Working Capital The Real Estate Podcast
Values Matter: Growing a Global Real Estate Business with Mark E. Rose | EP60
Jun 30, 2021
In This Episode
Mark E. Rose is a CEO of Avison Young Commercial Real Estate. He manages all strategic, financial and operational activities of this full service commercial Real Estate firm, which just so happens the company Jesse works for. After holding executive positions at two globally publicly traded commercial Real Estate firms, he served as CEO of Grubb & Ellis from 2005 to 2008 and was previously a Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the Americas for Jones Lang LaSalle also known as JLL.
In this episode we talked about:
Leading a global real estate firm
Diversity, Inclusion and ESG
The Investor perspective in Real Estate
So called “prop-tech”
The health of Real Estate industry
Coworking and Flex Space
Interest rates and inflation
Jesse (0s): Welcome to the working capital real estate podcast. My name is Jesper galley. And on this show, we discuss all things real estate with investors and experts in a variety of industries that impact real estate. Whether you’re looking at your first investment or raising your first fund, join me and let’s build that portfolio one square foot at a time. Welcome to working capital I’m Jesse for galley. And my special guest today is mark eeros. Mark is the CEO of Avison young commercial real estate.
He manages all strategic financial and operational activities of this full service commercial real estate firm, which just so happens to be the company I work for. Mark joined Avison young after holding executive positions at two globally, publicly traded commercial real estate firms. He served as CEO of Grubb and Ellis from 2005 to 2008 and was previously chief operating officer and chief financial officer of the Americas for Jones Lang LaSalle also known as JLL. Mark, how are you doing today?
Mark (1m 1s): Let’s go ahead. Well, Jesse, good to be with you.
Jesse (1m 3s): Yeah, it’s great. It’s great to have you on, we were just chatting. You’re now based in Chicago right now, where you’re, where you’re coming from. How’s everything going down there given the last year and a half? Well,
Mark (1m 16s): You know, the good news is the USA has really driven vaccinations to a pretty high level. We are actually residents of Florida, so that was a COVID feet free state to be in for most of most of the winter. So that was all good, but things are getting better as I’m traveling around the country. I’ve spent some time in Texas. I’ve spent some time in New York already, and again, the great news is the things are getting better.
And if you want, you know, if you want to be vaccinated, you can in the U S are vaccines available for everybody
Jesse (1m 55s): Right on. Yeah. I think the takeaway for us too, is things are moving in the right direction, starting to get the first vaccines and honestly have to say in Toronto, we’re a little jealous north of the border, seeing us seeing Florida and kind of the, the approach they’ve taken. But at the end of the day, you know, we live where we live. So mark, what we typically do with guests that come on is talk a little bit about your background in real estate, how you got into the industry. I know you got in at a fairly young age, so for listeners that don’t know, maybe we could talk a little bit about that and then kind of take us to where we’re at today.
Mark (2m 31s): Sure. Probably the, you know, the driver honestly was being in university of 16 and coming out so early, you know, into public accounting, New York started to work for a lot of real estate clients and really got the bug and fell in love. And, you know, at that point, the person that hired me out of school moved over to the bridge Cole pension fund Reed brought me with again at an early, you know, you know, at a young age.
So over there at 23 and by 26, I was the CEO of the company and writing some strategies that are read across an ocean in the late eighties, you know, yielding 3% with CapEx of, you know, 50 plus million needed that that really should be sold and liquidated. When, when back in England you could repatriate the money and put it to work at 14% risk-free in their own currency at that time.
So it was a pretty simple, pretty strategic view to real estate made sense, took British called pension funds team out of us real estate in the early nineties, which bodes very, very well for them. And then that turned into a career where just loved the business, started my own company, sold it to Jones, Lang wooden, and then merged and, you know, led from the U S side, you know, for JLW the merger to create JLL on March 11th, 1999 from there pretty simple move to Chicago was chief operating officer, chief financial officer, chief strategist, you know, at JLL for the Americas, ran the Canadian business for them.
