add in a very hard working, responsive and efficient team adding tremendous value led by Lori Anna Harrison, they have helped us succeed in the ever-so-competitive digital marketing arena. Terrific company, terrific work.”

Top-selling Valley realtor Marilyn Cavanaugh of The Agency brokerage firm hired DLP Marketing to take two new luxury high-rise condominium communities – Inspire Condos Old Town Scottsdale and Edison Midtown in the heart of Phoenix – from concept to grand opening. “The No. 1 thing that impresses us most about DLP Marketing is the team’s responsiveness,” she said. “Whatever idea or marketing need we have, they jump on it. It is just remarkable. Lori is an extremely efficient and organized leader.”

Building on Her Flagstaff Foundation

DLP Marketing is participating in more Flagstaff projects in 2019, and Harrison is thrilled about it. The firm is planning Miramonte Homes’ grand opening of Enclave at Presidio scheduled for the first quarter. Enclave features townhomes and single-family homes with high performance energy features in this newest phase of the Presidio in the Pines community near Woody Mountain Road.

“We’ve found Lori to be of tremendous value to our company,” said Dan Riordan, vice president of sales and designated broker for Miramonte Homes in Flagstaff. “Her team’s skills match our marketing efforts, particularly digital online expertise and their ability to assist us in reaching that critical market.”

“Lori knows our business very well,” said Don Walters, executive vice president of Miramonte Homes, Northern Arizona Division. “She also knows how to reach our target market better than anybody we’ve worked with before.”

Long-time colleague Steve Rider, National Builder Trade-In Program founder and CEO, attributes DLP’s success to Harrison’s extensive real estate and marketing experience, fueled by a passion for the business. “DLP Marketing stands out because Lori knows the real estate industry intimately. She has very good insight when it comes to understanding the client, his or her needs and what each is trying to accomplish. Lori’s knowledge in social media and marketing as a whole is very concise and broad. And, she has such a strong, high-energy staff that provides exceptional service.” 

Long Realty Flagstaff Co-owner Ronda Stump calls Harrison authentic, intelligent and empathetic. “Someone can make a comment about a need and almost immediately she can articulate back to them how she’s going to be able to meet that challenge. The way her brain works is, ‘here’s your solution!’ I’ve never seen anyone quite like that.”

Loyal to Lumberjacks

Harrison regularly spends time on the NAU campus talking with students. “I cannot begin to describe the goodness Lori has unleashed with her visits to our strategic communication classes,” said Janice Sweeter, Ph.D., assistant professor of practice in the School of Communication. “She weaves spellbinding tales of personal adventure and professional hot-damnedness with powerful illustrations of the challenges and joys of a whole-hearted commitment to her craft.”

NAU President Rita Cheng says the university is extremely proud of Harrison’s achievements. “Lori’s business success, leadership and pride in her alma mater make her a perfect fit to mentor recent and future Lumberjack graduates. She has strong ties to NAU and remains an engaged alumna who gives back to others.”

Harrison was the featured speaker at a January NAU Lumberjack alumni event, “Investing an Evening in Your Future,” at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel. “It was so much fun to share my story from NAU accounting to my dream job at Arthur Andersen and retooling after the Andersen Enron scandal to Shea Homes San Diego to living and traveling all over the world commissioning luxury yachts to my absolute joy of creating beautiful marketing materials for our savvy clients,” said Harrison. “The presentation was designed for alumni who are looking to re-imagine their future, which may mean going back to school as adults. My goal was to inspire them to make the change and find their passion!”

Recently, Harrison hired two key associates who graduated from the NAU School of Communication. “I was often told in the four years at NAU that the Lumberjack support would continue with me once I graduated and I never could have imagined how true that would be,” said NAU Alumna Amanda Betts. “Lori has been a huge part of my growth in my career and maturity. She is a wealth of knowledge and her love and dedication for this company has quickly made her one of my role models.”

Joining Betts in the Scottsdale office is classmate Emily Alimusa. “DLP has such a unique vertical, specializing in real estate, and because of this, we work with the most amazing clients who love what they do. Our clients are fun to work with because we speak their language and we are all working towards the same goals – finding someone the home of their dreams.”

“The trajectory of DLP Marketing is nothing short of impressive. With the team Lori has put together and how they’ve adapted to the changing market, I see a whole lot of upside for her business,” said Ken Welsh, managing partner of the Welsh Law Group in Phoenix. “Lori faces the best situations and challenging situations with the same positive outlook and that’s something I admire and respect.”

From her Flagstaff childhood of envisioning fabulous living spaces, Harrsion completely embraces her life of helping others visualize theirs. FBN

By Bonnie Stevens, FBN

For more information about DLP Marketing, visit DLPMarketing.com or call 480-460-0996.

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