Intro: Lisa is a part of the leasing team at Anthem, which manages a portfolio of 65 income producing properties comprising of 5 million square feet of leasable space in Western Canada and over 800 tenants. In Lisa’s role as a Senior Contract Manager, she is responsible for drafting all legal contracts for her portion of the portfolio, considering and diminishing any undue risk to the Landlord as well as training and mentoring other contract managers. Lisa’s previous experience as a paralegal at two prominent law firms where she specialized in insolvency and commercial financing enabled her to build a strong foundation in real estate before formally joining the development sector in 2016. Since starting at Anthem in 2017, Lisa has become an integral member of the leasing team and has become the lead contract manager on Anthem’s more complex projects such as greenfield development sites and Anthem’s phased mixed use developments.
Q: Lisa, thank you for being our Member Spotlight! How did you first hear about CREW Vancouver and what made you decide to become a long-standing member?
When I first made the switch to working for a developer, I had no idea what to expect and was very green about what this commercial leasing world was. When I working as a paralegal I found it to be a very solitary role that didn’t have a strong community. Luckily, when I made the switch in 2016, I was fortunate enough to have the most welcoming team of coworkers who encouraged me to attend events, network, make connections and ultimately that lead me to CREW. After attending a number of events, meeting such a great group of inspiring women, and genuinely having a great time socializing it was a no-brainer to become a member of CREW.
Q: Can you share what initially drew you to the development sector and what you enjoy most about working for Anthem?
While in College and earning my paralegal designation, I quickly realized the only classes I actually enjoyed were property law and residential conveyancing. As a result, and during my years with private firms, I pursued roles which centered in real estate. All of a sudden I was in my late 20s and had completed a few years each in the areas of conveyancing, residential foreclosures and commercial lending and I felt like that was it, as though I had hit my peak and I had no upward movement. I am very much a “what is next?” person and having been fortunate enough to have had exposure to different developers as a part of their legal team, it felt like a natural next step to pursue working for one.
When starting at Anthem, it immediately felt like I was home. Beyond the awesome leasing team and amazing office space, it’s a company from the top down that encourages self-actualization, which is something that is incredibly important to me and feeling fulfilled in my day-to-day.
Q: Have you picked up any new hobbies and/or how else have you been keeping busy this last year?
Well I certainly never thought I would be thankful to have schoolwork, but then 2020 hit and suddenly I have all the time! I am currently working towards my Diploma in Urban Land Economics at UBC and will finally have that done within a year. On a healthier note, one of my rather pushy friends got me into running this year and honestly, without that mental break during the initial few months I am not sure what I would have done.
Q: If you were asked to give one piece of advice to someone entering commercial real estate what would it be and how has this guidance helped you in your own career?
One?! I have so many things I have learned over the years that I wish someone would have told me when I was younger but so much of carving our own path is gaining experience and confidence in what we are capable of. My biggest piece of advice would be to ask questions and question everything! Never be afraid to ask a question that you may think isn’t worthy as you’ll often find someone in the room is wondering the same thing. If something is done one way, ask yourself if there is a better way of doing it. Are the instructions you’ve been given the best way to get to the end goal or is there a better route? Talk it out, have conversations and never make assumptions.