And 2005 had the opportunity to put Robin Ellis back on the New York stock exchange, raise a hundred million for that bring in 400 people, sold that company in 2007 and started working on merging these Canadian provincial companies called Avison young. And from that point on, it’s been history
Jesse (4m 47s): Right on. So I’ve always wanted to ask you this. And I should pause to note for listeners out there. You know, Avison young is a, is my company is the company I work for. So if you hear the saying your boss’s boss, I think mark, you know, we run a different scheme here in brokerage, but that’d be the answer to that. I’ve always wanted to ask you starting university at 16, what’s going on there?
Mark (5m 11s): Well, it was a mess. It was a matter of starting early as early as kindergarten and skipping a grade. And I, I would just say this. I had no issues being sick, being 16 in university. I did have a bunch of issues being 13 in high school. Those are pretty formidable years. And when you’re going up against, you know, 18 year old seniors, it’s, wouldn’t recommend it for everybody.
Jesse (5m 41s): It reminds me of the Malcolm Gladwell. You know, most hockey players in Canada are born in January and February. And I’m just imagining starting university trying to compete with, with gents four years older than you.
Mark (5m 53s): Well, you know what, that didn’t turn out so bad because I, you know, as you know, I would, you know, played D three hockey and my freshmen, my freshman year, I was 5 10, 1 55. And my sophomore year, I was 6, 2, 2 30. So went from a fairly flea footed center to having to go back to defense because I had to retrain my whole body with that sort of, you know, with that sort of growth with that said, no one touched my goalie.
Jesse (6m 26s): Yeah, well it reminds me too. Of, we went to high school with Stevie stamp goes, he was a year, a year before me and came into high school very, very tiny under size. Everybody said, no chance, no chance this guy’s going to make it anywhere. And you know, the rest is history, but left high school a lot, you know, in different shape for sure. So when you first, when you were at Grubb and Ellis and taking the company public at that point, how much experience did you have in the industry? You know, we talked with Mike Emory who was on the show about how one of the most rewarding and stressful times of his life was taking allied public.
Well, what was that experience like as, as a pretty young guy?
Mark (7m 8s): Well, first you had, you know, I really started with a public company, so the British coal pension funds were read. And so 1987, I was brought in to take a quasi public read fully public, you know, so there was an awful lot of learning and that was 1987. We did have the stock market crash that then scuttled, you know, the public process, you know, at that moment that it, but it turned out to be a blessing. And I would just say Jesse, that I, you know, very, very comfortable.
I have been more in the public domain than I’ve been in the private domain. And one of the reasons why we wanted to keep Iveson young private was to build a culture based company and to have a private partnership where people own something together and put their imprint together. Public companies are great companies, they just are structured a certain way. And you have to have a top-down approach because, because you’re not only need to govern, but you need to be able to report out earnings on a quarterly basis.
And that just mandates a certain amount of structure. So really the Avison young piece was in some ways, the first time I was in the PRI you know, you know, the private domain and, you know, I, I just don’t see a whole lot of difference other than, you know, a bit more flexibility and the ability to drive a particular strategy that we were looking for, again, as I said, you know, a more collaborative,
Jesse (8m 45s): Yeah, fair enough. So moving to Avison young today, you know, it’s been a, a trying year and a half, the, the company that you’ve built here recently has gone globally. Maybe you could talk a little bit about how, you know, the process of taking a company with the geographical footprint of ax and, you know, multiplying that. Yeah.
Mark (9m 8s): Well, again, you know, let’s just say it was a passion of mine because again, growing up in the us at JLL working and running the Canadian businesses and the south American businesses, but starting out in Europe, particularly in the UK for British coal, and then for JLW having exposure to Europe, into Asia, it was really a passion and an understanding of the power of platform, but in a specific way.
So the specific way is it gets very, it’s very difficult if you think about it, to get provincial collaboration from east to west Western Canada. Now think of that Eastern Western Canada multiply it by, by the U S Mexico, south America, moving over to Europe. And what you realized is if, and when you can acknowledge that a global company can build an umbrella set of belief, systems of honesty and integrity, collaboration, empathy, and growth, and let that culture drive the business.
Then it gives you the opportunity to let the sub cultures that are around the world in every different country rise up to their highest potential. And what that gives you is something that we talk about every day, which seems to me sometimes that w w it took the industry a little longer, you know, for those of us who understood it for decades, that is your diversity, right? So it’s not just gender or racial diversity, but it’s gender diversity, racial diversity, diversity of culture and country.
