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 Commercial 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 commercial 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 commercial real estate and want to learn more about what it takes to be successful then this podcast is for you!
28 Episodes
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Richard Costello connects with Nic Paolella.Nic Paolella is the Vice President of Development at Marcon, responsible for leading all new development projects.  As part of the second generation of his family’s real estate development firm, Nic is helping build on the success of the company’s 35 years and 12,286 homes to date. Nic is passionate about urban planning and design and aims to create better, more livable communities. In this episode, Nic shares his insight into the following:What is was like growing up in the businessBackground of MarconWhy starting out as a construction company makes Marcon a better developerProudest project to dateDeveloping and maintaining company cultureWhat is takes to be successful as a Development ManagerHousing supply in Vancouver - where do things stand five years on from a Globe article focused on land speculationThe ‘Missing Middle’ - Opportunities and challenges to gentle densificationFinding InspirationWhat success looks likeAdvice for anyone starting out in the industryPassions outside of work
Richard Costello connects with David Wan.David is a residential sales and marketing leader with over three decades of experience and a broad portfolio of work in Vancouver, Toronto, Hong Kong and Singapore.  A graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s marketing management program, David went on to become an instructor at BCIT later on in his career in which he taught real estate courses and mentored hundreds of students.  David’s own personal and career journey is a fascinating one that is intrinsically linked to Vancouver’s relationship with Asia and has run parallel with the growth of high-rise condo development the city. In this episode David touches on the following:Part 1 The importance of sales and marketing in real estate development.Reasons why BCIT’s Marketing Management program is one of the most popular programs for aspiring real estate professionals in Vancouver. Career paths available to graduates of the program.Project sales and marketing, in-house or agency. What’s the difference?Most important skills to be successful in real estate sales.Part 2 Why David moved to Hong Kong at a time when the trend was the opposite.Life and learnings in Asia.The importance of relationships.Vancouver’s changing skyline during the late 80’s and 90’s. Proudest accomplishment to date.Part 3Technology’s impact on sales and marketing.Three ways that technology will impact the future of condo living.Developers who are leading the way.Seeking the Tesla of real estate development.Quick fire questions. 
James Ashley connects with Elena BoyackElena’s working career has been focused on talent acquisition in the commercial real estate industry. She started her career working for a recruiting agency in Toronto that specialized in real estate hires. In 2010, Elena moved in-house with Great West Life as a Staffing Specialist. For the last eight years, she has grown her career at Triovest Realty Advisors. As Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition at Triovest, Elena spearheads the policies and processes to attract the best talent in the market.  In this episode Elena speaks to the following;From Recruiting Agency to in-house Talent AcquisitionThe advancements in technology that support the hiring processHiring for FitThe power of creating structure at workPeople-focused leadershipThe role models who shaped her work ethicFinding work life balanceReading GladwellThe Strength FinderAnd much more....
Nicola connects with Marlene Farias. Marlene has over 25 years of Commercial Real Estate experience and is currently SVP Property Management at Triovest Realty Advisors. She is a passionate and hard-working industry leader known for building teams of excellence and maximizing the value of real estate investments. In this episode, you will hear:Emigration to Canada from Ecuador and the ways she has successfully navigated her careerHow she got her start inside the industryWho influenced her career and shaped her foundationProudest moments and career highlightsBalancing work and family life What it takes to be a great leaderBeing a role model at home and at workSupporting your family, your community and your co-workersAdvice for new-comers to the RE industry
Richard Costello connects with Peggy Howard. Peggy Howard is a renowned shopping centre General Manager who has been the beating heart of Ivanhoe Cambridge’s portfolio in British Columbia for over twenty years. Peggy’s accolades include managing Guildford Town Centre mall during a $280 million redevelopment and expansion, which was the largest mall redevelopment in the company’s portfolio at the time.  Peggy was Surrey Business Woman of the year in 2013 and is co-creator of Shopping Centre Chronicles.  Peggy is a mentor, coach, confidant and friend to countless industry professionals whose lives she continues to influence in so many positive and inspiring ways.  In this episode, Peggy shares her story and we discuss the following:Peggy’s early roles models.How Peggy got her start in the shopping centre industry and how her career evolved over the years.Proudest professional accomplishment.Advice for anyone starting out in the industry.Trends in the shopping centre industry over the years.How the role of a GM is different now to when Peggy started her career.Opportunities for mall operators and predictions on how things will look in 20 years.Saved by stranger.The motivation behind shopping centre chronicles.The next chapter and goals for the future. Link to purchase shopping centre chronicles (all proceeds go to Dr Paul Klimo to help people who have chosen the less conventional path for cancer treatment): https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/731655611/shopping-centre-chronicles
Richard Costello connects with Bradley Cumming.Bradley is VP Investments with Freed Developments in Toronto and oversees an investment group, which is responsible for the company’s real estate acquisitions, dispositions, deal structuring, and capital raising. Over the last twelve months his team has raised several hundred million of both debt and equity for new acquisitions and structured partnerships with several large-scale real estate focused Canadian financial institutions.Bradley is a CPA and has a Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie, and a Master’s of Finance degree from the Rotman School of business.In this episode we’ll hear from Bradley on the following:Early influences and why the real estate industry.Biggest takeaways from three years in public accounting.What’s involved in becoming a CPA and how this foundation brings value today.How does one go from Senior Staff Accountant to VP Investments?Who are Freed Developments and what sets the group apart?Recent transactions of note.Navigating the Covid waters.Financing in today’s environment.What does it mean to be successful in the role of VP Investments.The important skill sets required to be successful.The importance of building solid relationships within the industry.Becoming a people manager and leader within the business. Plus – quick fire questions!
