Sara Townsley

Sara Townsley

Research Director, Lic. #RRE-RBS-LIC-54586


Sara Townsley makes the magic happen at Sterling CRE Advisors. “How many ways can I say data-driven decisions?” she wonders aloud. 

Full-time research staff is a rarity at most commercial real estate firms. But at Sterling, Sara dedicates her time to carefully tracking and managing an extensive library of market research. 

“We have a collection of information that just isn’t available anywhere else,” Sara says. “I monitor new developments, vacancy and absorption, what’s here and what’s not, and what’s coming.”

The integrity of studies, databases, and property inventories informing Sterling’s advice to clients falls directly into her wheelhouse.

It’s a big job, tracking data for multiple markets across a state the size of Montana. And Sara has the right mix of background, experience, and knowledge to keep up. Growing up around the Pacific Northwest, she gained knowledge first through osmosis in her parent’s mortgage and construction offices.

After graduating high school, she worked across the globe in education.

A background in math and a love of statistics supported her teaching efforts, though she provided a broad education to students across cultures.

When she landed back in the states, she picked up a position supporting Matt Mellott as a broker in a local residential and commercial firm. When Matt started Sterling CRE Advisors, Sara was the first employee. With her math chops and a real estate license, Sara helped grow the business into Montana’s most widely cited commercial real estate firm.

And while some people might not get her role, Sara enjoys the big picture benefits of her work. “Helping clients understand the market has a butterfly effect for the state – with this data, we can offer advice that balances asset classes, avoid bubbles, and encourage truly informed decisions.”

As Sara monitors new development, she’s always on the lookout for Fred Meyer to set up shop in Missoula. “It’s like a cross between Target and a regular grocery store- but better,” she says.

In her off time, Sara invests in her ongoing education, family, and friends.

Email Sara Townsley at to learn more about Sterling CRE’s data-driven approach to commercial real estate.