And so when you do expand, you take best practices around the world. We just think that makes for a better company.
Jesse (11m 11s): Yeah. Kind of like, you know, diversity of ideas, diversity of background geography, like you said, in addition to all those other areas, what do you think is the reason that commercial real estate in general has taken longer to adopt those aspects of, of culture,
Mark (11m 32s): Easy, very emotional asset class. And it’s an asset class that has been governed by a specific demographic for a very, very long time. Family owned businesses, institutional businesses, as we all know, it’s been predominantly white male driven, and there was no reason to change. Right. You know, again, if, if you have the sameness of, of leadership on something that’s quite emotional, everybody’s dream as to touch feel and own real estate, we have witnessed where folks didn’t want to necessarily let everybody in, but that is changing for sure.
And we’ve got great leaders out there. I, I see a business, a, you know, an industry that’s maturing day by day, you know, and so that that’s, you know, you know, that’s just something that it takes time, it’s change management, it’s Trent it’s transformation, right. And the transformation, you know, I look to probably we’ll see the next change in the next, I would have said five to seven years, pre COVID probably three to five years left post COVID where a certain group of leaders will probably leave the industry as a far more diverse, a far more culture-based set of groups who are tech savvy, ESG savvy, you know, will start to fill positions.
And I think that’s our next leg up
Jesse (13m 12s): On that point of ESG. It means a lot of things to a lot of people. I think, you know, a lot of people have started hearing that term only in the last little while. W what does that mean to you?
Mark (13m 23s): Well, first of all, if you haven’t been bit paying attention to ESG for years, again, you would have done that at your peril, but what it means to us are some basics of this evolution in this maturity that we’re talking about. The quite frankly, I thought we really got to a strong foothold late 20, 19, early 20, 20, only to have, COVID sort of push this aside a little bit, but ESG to us is climate change.
It’s sustainability, it’s culture, it’s DNI or DEI. So diversity, equity, and inclusion. And so the things that we’re doing and the things that we care about, you know, and obviously since you’re, you know, a valued colleague here, you see this all the time. We were stating a long time ago, that open plans were very good for the CFO to reduce the amount of your occupancy footprint to save money.
But the open plan was not particularly comfortable for top talent, you know, unbelievable talent that might’ve been suffering from mental wellness issues, you know, saying anxiety that needed to be in a different place. Obviously we have been attacking racial and social injustice, and the fact that there’s been a lack of diversity, both from agenda and a racial point of view, but I would also throw in that you have the disabled okay.
And our, and our LBGTQ colleagues, you know, we’re really, really starting to come together. And all of that falls under ESG, obviously from a sustainability point of view, we have been working on, on that I would say for four or five decades, but once we started to put names, labels, and awards to it, well, buildings green, you know, green initiatives, lead certification, putting labels to it really have allowed it to take form as people aim for recognition for doing the right thing.
But quite frankly, it’s been here for a very long time. It just needed to be moved along. Add to that, that carbon neutrality now is just a tantamount to say, you know, to saving this planet. So in our European business, we’ve already signed up to carbon neutral 2030. I think north America will be slightly behind that whether we adopt 20, 40, or 2050, that’s a conversation that’s going on, but we will adopt, we have signed up to support the Paris Accords.
We know that we need to make the difference with building better buildings, managing better buildings, making sure that we ourselves are, you know, are executing to try to keep temperature and climate change under, you know, the 2% increase in these are things that are just critically important to work on. But again, in there is also, let’s not forget about people and the people, part of ESG is as important, or we write about it.
We talk about it all the time that nobody wakes up or comes into the office perfect. Every day, you have to be mindful of that. It’s normal, it’s part of life. And so when you’re able to embrace everybody’s difference, then you start to build a great culture.
Jesse (17m 13s): That’s great. And in terms of ESG, we hear a lot from the company perspective, you know, companies talking about it, and I’ve heard you speak about the investor’s perspective and, and making the point that those things aren’t disconnected. W w what did, what do you mean by that in terms of having alignment with investors, not just looking specifically for, you know, the dollars and cents, but understanding that ESG has an impact on those fundamentals.
