Senior Manager, Office Services
Jonathan has demonstrated his worthiness in accelerating clients’ success within four years at Colliers. Through proactive collaboration within the company’s global network, he is recognised for his ability to facilitate interdepartmental and cross-border referral cases from the pool of loyal client base that he has built.
Beginning his life in the Real Estate world as an intern with no relevant work experience, Jonathan Der has steadily and determinedly worked his way up the Colliers career ladder to Senior Manager in just four years. In his interview, he attributed his success to the abundant opportunities and support he can leverage at Colliers.
Why did you choose to leave your hometown in Canada and settle at Colliers Hong Kong?
A 4-month exchange with City University first brought me to Hong Kong. At that time I was drawn to Hong Kong’s cultural diversity, the efficiency of its pace of life, and the numerous opportunities offered in this Asia Pacific hub.
I proactively looked for opportunities in various real estate companies. However, I was particularly attracted to the collaborative and interactive team culture that Colliers team leaders valued, in which they did not hesitate to share their experience and expertise. That’s how I started my career at Colliers.
How did working in Colliers change you and help with your personal development?
Starting my career in a foreign country could be overwhelming, but I am grateful that I have been working alongside approachable leaders and colleagues who continuously keep me on track. Being assigned various responsibilities early in the first two years, I was encouraged to go beyond my comfort zone in order to adapt to the competitive working environment of the Hong Kong office leasing market. The team provided a healthy balance between support and independence. As an established global real estate company, Colliers offers brokers the flexibility to develop their own business and client base. Playing the middleman between tenants and landlords, my role as a broker taught me how to coordinate between different parties and to manage expectations on both sides to reach the desired outcome. Teamwork also plays a big role at Colliers, and success often depends on collaboration across departments and offices.
You’ve worked your way up from an intern to a Senior Manager in just 4 years - what are the key to your success?
Similar to what I observed from other successful leaders within the company, I would attribute my success at Colliers to three key elements – proactiveness, perseverance, and approachability. Firstly, being proactive and either recognising or creating an opportunity is key in this market. For instance, I ensure all my potential clients, including my friends and family, are well aware of my role and encourage them to refer businesses to me. When I first joined Colliers, I took the initiative to contact the CEO of a major property developer who at the time did not have a strong relationship with Colliers. I presented exclusive opportunities that Colliers could offer, resulting in the development of a stronger relationship between the two firms.
Secondly, my perseverance to source new business has been crucial to my success. My first cold call saw the receiver hang up after only 15 seconds, though this disappointment enabled me to become stronger and more persistent in my business development, no matter how many rejections I faced.
Lastly and most importantly is being approachable and personable to both colleagues and clients. It may seem obvious, but in my experience this is the backbone to becoming successful in my career as a broker – It yields trust from clients and colleagues, which in turn opens many doors. Thanks to the trust that the company, my team and my clients have placed on me, it allowed me to carve my path to success within such a short time.