DiscoverPeople Who Perform - The Real Estate Careers Podcast
People Who Perform - The Real Estate Careers Podcast
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People Who Perform - The Real Estate Careers Podcast

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The real estate industry plays a major role in Canada's economy and offers some of the most interesting and rewarding careers paths available. Each episode, we bring you conversations from business leaders and up and coming stars in the real estate industry in Canada. Our guests share their unique career journeys, passions and advice on what it takes to be successful in this industry. If you’re passionate about real estate and want to learn more about what it takes to be successful, then this podcast is for you!
57 Episodes
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Richard Costello connects with Audrey Powell.  At the Real Estate Forum 2022, Audrey was awarded the Young Leader of the Year Award.  Audrey is currently a Leasing Manager for Aspen Properties in Edmonton, responsible for overseeing the leasing of three downtown office towers.  Audrey started her career in 2014 working as a tenant coordinator with one of the largest private retail landlords in Edmonton.  In 2016 Audrey moved into brokerage and for the next three years she became an integral part of one of the highest-producing, well-respected office leasing teams in Edmonton.   Audrey is actively involved with Edmonton CREW's Future Leaders Committee and her voice on the subject of DEI is incredibly powerful. In this episode we discuss Audrey’s career journey to date.  The Young Leaders Award – what it means to Audrey.How Aspen Properties stands out from its competition.What a career in leasing looks like in the day to day.Most enjoyable and challenging aspects of the role.An overview of the Edmonton market.Benefits of getting involved with Edmonton CREW.Audrey’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.Audrey’s lessons and advice for aspiring real estate professionals.   As mentioned in our discussion: Creating Career Pathways in Commercial Real Estate (CCPCRE) is a partnership between Oteenow Employment and Training, Tribal Chiefs Employment and Training Services Association - https://aref.ab.ca/projects/career-pathways-commercial-real-estate/
Nicola Denning-Millar connects with Cheryl Gray. Cheryl's real estate career spans over 40 years and she has experience in management of all major asset classes, having worked for several leading RE firms in a senior leadership capacity.   Her focus over the past 15 years has been on ESG, prop tech, smart buildings, cyber security and pandemic response planning. She specializes in implementation strategies, operational organization and leading best practices. In this episode, we discuss the hot topic of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, specifically:Why DEI is so important in the Commercial Real Estate industryThe challenges and barriers that exist in implementing DEI practices in the industryWho is responsible for driving the change?Obstacles Cheryl has faced and overcome The future of DEI in commercial real estate and what steps the industry can take to stay ahead of the curveWhat positive changes have occurred and what are the biggest areas of developmentThe key priorities for industry decision makers to address when succession planning, to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion
Richard Costello connects with Tracy McEvoy.Tracy is the Director, Maple Leaf Self Storage responsible for the development and management of 15 self-storage facilities comprising over 1.7 million square feet with over 17,000 tenants as well as a commercial office portfolio.  During Tracy’s career in the real estate industry spanning over three decades, she has managed operations and leasing for some of Canada’s leading institutional landlords and covered all asset classes in the process.In our conversation today we discuss the following:Finding community through running and managing energy to perform professionally. Tracy’s career journey prior to her current role.  What’s involved in being the Director for Maple Leaf Self Storage.Self-storage facilities - what are they like and is there such a thing as a ‘typical’ customer?Common misconceptions around self-storage.How the industry and the properties have evolved over recent years.Why has self-storage become such a hot commodity for real estate investors.Trends and changes Tracy expects to see in the near future.Biggest challenges in running the business.Advice for anyone that’s in the industry and is looking to set themselves up for a successful career.The importance of working from the office for new professionals.Proudest accomplishments to date.Looking forward to the future.In our conversation we discuss the following article, provided here for reference.https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/industry-news/property-report/article-investor-driven-demand-prompts-vancouver-to-restrict-further-self/
James Ashley Connects with David HoffmanWith over twenty years of progressive leadership within the industry, David has a wide and resourceful perspective on the many issues and opportunities facing property managers and owners. During his career, David has managed two of the most prestigious business communities in downtown Toronto – CIBC Square  and the Toronto Dominion Centre. David also serves as the Chair for the BOMA Toronto Board of Directors. In this episode, we discuss;-       Leading from the back-       Learning from our mistakes-       Fear of failure -       What makes a top performer-       The power of intellectual humility -       And so much more...