Mark (17m 40s): Yeah, well, investors and real estate investors in companies, obviously Larry Fink and BlackRock have been very aggressive to promote what they think since they are representing many investors in many companies, you know, but it needs to be heard everywhere. And, you know, our investors are better when we sign up to, as we have to ESG disclosures in our financial statements.
So people can judge us and look to us for first of all, that we’ve made the commitment, but then what have we done? Are we measuring it? This is now in our financial statements. And that’s where again, the world is moving to more measurement, more disclosure, so that investors can choose the companies. They’re not, not only making money, but they’re also making money and improving the world. And I don’t believe those are mutually exclusive concepts
Jesse (18m 42s): Right on. So speaking a little bit about, you know, the commercial real estate being a little slow to adopt certain things the last year and a half as GE has basically pushed a lot of people that otherwise wouldn’t use technology to the extent they do now using it that way, in terms of real estate and prop tech, what are you seeing that, you know, you’re, you’re really finding, encouraging in the industry and where do you think we’re going technologically, when it comes to commercial real estate?
Mark (19m 13s): So there are a few things in there. The first thing is if you haven’t focused, your company transformed your company to be tech enabled or tech led, you are falling behind everybody else. I would say not because we’ve done it Avison young, but during the pandemic, when revenues were down, because our clients really had put the pause button on transactions and projects that w that, that, that we were building, it gave us the opportunity to focus all of our energy, all of our initiatives into building the industry’s leading data platform, data aggregation, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, over that, as we then continue post the acquisition of trust and September to add the digitization of the visualization of the transaction process, building that into the core powerhouse of Avison young, which is called avant.
And so all those things are happening now, there’s far more to come because there are other back office applications, lease administration, things of that sort, but the transaction quite frankly, is going to give way to top talent with relationships, using platform, consultative skills and technology. And that the day of just pure relationship brokerage is coming to an end.
But I want to encourage everybody that doesn’t mean brokerage comes to an end. That doesn’t mean that transactions come to an end. Our clients are very clear on the value that they perceive and what they want, or strategy and solutions that result in transactions, not just transactions for transactions sake. The other thing here is, as we talk about it, the transformation, the understanding, the technology, we also have to be very, very mindful because you used a word that, you know, I’ll tell you right now, I’ve gotten in trouble with this before, and I’ll probably get in trouble with it here, but it’s just open and honest and heartfelt to try to help folks there’s prop tech and there’s PropTech, okay.
Property technology that is embedded in, in your delivery system, or an idea that can transform and create value for our clients. That’s awesome. There are thousands of PropTech companies where somebody has a great idea, but limited capital. I am still very concerned about those companies. I’d like to see a process where great companies and great ideas have a place to get funded and keep themselves intact and, and, and on a path to growth and profitability, because what we’ve seen in the marketplace is bringing great technology to clients, or if it’s technology that is quote unquote acquired through prop tech at, at, you know, at one of the end-user levels, it is only as good as the technology sustaining itself and improving itself day by day, too many companies start to sign up a few key clients, but it’s still not enough revenue to keep it alive.
And the worst thing that we can do in, in this industry. And certainly the worst thing that we can do as a service provider is bring something that may seem really sharp and really good. But if it’s not sustainable, if it can’t sustain itself, either through capital or revenue growth, then we’re really not helping anyone.
Jesse (23m 12s): Yeah. That makes sense. If we talk a little bit about our industry as a whole right now, mark, maybe starting with the U S and Canada and, and, and kind of going global, you know, again, talking about the last year and a half, what is your view right now of the health of our industry and, and how you see this playing out over, you know, let’s call it the, the short to mid term.
Mark (23m 37s): So you have to go. And I, you know, I’m going to ask the credibility for 36 years of this real estate. The real estate period is a gossipy industry. It is a soundbite industry which plays very well to the media these days, but let’s take a step back. It is one of the most powerful industries that has ever been created. It is an industry, as we said, it’s emotional. People want to own real estate. People use real estate.
