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

Author: HighView Partners

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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’ll bring you conversations from business leaders and up and coming stars in the real estate industry in Canada. Our guests will 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!
54 Episodes
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...
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.
Richard Costello connects with Doug Allan.Doug is Vice President of Finance and Operations with Burrard Properties, a private family company founded in 1979 and is tasked with managing project debt and equity capital.  Prior to working in commercial real estate, Doug spent over eight years in public accounting with EY.Doug has a BComm from McGill University and is a Chartered Professional Accountant. Doug is also the author of a new book called A Fighting Chance: The High School Finance and Education Everyone Deserves. In this episode we discuss the following:Influences and reasons behind the decision to pursue accounting as a career.Lessons learned from working in public practice. How Doug went from EY to Burrard Properties and a run through of  his current role.What makes Burrard Properties stand out.Why Seattle is such an attractive market.Challenges developers face building condos in Seattle. We discuss Doug's book, A Fighting Chance including the key lessons to take away. Fantasy dinner party!
Richard Costello connects with Michael Heeney. An internationally recognized leader, city builder, architect and urban strategist with over 30 years’ experience leading high-profile organizations. Currently with C+O Advisory, Michael Heeney is the past President and CEO of the Surrey City Development Corporation (SCDC), an independently governed, for-profit real estate company owned by the City of Surrey.  Prior to joining SCDC, Michael was the Managing Principal of Bing Thom Architects for over two decades where he oversaw the company’s growth into a leading international practice with offices in three cities worldwide.  Well known for his ability to create a compelling vision and effectively bring disparate groups together, Michael has successfully led substantial local and international projects, organizations and initiatives, often ones without precedent and in highly complex situations and jurisdictions.In this episode we discuss the following:Thoughts on how the City of Vancouver is taking shape from a building design perspective. ‘Favourite’ building in Vancouver.What makes the City of Surrey special?The legacy of SCDC.The three most important things to look for when hiring.How the role of a Development Manager has evolved over recent years.Advice for anyone starting out in the industry.Quick fire questions, including lessons from working with Bing Thom.
James Ashley connects with Geoff Williams.Geoff has been working in the facility management and real estate industry for over 20 years. He is currently the Director of Operations for Eastern Canada, at Angus Consulting Management Limited (ACML). He is a proud member of the Internal Facility Management Association (IFMA), where he’s been heavily involved at a local, national and international level.  Through IFMA, he has attained his FMP and SFP designations and is a qualified instructor who has volunteered his time to teaching hundreds of FM students. He has won a number of awards for his outstanding contribution to Facilities Management, and he continuously looks for new opportunities to help the industry grow. In this episode, we discuss the following;How the FM Industry has evolved Different touch points and career pathways Staying connected and learning through IFMAChanges in technology The value of education and volunteeringGlobal thinkingWorking at ACMLStrategies to raise your game3 big lessons to pay forward
James Ashley connects with Kyle Thorn.Kyle is the Operations Manager at BentallGreenOak in Toronto.  In 2020, his team at 10 Dundas won the prestigious national TOBY award for retail. He has climbed his way up through the ranks for over a decade, from Building Operator to Operations Manager.  He has worked for a number of reputable firms along the way – including Dream, 20 Vic and Cushman and Wakefield. Kyle believes strongly in the power of knowledge and so he has invested much of his spare time in furthering his education to learn the ins and outs of building operations. In this episode we discuss the following;Why Building Operations?The courses and programs to help you succeedThe value of good mentorsTBMOA and BOMAThe enjoyment factor Hiring for personalityThe challenges and hard lessonsThe 5-year GoalThe power of communicationTop GunLife behind the lens
Nicola Denning-Millar Connects with Michelle Hunte.Michelle has six years of Facility Management experience, and is an Asset Specialist in the Facilities Maintenance Division at Walmart Canada. She is responsible for the the operations, budget and the maintenance and repair of the Waste & Recycling portfolio for all the stores across Canada and supports Walmart’s sustainability goals such as Zero Waste by 2025. She is the Chair of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Allyship (IDEA) committee at Toronto CREW and is the recipient of Toronto CREW’s 2020 Raising Star Award.In this episode, we discuss the following;The passion for FM and “thirst for knowledge”Education and its pivotal role in breaking into the industryThe positive influence of mentorshipBeing a member of Toronto CrewVolunteering and inspiring young females to step into REDeveloping soft skillsBenefiting from the advancements in technologyThe enjoyment factor of working at WalmartUnleashing the “inner nerd”The 5-year game planEncouraging others to “lean in”
Richard Costello connects with Anthio Yuen. Anthio is Director, Research Services and Strategy at GWL Realty Advisors, responsible for the organization’s market research and investment strategies across Canada.  Anthio has a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and Development from the University of Toronto and an Undergraduate Degree in Urban Geography from Simon Fraser University. Anthio is actively involved in NAIOP Vancouver and is President elect for 2021.In this episode we discuss the following:Why GWL Real Estate Advisors places such emphasis on research and data.A typical week in the role of Director of Research.Insight into Anthio’s early years and influences.Motivation behind his education choices.How the role of research differs in the brokerage environment compared to working for an institutional real estate group.Getting into the details of a recent study called ‘Office Demand in the New Economy: Looking Beyond Covid-19’. up to become NAIOP Vancouver President for 2021.  The value of being apart of this community and expectations in the new role.The importance of finding a mentor (or three!).Creating a legacy and making an impact. Passions outside of work.Quick fire questions including this book – Decisive
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