Nicola Denning-Millar connects with Dave Merklinger.Dave is an innovative SVP Marketing and Sales professional who has worked on both the agency and the client side and prides himself on trying to do things differently. He has been involved in many award-winning campaigns and loves to develop business strategy and delve into the psychology of buying and selling Real Estate.  He’s a self-proclaimed “Nerd” -  is huge into tech, loves to problem solve, leads by empowering his team. In this episode, we cover a variety of topics including;·      The Digital and Ecomm impact on the RE Landscape in Canada·      How lifestyle and buyers’ habits impact how Developers design their products·      Interest rate hikes and upcoming predictions for 2023·      Best times to purchase a home·      Real Estate Marketing trends and their impact on home-buyer decisions·      Location! Location! Location! How to make a remote area an attractive ‘destination’·      How best to connect to buyers throughout their purchasing journey to deliver a consistent customer service·      Successful launches and the importance of the four “P’s”·      Empowering your staff by given them the “Why?!”·      Advice and perks for anyone embarking on a career in RE S&M
Richard Costello connects with David Ju. David is a VP at Concord Pacific who are widely recognized and most well-known for developing Canada’s largest mixed-use high-rise urban communities.  David leads the group’s investments and development activity, and he is also a Director with CP Capital, a Concord affiliated investment company based in the US which focuses on multifamily communities.  In this episode we discuss the following:David’s career background and how he made his way from public accounting to work on some of the largest real estate development projects across North America.  Takeaways from working in public practiceAbout Concord Pacific and what sets them apartProudest accomplishmentsWhy Concord is sponsoring bike races in VancouverThe importance of ESG and what it means to ConcordLessons and advice for anyone looking to get ahead in the industryWhat makes a great Development ManagerImportant soft skills to have for a successful career in real estate investments
Richard Costello connects with Carol Waldmann.A corporate real estate leader with over 20 years of progressive senior management experience within the public and private sectors.  Carol is the Director, Global Facilities and Real Estate for Hootsuite responsible for real estate transactions, renovations, and construction projects for Hootsuite’s offices across 11 different countries.  Prior to joining Hootsuite in 2019, Carol was a Senior Manager, real estate services at BC Hydro, in which she led a large team in delivering a range of strategic and core real estate services for the crown corporation.In this episode, we discuss the following: Carol’s unique background and career journey to date.  Pros and cons of working in real estate opportunities in the public sector.The unique space needs of tech companies.The joys of overseeing a global portfolio.What went into redesigning Hootsuite’s HO What’s happening in the current market with some of the headwinds facing Canadian tech companies.The role that the office plays in driving employee engagement.Predictions and future trends.Link to video featuring Hootsuite’s recently redesigned office: https://builtin.com/company-culture/Hootsuite-inclusive-HQ-redesign
Richard Costello connects with Lorna Park. Lorna is the Senior Vice President, Property Management at Warrington PCI Management (WMP) in Vancouver, responsible for overseeing a portfolio of over 17 million square feet of office, retail, industrial, residential, and strata properties throughout Western Canada.During Lorna’s thirty years in property management she has covered all asset types but is probably best known for her work in the retail sector.  In recent years, Lorna worked in Asia where she played a key role in the development of management and operating procedures for mixed use projects in China, South Korea and Macau. Lorna holds her Certified Shopping Centre Manager designation from the International Council of Shopping Centres.In this episode we discuss the following: How Lorna got her start in the industry.What makes the retail sector stand out above other classes.Looking back on Lorna’s time working in Asia.More about WPM’s business and culture as well as reasons for success.What makes the difference between a ‘good’ vs a ‘great’ Property Manager.What Lorna looks for when hiring for her team.Lessons and advice for anyone looking to advance their careers in the industry.Things Lorna does outside of work that help her perform better in it.What excites Lorna about the future.
Richard Costello connects with Liz Firer-Gillespie.Liz is a Director of Asset Management, with Nicola Wealth Real Estate, a leading investment firm with over $7bn in real estate assets under management. Liz oversees a diverse portfolio of properties in both Canada and the U.S.  Liz holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and an MBA from UBC’s Sauder School of Business. In this episode we discuss the following:Early years and how/why Liz came to enter the real estate industry.Career evolution in the US.What is was like to work in Chicago and the people who made an impact.Drawing inspiration from working in property management in Liz’s current role.Moving to Vancouver and repositioning for a career in asset management.More about Nicola Wealth Real Estate and how Liz has grown with the business. What makes Nicola Wealth Real Estate so successful.What it means to work in asset management at Nicola Wealth Real Estate.Maintaining culture during a phase of rapid growth.Developing and honing a leadership style.Liz’s involvement in Vancouver CREW’s mentorship program.Proudest achievements so far.What excites Liz about the future at work.Advice for anyone looking to become an asset manager. 