If you look at, you know, if there are going to be 10 billion people on this planet next 50 years, if that’s going to be the case, and most experts will tell you that, you know, that it is, then we need to build a million square feet of housing everyday, starting today to support that that’s a heck of a safety net for the multifamily, the residential business, and clearly support. You know, if you understand the macro issues of population growth, but then you take just the basics, the office, which is the one that everybody’s talking about, you know, is the office dead with work, from home work, from anywhere return to the office.
And if you’ve looked at cycles, and I think the one to look to, if you looked in the us after, you know, after nine 11, it took two years for people to want to come back to trophy buildings. It took two years for people want to be an upper floors. It, it took a couple of years for security to go from the pendulum swinging one way to it coming back to equilibrium. And we are probably in that same place now. And if you just look at our business and let’s start short-term right now, anything industrial leasing, our capital markets hottest can be potentially even too hot, but hottest can be multi residential, really good, really, really good, and on a relative basis.
Very, very good. And it’s been solid all the way through loan, servicing and debt. Solid people are doing things from that perspective. So what’s down while hospitality, retail, and office hospitality. Honestly, there were probably too many hotel rooms right now. If you own a resort hotel, I think you’re going to have the greatest summer that you’ve ever had in your life because people can’t wait to get out of it. Their homes and, and resort properties are going to be in demand probably for the next 6, 9, 12 months, hospitality that’s centered around the business person, probably going to take a little while to come back.
Okay, retail again, I think overplayed, there are certain areas, you know, again, dip into the U S they were over retailed. Canada was less over retailed, but there also is a change in the difference between showroom space and a fulfillment distribution and et cetera. I do expect that that takes a little bit of time yet. We’re starting to see retail capital markets activity. I E some distress coming in that I think can open up the buying and selling of retail.
Although the fundamentals and leasing are still gonna take a little time. So it really comes back and brings you back to office. Long-term rock solid. We’re going to have population growth. We’re going to have business formation. There’s already a massive increase in business. Formation. Midterm looks just like the longterm. That’s great. You know what? Short term, we may have another year for people to start to figure out what does the office me, and I’m going to stay on this for, you know, for a moment we have run office space.
Office utilization has been at 40% for decades, and you would quote, unquote, have salespeople they’d come in, but they were never really in the office, but they wanted an office. But when you actually looked at the utilization of seats was 40%. Well, no manufacturer would ever run their business like that. Now I still think there’s a need for people to be together. We at Avison young asked everybody to come back the Tuesday after Easter, and we’re doing that because we’re starting every day. We’re getting a little more people back in the office so that when we hit September, most, everybody will be back with a huge caveat where the domain of occupancy used to be either the CFO for cost or the CEO for brand purpose decisions now are even more strategic.
And it’s the CFO with the CEO with strategy with HR, and just think about this. Let’s say that we all agreed to every Monday, everybody has to be in the office. Every Tuesday. Everybody has to be in the office. Wednesday, you can work from anywhere, be it a satellite office, a flex office. And on Thursday or Friday, you could work from home. Well, think about this. If you came, if everybody came in on Monday and Tuesday, you would have the same 40% utilization.
So I’m not sure that ultimately there’s going to be a big change, except for the fact that the big change is how we’re going to process this and the strategy that one size does not fit all that city by city company, by company, country, by country occupiers. Now need to say, this is what our strategy is. And we are helping many of those clients from large institutions, stout to smaller occupiers, helping them understand what those needs are.
And as soon as that happens and it’s happening, it will again open up for the owners and investors to understand what the ultimate tenants needs are. And that’s when everything starts to work its way through
Jesse (29m 47s): From a, a more, I guess, structural level, while we’re on the topic of office. Do you see office changing from term lengths? You know, we, we’ve always seen 5, 10, 15 years as the status quo, even pre COVID. We’ve started to see more younger users, more youthful companies want flexibility there. Do you expect that that trend to continue or if not get kind of shoved into high gear as a result of the lockdown?
Mark (30m 17s): Yeah, I think, you know what I think in the short term, you will still see headquarters offices and main hubs will still be 5, 10, 15 year leases, depending on what the strategy is. So longer-term leases. I still believe that there will be a subset of, let’s just say, older school thinking that other satellite and expansion offices will look like what they’ve always looked like.