Nicola Denning-Millar connects with Theresa Warnaar. Theresa is SVP, Retail and Asset Resilience at Kingsett Capital.  With over twenty years in the industry, Theresa's asset management experience includes retail and office investments in Canada, the US, Germany and Spain.  Theresa has held held progressive positions overseeing corporate environmental programs, project management as well as the design and implementation of operational benchmarking and analytics.Theresa holds a Bachelors of Environmental Studies with an Honours in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Waterloo.  Theresa has also completed an Authentic Leadership Development course through Harvard Business School. In this episode, you will hear Theresa talking about the following and much more!: How she got her start in Commercial Real Estate Learning by osmosisFinding motivation on a daily basisDiscovering valuable lessons in failureA passion for helping young professionalsThe importance of life-long learning and investing in yourself Not always getting what you want, but getting what you needWhat she enjoys about CRE and the people in itAdvice for anybody looking to raise their game within the industryHow to impress your Dad! 
Richard Costello connects with Myles Millard. Myles is a Director with Hines in Toronto and is responsible for a wide variety of functions including acquisitions/dispositions, asset management, and development.   Myles is the lead on the T3 Bayside development, which is comprised of two ten-storey mass timber office buildings in the Queens Quay area of Toronto.In this episode, we hear about Myles’ story so far including:Why he chose to pursue real estate as a career and how he has picked his path.His experience in analyzing international investments.Honouring Gerald Hines and reflecting upon his incredible impact.What it’s like to work at Hines.T3 bayside project – it’s significance, what makes it so special and Myles’ role and responsibilities.The most enjoyable and challenging aspects of Myles’ job.Benefits of the CFA designation and recommendations on further education for real estate professionals. Advice for anyone starting out in the industry.Passions outside of the office.Quick fire questions – including book recommendations (Factfulness, Other People’s Money, The Fish That Ate the Whale)
Nicola Denning-Millar connects with Ana LopezAna is Managing Director, Lease Documentation, Central & Western Canada at Allied Properties REIT. She is responsible for overseeing lease transactions and administration nationally. Prior to joining Allied Properties in 2010, Ana held positions at Colliers International and SNC-Lavalin. She is a graduate of Ryerson University and holds her CLO designation with the Real Estate Institute of Canada.In this episode, Ana shares her career journey, passion, knowledge and insights and speaks to the following:First steps into Real EstateThe valuable lessons from making mistakesInvesting in your own personal developmentBalancing family and educationThe power of connecting with peopleThe measure of leadershipBuilding a positive work environmentSupporting local and national charitiesAdvice to those stepping into the industry
Richard Costello connects with Andrew Tong.Andrew Tong is the Senior Vice President of Investments at Concert Properties and is responsible for leading the planning and performance of Concert’s real estate income portfolio across Canada.  Andrew is also Managing Director of Concert’s CREC Commercial Fund LP, which he played a key role in creating in 2016.  This open-ended fund includes over 70 office and industrial properties valued at $1.8 billion.In 2019, Andrew celebrated his 25th anniversary with Concert Properties and has been a key part of the company’s tremendous growth and success.  In this episode, Andrew shares how his journey with Concert began and also discusses the following:Early influences.How Andrew’s career has evolved over the years.Ways in which Andrew has invested in himself to ensure success in each new role.Lessons for anyone making the transition to management.How real estate financing works from a developer’s perspective. What are the types of mortgages and which organizations provide them, who you need on your team and how to ensure a successful lending experience. (Click to view blog)Most difficult professional experience.Proudest accomplishments.Areas of Andrew’s role that are the most rewarding.Using his experience, network and passion to make a difference in the community. Advice for anyone starting out in the industry.Passions outside of work that you might not know about.Quick fire questions including Andrew’s favourite Vancouver restaurant! 