Richard Costello connects with Jack Haining.Jack is an Investment Manager with Grosvenor Americas responsible for overseeing portfolio analytics and directly managing a portfolio of commercial assets.  Originally from the UK, Jack has worked for Grosvenor since graduating from The University of Reading’s real estate program in 2014.   In 2018 he was offered the opportunity to relocate to Vancouver.In this episode we discuss the following:History of Grosvenor.Jack's career path to date.What is means to be an Investment Manager at Grosvenor.Current trends impacting Jack's role as well as general market challenges. Advice for anyone looking to become an Asset/Investment Manager.Story time - Jack's experience working in London and how it compares to Vancouver.How Jack has found moving to Vancouver and what his life looks like now.
James Ashley connects with Mark Halkias.Since launching his career in real estate in 2007, Mark Halkias has climbed his way to Director of Operations at Primaris REIT. Mark has worked across office, retail and mixed-use assets, including the iconic landmark site of the Distillery District in Toronto, which has influenced his broad set of skills and hunger to learn. He holds an MBA from the University of Ontario Institute Of Technology, and he sits on the board of directors at BOMA Toronto. In this episode, Mark talks about;The impact of education on career developmentThe value of industry associationsFamily support and influenceManaging the Distillery DistrictThe decisions that have helped to elevate his careerHis passion for taking things apart And so much more...
James Ashley connects with Josh Kaufman. Josh is currently Vice President, Development and Construction for the Canadian Multi-Family division at Starlight Investments. Prior to joining Starlight, Josh held senior titles at Dream and Smart Centres. Over the last 20 years, he has worked on an array of development projects across the GTA,  including complex and large-scale commercial, retail and mixed-use sites. Josh is a Graduate from the University of Western Ontario, and Postgraduate from the University of Ohio, with a Masters in City and Regional Planning. In this episode Josh talks to the trends that are driving RE Development in Canada. We take a deep dive into multi-family residential and talk about financing, pricing, and strategizing new projects. We discuss the decisions that helped to shape Josh’s career and the big lessons that he would choose to pay forward to the next generation of leaders.
Richard Costello connects with Martin Moriarty Martin is a Senior Vice President Investments at Marcus and Millichap and is one of Vancouver’s top retail brokers specializing in leasing and investment sales.  With previous experience as a commercial broker, appraiser and asset manager in London, England, Martin has an accomplished background and is known for delivering on high profile deals and has been a recipient of several industry awards over the years.    In this episode we discuss the following: Early years, why real estate and how the move to Canada come about.What drew Martin to specializing in retail and what keeps him engaged.Biggest career risk taken so far.Proudest career moment so far.More about Marcus & Millichap, what sets them apart and why did Martin decide to join the group.Breaking it down, what is commercial brokerage.What are some of the food/restaurant trends happening right now.With the demise of some major retailers, what are the successful brands doing to keep people coming through their doors.Martin’s favourite city for inspiration at work.What excites Martin about the future of Vancouver from a retail perspective.For anyone contemplating a career in real estate brokerage, what are some truths to know before diving in and advice for anyone looking to get ahead.
Richard Costello connects with Beth Berry.Beth Berry is currently Vice President Industrial Development with Beedie and is responsible for the sales and marketing of new developments including build-to-suit projects and strata.  This includes all due diligence for land and investment acquisitions, and client coordination through the development process. Beth is a graduate of UBC’s Bachelor of Commerce program specializing in Real Estate and SFU's Executive MBA program.   Beth is Past President of NAIOP’s Vancouver chapter and a Mentor with Beedie Luminaries. In this episode we discuss the following:A typical week in the world of industrial development.Industrial market overview, challenges and opportunities looking ahead.What Beth enjoys about the industrial sector. Experience working for a family business that has experienced so much growth.Involvement in Beedie Luminaries.Beth's early years and influences.Motivation to pursue the EMBA.What are the important skills required to be a successful Development Manager.The unique considerations in industrial development.Proudest career moments.The future of the industry from a diversity and equity perspective.Advice for women starting out in the industry.Secret talents.
Richard Costello connects with Mike Bishop.Mike has been a mainstay of Vancouver’s commercial property management industry for the past three decades.  Having worked for some of the city’s leading development companies, Mike is now VP Asset Management with the new property development group, Third Space Properties.  In this episode we discuss:Early influences and why commercial real estate.Mike's career path to date.Favourite things about working in property/asset management.Biggest takeaways from working with BOMA.The talent crunch - how to attract more people into the industry.What makes Third Space Properties different.Thinking about legacy and inspiring others to learn and grow their careers.