I do think that you’re going to see flex used more, the, the hub and spoke thing. I didn’t, I honestly didn’t believe in it at the very beginning. And I don’t necessarily think that’s the way this, you know, that this is going to go, will, will businesses accommodate their people with a work from anywhere strategy that could involve flex, you know, touchdown stations.
Could it be that we’re going to have landlords that will grant a block of space in any of their buildings for 15 years to, to an enterprise so that you could have certain employees going into a building that acts as a kind of a flex hub for you. All of these things are quite realistic. Now that’s really the change. And it will come down to, again, a strategy that the occupier will use as opposed to something that’s dictated
Jesse (31m 57s): And further to that. Do you find that this change, this potential change with flexibility is going to run parallel with what we’ve seen in coworking over the years? Or do you think it’ll start crowding out the users in coworking?
Mark (32m 11s): I think that co-working suffered through a year and a half of a pandemic and people questioning whether it’s a health concern or not. Okay. So I think coworking has a different view. Ultimately, everybody adjusts. So even in coworking facilities, you’re going to have to adapt and adjust what the space looks like to meet the needs of people and their either their anxiety to come in or their once they’re in their flex office, I think is something different right back to your question, least lanes.
I mean, like I said, it could be a 15 year lease where you have rights to different buildings in an owner’s portfolio, or you might have shorter lease terms with flex arrangements, but I see flex being more of a driver than coworking going forward.
Jesse (33m 12s): Just the, the point on retail, you know, mentioned us, not surprising overbuilt Canada, a little bit more European, but still overbuilt. Do you buy into this idea that there’s going to be that creative destruction through, you know, repurposing, you know, older sites into either industrial or residential over the, maybe even the mid to long-term for those assets? Yes,
Mark (33m 35s): Because you have to, there’s a change there, there, there there’s a change because the fundamentals changed and how we distribute retail properties. And again, I’m just oversimplifying rather than going into the details, but retailers can still grow. Our retailer is going to take more showroom space or are they going to potentially increase their actual square footage, your real estate, but it’d be less showroom space, more distribution and fulfillment space that does look like it will occur.
I think that’s a transition and yes, for obsolete retail, B and C malls retail, that’s just not placed well for the demographic regions sitting in. Those will need to be repurposed and, you know, life sciences, storage, multi res, they’re all fulfillment. These are all possibilities and really smart developers or developers are out there working on this
Jesse (34m 45s): Right on. So in terms of the last time we’ve had a, you know, a technical recession, whether oh 8 0 9, there was a fundamental difference in that there wasn’t capital available than there seems to be capital available today. It seems we see it on the side, on the industrial side. So all these asset classes have to play within this broader economy. What are your thoughts on, you know, we’re where rates are right now and keeping them as low as, as they currently are necessity or, or something that we gotta look out, look up
Mark (35m 19s): As, you know, interest rates, having a material impact on, on the real estate industry. I wish we were in to, you know, 2022 already. You know, I know everybody wanted to get out of 2020, but there’s equal and equal need to get out of 2021. You’re seeing year over year numbers that are significantly above the 2020 numbers. Of course they were, there was a pandemic. We shut everything down in a 20, 20, some places around the world were still shut down in 2021.
When you see the soundbites, the blips, the media clips of inflation out of control, GDP up five, 6% producer prices, more than we’ve ever seen. Well, yes, those are year over year numbers. Of course they were. We were down because we saw on the downside numbers we had never seen before in 2020. I think once you get to 20, 22 and 2023, you’ll see that there is virtually no reason for interest rates to go up.
And it’s not just because governments. Well, first of all, governments are going to be hard pressed to raise interest rates based on the amount of debt that has been pushed out there. The amount of liquidity that is in the system is certainly the most I’ve ever seen in my 36 years. But I also don’t believe that after you get past the comparisons of a year, that businesses were shut down as opposed to a year, you know, a year where things open.
It doesn’t really look that post that period that there’s a ton of inflationary pressures after that. So I’m sure people will take the other side of that discussion, but I’m feeling pretty good that once we get past the initial stage of the, you know, looking at numbers that are big and surprising, which quite frankly, they are big, but they shouldn’t be surprising that we will start to see that we are just not sitting in a terribly inflationary period of time.
