Human beings: The cornerstone of real estate projects
Seated around the table are six women who handle commercial real estate deals at Richter.
The topic of discussion? Identify the trend that currently defines the sector. Despite their different backgrounds and expertise, they are unanimous: in 2019, it’s the client experience that takes precedence. A meeting with women who are passionate about real estate and who put human relationships at the heart of their practice.
According to the six women, the client experience in commercial real estate is what really counts. “Rapidly evolving client needs and demands today are definitely changing the picture,” says Stéphanie Lincourt, a partner at Richter. “All asset categories have to be redefined. Whether it’s hotels, retail stores, office towers or condominiums, developers and managers are innovating to meet their clients’ expectations in terms of social responsibility and the environment, but also technology, which is now an integral part of everyone’s lifestyle.”
Real estate, a shared passion
It was through their professional practices at Richter, where business clients and their projects are guided from beginning to end, that the six women first came into contact with the real estate sector. “Given that the professional relationship goes on for many years, a real bond of trust develops with clients. In this way, we can actively participate in the success of their projects, which makes our practice dynamic,” explains Jenna Schwartz, a senior manager.
When asked about the outlook for growth in the commercial real estate sector, the six women agreed that the sector’s economic situation is promising. After an economically challenging period in the 1980s, the sector has been quietly rebuilding from the ground up in such a way that, today, it is strong and undergoing a dramatic renewal. “It’s invigorating to have a ringside seat and see the excitement. Today, real estate development is having a positive impact on people’s lives. The projects are innovative and increasingly focused on the needs of local communities,” says Katherine Borsellino, also a senior manager.
Women and real estate
Is there room for women in the real estate industry? Without hesitation, all six say yes. Furthermore, Maude Lavoie, a Vice President at Richter and the treasurer of CREW M, tells a story that speaks volumes: “Our professional relationships are based on collaboration. We inspire one another and help each other to develop our potential to the fullest. It was during Stéphanie’s maternity leave that I first worked in real estate. Thanks to her, I discovered a real passion!”
Maude Lavoie recommends that women who would like to make their mark in the industry get involved to create a network of contacts, in particular by sitting on boards, and seize the professional opportunities that come their way. Stéphanie Lincourt adds: “In business as in life, people often work with partners who share their values. Getting involved in the business community helps people to establish new relationships, use their talents and demonstrate their work ethic. Therefore, it’s an investment in itself, as many professional opportunities arise thanks to the bonds of trust that have built up over time.”