Nicola Denning-Millar connects with Jennifer Sicilia.Building on over 25 years of experience, Jennifer is a visionary leader, who champions inclusivity and outside-the box thinking,  which have proven instrumental in making RYCOM a leader in the smart tech space.  Jennifer is a highly valued strategist who creates viable business solutions to complex problems.  By promoting a culture that emphasizes collaboration, trust and honesty, Jennifer lays the groundwork for a strong culture and superior business results.  As a senior executive, Jennifer is actively involved in all stages of the process, ranging from initial strategy to ongoing optimization to ensuring processes and systems are aligned to drive ROI to clients, enabling them to reach their short and long-term goals. In this episode, we discuss;Braving a career switch into the prop tech industryRYCOM – Who, Where, What, and Why? The evolution of servicesMotivations of Real Estate Owners to embrace smart technology adoptionDeploying smart strategic and tactical plansDon’t be scared of data!... The opportunities and the challenges Outside of the box solutionsThe myth of job losses as innovation and automation increasesMaking difficult decisions in uncertain timesChallenging yourself to become the best version of yourselfHow do you bring people, processes and technology together?Major advances that we will see in the next 10 plus yearsAdvice for those wanting a career in the Prop Tech industry
Nicola Denning-Millar connects with Kimberly Train.With over 25 years in the real estate industry holding a variety of unique and innovative roles, Kim is a strong female leader, a champion of change and a collaborative and creative problem solver. Kim has worked with Oxford Properties for over twenty years, and currently provides leadership to the 310.MAXX customer service platform and procurement programs.  She driving strategy around KPI’s and standards, and supporting Proptech innovation adoption to enhance performance and quality and to ensure tenant retention and operational efficiency.In this episode we discuss the following:The importance of identifying what environment and culture you thrive inThe pros of being a generalist /  "Jill of All Trades"Knowing your audience to adapt, grow and develop future strategyThe significance of staying optimistic, positive and open to changeCapturing and analyzing data and applying it to vision and innovationHow to fight your way out of a box
James Ashley connects with Philippe Bernier.With over 20 years of experience, alongside numerous contributions, publications and speaking engagements, Philippe is considered to be one of Canada's leading real estate innovators.  He currently serves as Vice President, Strategy, Operations & Sustainability at JLL Canada, where he plays a pivotal role in advancing their strategy, ensuring operational effectiveness and accelerating the companies market growth.In this episode we discuss:Energy, carbon and sustainabilityClimate change in Canada and across the globe in 2021Why the environmental performance of buildings mattersHow we measure the impact on our physical assetsThe career path from Oil and Gas, to Manufacturing and the Real Estate industry The value of international studiesBuilding a zero carbon homePractical energy-saving tipsFraming our decisions and choices in real estateAdvice for the next generation of sustainability leaders 
Richard Costello connects with Chuck We.Chuck We is the Senior Vice President, Western Canada with Hudson Pacific Properties responsible for operations of the Vancouver portfolio which notably includes the 1.45 million square foot Bentall Centre office and retail complex in the heart of downtown.   In this episode we discuss the following:Chuck's early influences growing up.Mentors in the industry.Finding the source of energy to take on challenging projects and roles. More about Hudson Pacific and the plans for the Bentall Centre.The pandemic's long term impact on the office.Chuck's leadership style and how he builds winning teams.Advice for anyone stepping up into a leadership position for the first time.Quick fire questions including a surprise musical interlude ;-).
Richard Costello connects with Kelly LinKelly is a Senior Development Manager at Terra Housing, a social purpose real estate development consultancy based in Vancouver.  Prior to joining Terra in 2017, Kelly worked as an Architect and Real Estate Developer in New York City.  Kelly has extensive experience with non-profit organizations and in 2014, started her own organization to empower women to get active outside.  Kelly graduated from the Stern Business School of New York University with an MBA and a Masters in Real Estate Finance and Investment.  She also holds an Architecture degree from the University of Manitoba and a Psychology degree from the University of California, Berkeley.In this episode we discuss the following:The issue of housing affordability in Vancouver and why the city is so far off reaching its goals.An overview of Terra Housing (backstory/service offerings).Kelly's career overview.Surfing in NYC and establishing an online community to empower women to get active outside.The role of a Development Manager at Terra Housing.What it takes to be a successful Development Manager.Development Management in the non-profit vs. private sector - what's the difference?Why social purpose real estate might be for you.Next steps in Kelly's career.
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