Senior Associate Director, Office Services
How would you describe your role at Colliers International?
WC: I’m a senior associate director with the office services team. I’ve always been grateful for the opportunity to work with both multinational and local companies from various industries on their office renewal, relocations, and acquisition projects. I work with them to determine their specific needs, and liaise closely with the office managers, financial controllers, CEOs and owners to understand their views and wants. I enjoy the vibrant environment and nature of the business, and work keeps me busy in a good way. Having spent seven years in the same function, I’ve built close relationships with my team, my clients, and my landlord counterparts – which brings a lot of pleasure to my work.
How did you get in to the industry?
WC: I started as a graduate with JLL and during that time I rotated through different roles, working in the sales, leasing, and international property teams. After spending some time as a landlord representative, I wanted a role with more exposure to the occupants and end users, one catering to corporate clients. At that time, Colliers’ Kowloon office services team was expanding and Fiona Ngan, Head of Office Services, offered me an opportunity to be a negotiator within her team. This was my beginnings in office leasing.
Attention to detail, kind-heartedness, and persistency lead to success. My tenacity and my willingness to keep learning and improving enhance my value.
What do you think has led to your success in this traditionally male dominated industry?
WC: I would like to define ‘male dominated’ as the number of male brokers being significantly higher than the number of female brokers; and I would like to trust that this occurrence, to some extent, can be explained by the nature of an office leasing agent. It is physically demanding and requires frequent on-site and construction site visits; a tight work schedule, intense competition, and focused revenue targets also make it mentally very demanding. Women might tend to pick a job that is more stable in terms of working hours and income, especially when we have children at home.
Although the job nature doesn’t seem very welcoming to women, some female characteristics such as attention to detail, kind-heartedness, and persistency can lead to success in this client focused industry. I do believe that my tenacity and my willingness to keep learning and improving has enhanced my value and competitiveness.
What is the biggest challenges of being a broker and a mom? How do you keep a work life balance?
WC: The greatest challenge is to fulfil one role without sacrificing on the other. As a new mom, I’m trying my best to satisfy my baby’s needs while maintaining a healthy working life. Clashes sometimes happen between the two, since I have more tasks to take care of in the same amount of time. But I am grateful to have an understanding and supportive team, boss, and family that allow me to find that balance. I’m still trying to identify the fine line between being a good mom and being a good co-worker. However, better planning, time management, and teamwork will certainly enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of my role and allow me to have more time with my baby.