Nicola Denning-Millar connects with Laura Pinto. Laura Pinto may have found her way into the CRE industry by chance and not choice initially but from day one she has not looked back.  Taking the advice of her mentors, Laura has involved herself with everything the industry has to offer and has experienced accelerated personal and professional growth as a result. Laura is currently Manager of Strategic Initiatives at Avison Young and is a member of BOMA Canada’s National Emerging Leaders Committee.  Laura has over seven years of real estate management experience and is without doubt a rising star in the industry.  In this episode, Laura shares her story so far and discusses the following:Best advice received in the early days of her career.How the latest technology (and training) is used to serve the end user.Proudest moment so far.The ideal work environment to elevate performance.A passion for efficiency.What Laura enjoys the most about her job and the industry.Creating an impact through training and processes. Laura’s role model growing up.Passions outside of work.Advice for anyone starting out in the industry.Why Property Management is a great career choice.   
Richard Costello connects with Murtaza Haider Murtaza Haider is a professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University in Toronto, and an adjunct professor of engineering at McGill University.  Murtaza is also the Director of a consulting firm Regionomics Inc.   Murtaza specializes in applying analytics and statistical models to find solutions for socio-economic challenges.  With a Masters in transport engineering and planning and a Ph.D. in Urban Systems Analysis, Murtaza views the real estate industry through a unique and impartial lens.  During this conversation, Murtaza shares his insights into the following:Getting back to the office and the challenges of vertical and horizontal transportation.Retooling the real estate industry for the technological revolution ahead - areas of opportunity.A Professor’s perspective on what skills will be most valuable in the workplace of the future.Quick fire questions! 
Richard Costello connects with Maud Chaudhary.Maud is a creative and humble executive with close to 20 years of institutional real estate experience across multiple geographies. Previously one of QuadReal’s top investment leaders as Vice President, International Real Estate Americas, Maud has held senior leadership positions with Dream Office REIT, Oxford Properties Group and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and is currently Senior Vice President of Parkbridge Lifestyle Communities and is responsible for leading the development, asset management and acquisitions teams.  Maud is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has a Bachelor of Economics and Business from York University.We cover a lot of ground in this episode and Maud generously shares his story including the following:Role models growing up (clue = squash legend).Experience working in Abu Dhabi during the GFC.Proudest moments.Greatest lesson from failure.What puts the fire in the belly at work.What great leadership looks like.How to maintain balance between work and life.What the role of a VP Investments looks like Advice for anyone starting out and looking to step it up.Investment tips (what asset class and where)Passions outside of work.Quick fire questions.
Richard Costello connects with Scott KyleScott Kyle is no stranger to commercial real estate having spent the past 20 years performing senior management roles for institutional property owners.  Guided by his passion for helping people, in 2020 Scott embarked on a new chapter by joining the team at HighView Partners.  In this episode Scott discusses the following:       How he got his start in the real estate industry       Advice on what it takes to be successful in property management       His biggest professional challenges        Career highlights       Insights into the Union Station redevelopment project       Advice for anyone starting their careers       New challenges ahead in getting up to speed in the world of recruitment       Where to eat out in Oakville!
Richard Costello connects with Denise Wong.Denise has over 15 years of commercial real estate experience focused on the office sector and currently oversees a portfolio of approximately 10 million square feet with Brookfield Properties.  Denise holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary and an MBA from Queen’s University.Denise is a truly dedicated professional who is passionate about giving back and sharing her knowledge with others. In this episode, Denise covers a broad range of topics including the following:What is asset management and what does an Asset Manager do at a company like Brookfield.What makes a great Asset Manager?Finding the drive to perform at your best every day.How to raise your game when motivation is running low.Internal drivers behind her success.Advice for anyone stepping into the industry.Quick fire questions!This is a great episode for anyone interested in learning more about asset management.
