Shane, we are thrilled to highlight you on our Membership Spotlight! When did you get involved with CREW Vancouver and what inspired you to join? Can you share with us what you have gained since joining? What’s your favourite thing about CREW?
I am equally as thrilled to be featured! I first heard about CREW while at ICSC in Whistler where I attended the CREW Vancouver ICSC Cocktail Reception. The room was packed, so I was obviously interested in learning more about what CREW was all about. I started attending many of the events as a non-member, and quickly realized how valuable the connections I was making were. Since joining CREW, I’ve continued to make countless new connections that I value greatly, whom have helped me progress in my career. Plus, women just have a knack for throwing better events e.g. the annual Golf Tournament and of course the ICSC Social; two of my favourites all year!
Tell us about your start in the commercial real estate industry of Vancouver. What led you here? Do you have advice for anyone who may be wanting to enter the industry?
My path to the commercial real estate industry is an odd one. My education is in Environmental Science, however I did not put that to use after post-secondary. I ended up working in the Tech sector for a Fortune 100 company for several years. I worked in Sales & Marketing, but began to show an interest Real Estate, so I decided to put both my education and work experience to use which led me to Next Environmental. It’s been a great fit, as I’ve gained invaluable exposure to different facets of the CRE by working with Developers, Real Estate Brokers, Architects, Lenders, and so on...
As for advice, ask for coffee! Many people in the industry are happy to sit down and discuss their roles and companies with people who are interested in the industry and want to learn about where they see themselves fitting in. Ask lots of questions, and once you choose a lane that you enjoy and are good at, stick with it.
Shane, your company, Next Environmental, specializes in the investigation and remediation of contaminated sites. Describe your role at Next Environmental and tell us something that makes Next Environmental different than the others.
My role as Business Development Manager boils down to exactly as it sounds - developing the business. This involves growing our market share, expanding our service offerings and territory that we service, prospecting for new Clients, nurturing existing Clients, and delivering value to each and every project we are engaged for. I am typically the main point of contact for our projects and try to distill the often confusing world of environmental rules and regulations in a business-centric, easy-to-understand way, which is one of the several ways we differentiate from our competitors. The typical engineering model takes a technical/regulatory approach to their projects, whereas we begin with the business issues and work backwards from there. We also provide fixed pricing on every stage of investigation, including remediation, which is a new offering to the marketplace and garnering a lot of praise from our Clients who see the value in reducing or even eliminating their risk when it comes to contaminated sites.
Any advice you’d give developers or commercial landowners when it comes to engaging with Next Environmental on projects?
My advice would be to start considering contaminated sites as viable business opportunities rather than risky ones. There are a lot of ways to leverage your Environmental Consultant to help get a great deal on your next acquisition, or to provide certainty to your lender or prospective buyers to avoid large financial holdbacks, depending on the business case. Next has years of experience and data that you can leverage, and with our fixed cost model and guaranteed turnaround times, we can assist with making any contamination issue less risky and less expensive. I also like to give free advice to anyone with questions, so feel free to reach out to me anytime!
What is a book that you’ve read recently that you want to recommend?
I just finished a book by Stu Heinecke called “How to Get a Meeting with Anyone”. I haven’t had a chance to test his methods yet, but they are very unique and interesting. I’ll have to get back to you on whether I recommend them or not, as I’ll likely be testing them on some of you shortly!