Joanna Grant – Fresh Perspectives: CBRE's Emerging Leaders

22 mar. 2022 3 Consumo de tiempo Read

Bridge to Calgary Commercial Real Estate

This profile is part of a series highlighting CBRE’s Emerging Leaders. The company’s best and brightest young talents share insights and perspectives on the challenges and opportunities that come with building a career in commercial real estate.

Joanna Grant radiates compassion. As a sales representative on CBRE’s Calgary Retail Services Team, she always puts herself in a client’s shoes and approaches each relationship as a long-term investment.

As a young leader, she takes care to listen and guide her peers, both personally and professionally. Whether they need “an ear or a beer,” Grant is there to help.

In the two and a half years she’s been with CBRE, the Halifax native has built a reputation for reliable service amongst clients and colleagues alike. Highly ambitious, Grant knows the value of patience and persistence in this industry.

We spoke to her about the biggest challenges facing young people in commercial real estate, what excites her about Calgary’s retail market, and the best career advice she’s received.


What inspires you about the retail market in Calgary?

Over the last two years I’ve been really inspired by the entrepreneurialism that our local business operators have shown. It would have been so easy for them to just throw in the towel and go on to something that’s easier or less stressful. But it’s been really impressive to see these entrepreneurs continue to fight and pivot every day.

What is the best advice you’ve received since you started your commercial real estate career?

The one piece of advice that sticks with me the most is “find your people.” It was said to me early on in my career and I’ve said it to a lot of people who are just starting out, too.

The brokers, tenants, landlords, and developers you operate with every day: that’s your world. Whether you resonate with the people in industrial or retail, it doesn’t matter. Find those people you want to see and talk to everyday. Find them and stick with them.

Stay curious, stay interested, and have some tenacity and initiative in your work. Success will follow. - Joanna Grant

What’s the most surprising thing you learned early on in your career?

The importance of patience. A lot of the advice you get in your first five years is “work hard and be patient.” When you’re an ambitious person, which is common in this business, that can be frustrating to hear. But if you stay focused and keep putting one foot in front of the other, you will find that success.

How is your perspective unique and helpful to clients?

When I’m working with clients, whether a landlord or a tenant, I always keep their opinions and their concerns at the front of my mind. I align myself with their values. It’s not just check in, check out. You need to be thoughtful – these are long-term relationships.

See this related article FRESH PERSPECTIVES   Emerging Leader- Sarah Henderson

What are the biggest challenges facing young people looking to get started in CRE?

I think you need to just start somewhere. There isn’t a rule book or a roadmap for brokerage. You have to begin.

When you look at people who have been in this business for 20 or 30 years, who have so much knowledge and success, it can be intimidating. But it’s important to remember that they’ve spent their entire careers building those relationships and that expertise. They were in your position one day. So, the only thing you can do to get there is start.

What excites you most about the future of commercial real estate?

That it’s evolving. We can sit here and talk about all the things that could happen tomorrow or next year, but we don’t know. We have a general understanding of how consumers access their goods and services today. Tenants are getting creative with instore shopping, so the outing is an experience that is substantially different to shopping online. But how will the comfort of e-commerce and the continued development of technologies in their infancy stage impact retailers in 10 years time? I don’t know. I think that unknown is probably the most exciting part of it. Evolution drives new ideas and opportunities.

Do you have some tips for others who are just starting their commercial real estate career?

Stay curious, stay interested, and have some tenacity and initiative in your work. Success will follow. And be patient. Sometimes the best version of yourself is the one who is more careful and takes their time.

See this related article FRESH PERSPECTIVES   Emerging Leader- Kai Tai Li

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