Richard Costello connects with Nada Sutic.Raised in a resourceful household, Nada grew up caring about the world around her.  Environmental Studies was a natural fit for her Undergraduate studies and Nada entered the workforce with a passion for helping people, businesses and communities better manage waste and energy. BOMA provided her entry into the CRE industry where Nada ran environmental programs for the association in Toronto before joining Bentall Kennedy (now BentallGreenOak) as Director of Sustainability.Nada is currently Director of Programs in Operational Excellence at QuadReal Property Group and is also Chair of the Board for BOMA Toronto.  In this episode Nada shares her journey so far and also discusses the following:Most difficult professional challenge to overcome.Proudest career moment so far.Discovering passion at work.What success looks like.How standard operating procedures bring value to an organization.  Lasting positive changes to come out of our experience in lockdown. What is change management and how does it impact the commercial real estate industry.How the principles of change management might be applied to help individuals and organizations address issues of diversity. Advice for anyone starting out in the industry.Quick fire questions - “Vibes speak louder than words”
Richard Costello connects with Daniel BronfmanA rising star in the CRE industry, Daniel works for Canderel, leasing a portfolio of 12 office and retail properties across the GTA.Not shy of taking on responsibility, Daniel is also the designated broker of record for Canderel in Ontario.  Known for his excellence in customer service and ability to get deals done even during a global pandemic, Daniel shares his insights and advice from his past four years in the industry.In this episode you’ll hear Daniel touch on the following:His experience and biggest takeaways from starting his CRE career in brokerage.The main differences between working in brokerage and for a landlord.Typical week of a Leasing Representative. The best and most challenging aspects of his job. What skills are most important in order to be a successful leasing manager.Proudest professional accomplishment so far.Importance of a mentor.Advice for anyone starting out in the industry.Quick fire questions including favourite restaurant(s) and sprit animal!
Nicola Denning-Millar connects with Susan AllenSusan has over 20 years’ progressive experience in the ‘Commercial Real Estate Industry’ in the operation and management of leading award-winning flagship assets including Toronto Eaton Centre, where she led a team of 160 people. In this capacity, she was responsible for the strategy, vision and day to day operations of the multi-billion dollar asset and led the team through the harrowing shooting in the “Urban Eatery’ in 2012. She is involved in a number of different industry associations, is active in several committees and councils and has won numerous awards including a Canadian TOBY building of the year and Earth awards.In this episode, Susan shares her career journey, passion, knowledge and insights and speaks to the following:Framing a career in Class A Commercial RE AssetsFavourite asset class to manage and differentiators between retail and officeTransition from Landlord to Not for ProfitImportance of professional development to stay on top of your gameObjectives and responsibilities’ of being President, BOMA TorontoImportance of soft skills when building a teamThe power of collaboration and cohesiveness during COVID 19Positive contributions of BOMA to the IndustryWhat it takes to be a great leader and to drive excellenceThe significance of fun and acknowledgement to build a positive environmentBenefits of networking and finding a mentorThe wise words of Buddha!
Richard Costello connects with Karen Sweet.Karen Sweet is currently Sr Manager Financial Services - Canadian Real Estate Practice Lead with Accenture. Karen has over 15 years of experience in consulting, asset management and finance and has worked for leading groups including Westfield and Oxford Properties.  Karen is an expert at delivering large-scale technology and innovation transformations within the Commercial Real Estate industry.In this episode Karen discusses the following:What it was like working for WestfieldThe benefits of having a finance and operations backgroundProudest professional momentPassions motivating performanceWhat sets Accenture apartCurrent role, projects and objectivesOpportunities on the horizon for the real estate industry following the recent market disruptionAdvice for anyone starting out in the industryBook recommendations (You look like a thing and I love you – Janelle Shane. Lamb – Christopher Moore. Olive Ketteridge – Elizabeth Strout)Recent purchase that has changed Karen’s life (under $100)What Karen would write on a banner
James Ashley connects with Luciano Cedrone.Luciano is a security professional with a unique blend of law enforcement, corporate and commercial real estate experience. He spent a decade with York Regional Police Service, before transitioning into commercial real estate, and climbing his way to Vice President of Security at Brookfield Properties. he helped manage the financial district security response through numerous protests and events, including G20 and The Pan-Am Games. He is also a founding member and past Chair of PATHcomm; an emergency communication platform connecting over 30 buildings in Downtown Toronto. In this episode, Luciano shares his career journey, passion, knowledge and insights and speaks to the following:Gaps to be tackled by the next generation of security leadersHow to expand your knowledgeCharacteristics that stand out during the hiring processAdvancements in security technologyImpact of PATHcommPassion for securityThe transition from employee to consultantWhat makes Toronto a great place to live and workAdvice to those looking to step up or step in to real estate security 
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