Intro: As Senior Associate broker at Colliers, specialising in sales of investment and redevelopment properties, Jessica has developed an acute understanding of complex land and investment transactions and has established relationships with a wide range of property owners, investors, and developers. In this Membership Spotlight, Jessica dives into how she got her start in the industry, tips and advice she has learnt along the way, and how CREW has played an active role in her career.
Q: Jessica, thank you for being our Member Spotlight! What originally drew you towards the brokerage sector, specifically the sale of investment and redevelopment properties, and how (or where) did you get your start?
A: I started off in the industry working a summer internship position at Amacon and at a number of condo presentation centres. Working at Amacon got me hooked on the industry, particularly the people I got to work with and the passion that went into every project. When I started working for Colliers in a marketing position in 2012, I was fortunate enough to get placed with some of the best brokers (and mentors) in Vancouver. After three years on the marketing side of the business I decided it was time to move into a broker position, and I now work in sales alongside some of the same brokers I was originally support staff for. Simon, James and I now comprise one of Colliers’ top teams across Canada.
Q: What is your advice for young professionals looking to get into a similar role?
A: Know your craft, be prepared to work hard, and do the work you need to prepare yourself before diving in. From the outside, brokerage can seem like it is all patio drinks and time laughing on the phone (it isn’t). You need to have thick skin, tenacity, and a competitive personality. It will require cold-calling, weekends in the office, and working harder (and smarter) than your competitors. But with that will eventually come the satisfaction of helping your clients achieve their objectives and the rush of closing a deal. I hate to sound like an infomercial, but it will seriously be the most challenging and rewarding career you could ever imagine for yourself!
Q: Due to the ongoing COVID crisis, our industry has seen a big shift… do you have any tips for working at home/ ways to stay engaged with clients & colleagues during these times?
A: My strategy has been to stay on the same exercise and work schedule and still get a full day in. Our team has stayed collaborative with daily Microsoft Teams calls and have remained active in doing deals. We’ve made sure to schedule time with clients on the phone, via virtual happy hours or social-distancing park meet-ups. Colliers is now allowing employees back to the office on a rotating basis and I love being back working alongside each other as a team!
Q: You have been an active member of CREW attending many events and volunteering, when did you first get involved with CREW and what inspired you to join? Can you share with us what you have gained since joining?
A: I first joined as part of the events committee after a great evening event at the Vancouver Club. I loved CREW’s mission and some of the inspiring women in our Vancouver chapter. I originally started off volunteering for the events committee and was on the planning committee for the 2014 golf tournament. Since then, I’ve gained international connections through attending the CREW San Diego conference and have developed an amazing network of women in the Vancouver market – some of whom are now close friends!
Q: Do you have any book or podcast recommendations?
A: Books: Brokers Who Dominate - The 8 Traits of Top Producers and “How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
Podcasts: How I Built This – I’ve been a big fan of the ones done by Chip Wilson (founder of Lululemon) and Whitney Wolfe (founder of Bumble).
Q: What’s been the best thing you’ve done to help you get through “quarantine”?
A: Probably a tie between buying a Peloton bike and perfecting the Tacofino jalapeno margarita recipe…. polar opposite sides of the spectrum but both have been great!