And that will vote very, very well for, you know, for low interest rates and for alternative investments in the yields that they produce. So, which real estate is one of those
Jesse (37m 50s): Positive for us. I want to be mindful of the time mark, talk a little bit about, you know, what the future holds for Avis and young. But before we do, I just want to briefly ask you your thoughts on mentorship right now, and, and in the context of young people coming into our industry or any other industry for that matter, I can only imagine coming out of school at this time and, and trying to navigate, you know, what you’re doing in your career, what are your thoughts on that and what people should be doing?
You know, if they’re not already and you
Mark (38m 22s): Know what, you know, again, I’m almost sad that you’re asking about is this a period of time that we should have more mentorship? I had the benefit of having a great mentor, one of the most people in the finance industry, and he was instrumental in my career and I have paid that forward ever since, even to this day, I have, I believe 16 or 17 active mentees right now, there are people who are friends and mentees who were working for competitors that I still help out.
And I’m always there for them. And obviously industry wide, you know, I’ve been involved with most of the organizations and their mentorship programs. So I think they should always have been there. And it shouldn’t be a question whether folks should have vermin, you know, you know, a mentor program or not, Avison young, clearly has one. We believe in it. Mentorship of all mentor mentee relationships are, are part of our culture, our women’s network.
You know, you know, we focus on making sure that both for gender and racial diversity, that there are mentors in place for, for everyone. You could not be doing more for your people. If you’re, you know, owner and occupier, a service provider, you could not be doing more than to actually mentor your people. There’s a period of time where the adage that people know what they know, and they don’t know what they don’t know needs to be filled in by mentors that can help people, particularly through anxious periods of the subtleties, the verbals and the non-verbals to pick up during a period of dislocation.
And there are many people who have forgotten more than others know. And I just think that again, if you weren’t doing it decades ago, you should be doing it now because to your point, there is no greater time than a period of uncertainty for those with experience. And those who are, who will commit to mentor, not just be named a mentor, but actually commit to doing what you need to do to mentor somebody and get the mentee to commit as well.
It is the greatest growth driver for a person’s development and their ultimate career success.
Jesse (40m 60s): Yeah, couldn’t agree more. All right, mark. Well, we’re kind of wrapping up here. If there’s anything you want to just add here from Avison young Avison, Young’s vantage point things on the horizon that you want people to know about, you know, what, what is the world at AYA having store, you know, for those in our industry and abroad?
Mark (41m 20s): Well, you know, Jesse, we’ve been very good of not necessarily telling anybody what it is that we’re doing. We just do it. You know, everything we do is per strategy. There was a strategy built on the day we started in 2008, launching this growth plan into the teeth of the recession. There have been updates to the strategies, you know, over and over again. And I would just say, watch for more of the same from us, we still believe that there are regions that we need to expand our platform into.
There are service lines that we need to continue to fill in. If there are any gaps anywhere around the world, we are very excited about things like working with impact, which was a company started by Nelson Mandela and their commercial real estate division is now part of Avis and young in South Africa. So we’ve now brought ourselves sub Sahara and to go along with the north American and the European businesses or offices and soul, you’ll see us expand throughout Asia.
But the focus for us is very clear. Our clients are demanding value. They will pay for value. They’ll pay slightly less for commodity and consulting led and tech led approaches to solving the needs of our clients that are embedded in a people solutions business. It’s been very clear what our clients want and we are going to do to deliver the data and the solutions that support the action items to then overachieve the objectives of our clients.
That’s what you can be looking for. Okay. And so there’s a lot more of everything you’ve seen us do. There’s a lot more of a kind of
Jesse (43m 19s): My guest today has been Mark Rose, mark. Thanks for being part of working capital,
Mark (43m 24s): Jesse. Great to be here with you and thanks for doing this.
Jesse (43m 37s): Thank you so much for listening to working capital the real estate podcast. I’m your host, Jesse for galley. If you liked the episode, head on to iTunes and leave us a five star review and share on social media, it really helps us out. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram, Jesse F R a G a L E, have a good one take care.