1. How long have you been in the real estate industry and how did you come to join Colliers International?
I have just celebrated my 13th year at Colliers International. This is actually my first job fresh out of university. I wrote to Colliers HR asking for a job with no specific role in mind. Subsequently I was hired as an analyst within Corporate Solutions and worked my way up within the firm. Real estate is an exciting and multi-faceted sector which tracks closely with economic trends and market sentiment. In my 13 years with Colliers, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunities to learn and grow.
2. In what way does Corporate Solutions help to drive value for organisations across their real estate portfolio?
In simplified terms, Corporate Solutions professionals are akin to relationship managers. We work with large MNCs with global operations. They typically have multiple leased and/or owned sites across many geographical locations, and their real estate managers may not necessarily have the capacity to deal with such a diverse real estate portfolio while at the same time managing varying requirements among internal stakeholders.
That is where we come in. Corporate Solutions acts as a single point of contact in addressing every aspect of the MNC’s real estate needs. For example, we keep a close watch on the company’s leases across the region to see which ones are up for renewal and whether the space continues to meet the firm’s needs. We also work with a multitude of real estate brokers to seal deals for new spaces in markets that align with the MNC’s business plan, making sure transactions go smoothly. And because we are a single point of contact, there is consistency in service delivery and the way information is presented to the clients.
There is a governance component too. Depending on the client, Corporate Solutions account managers may coordinate internal stakeholder engagements, conduct financial analysis, and review the legal documentation to ensure the real estate transaction get on without a hitch. In working with MNCs to optimise their real estate portfolio and strategies, we are able to identify emerging trends and market dynamics in order to tailor solutions for them. That is a snapshot of what we do. Basically, clients hire us to fuss and worry over their real estate portfolio so that they do not have to.
3. What do you find most satisfying about your role in Colliers?
The fact that every hour of every day has different challenges and requirements. I manage projects in Asia, Middle East and Africa, and each country has their own market norms and nuances, so it is interesting to navigate through all of it. I may be doing a lease transaction in Tokyo in one moment, and in the next I am coordinating project management in Sydney.
I get to work with a lot of service lines so there are plenty of opportunities to meet new people for constant personal growth and learning. It helps that Colliers has a very nice work environment, and I work with a very fun team.
4. What are the key attributes required to do well in Corporate Solutions?
I think the ‘one-stop-shop’ nature to Corporate Solutions means you need to be highly adaptable, able to multi-task, and have good working knowledge about various markets. Other important attributes include attention to detail, good language abilities, a positive attitude, and a flexible mind to think out of the box and provide solutions proactively.
5. What is your management style?
I feel that a laissez-faire management style is most effective in an ideal work environment, where staff are empowered to make decisions independently. Delegation of power lets them take ownership of their roles and creates a more horizontal hierarchy which enables quicker resolution of issues and problems. In addition, it allows for personal growth and hands-on leadership training, and potential leaders are more easily identified. Personally, I adopt a form of delegative management style because I am confident that my co-workers are able to deliver and can work well under pressure. However, whenever the situation requires, I will offer my guidance.