Member Spotlight: Curtis Stephen Friesen

June 25, 2020

Curtis Stephen Friesen, B.Comm., Director of Sales, Synergy Group of Companies

What is your favourite thing about working in Commercial Real Estate?

I have been in the CRE industry for 9 years, and always valued the perspective it has given me to see the amount of effort hiding in plain sight. Where a lot of people will see a building or a storefront, people in this industry see design elements and appreciate what goes into that building actually existing. The commercial world is powered by amazingly talented people across multiple disciplines that come together and commit to the delivery of a common goal. Despite the chaos that it can feel like, there is something pretty powerful about that.

When I first started in brokerage at Avison Young they asked “so what do you know about commercial real estate?” and I answered “I know you don’t sell houses, but I can’t actually say everything you do but I know I would love to work here.”  After 5 years in brokerage, I was proud to be able to see the impacts of the work I did there, understanding the history of a site and having a glimpse into the future of what it would or could be. I was able to do great work with great clients and industry partners, but also learned the value and importance of being able to do so; appreciating that not everyone gets so lucky.

In coming over to the Synergy Group of Companies, I was able to see that same approach in our organization very early on. I am fortunate in that I am continually connecting with great people (members of our team, as well as clients, designers, brokers, and more) to do great work with.

In what year did you join Edmonton CREW?  

The start of 2019.

Do you serve on any committees for Edmonton CREW? If yes, please tell us which one and what your role is there.

I do not as of yet, but am open to suggestions 😊

What are 3 reasons you would encourage a colleague to join CREW?

  1. Community – there are lots of networking groups, but I’ve witnessed that CREW members are really there for one another
  2. Connection – the members of CREW are vetted based on years of experience prior to acceptance, and I do think that raises the bar and calibre of the membership. I think we should continue to provide non-member events that open up connections to more people, but I appreciate the referral and application process of the organization.
  3. Intentionality – this somewhat connected back to 1 and 2, but in my mind, it rounds out the fact that because the membership cares, that care creates community and connection. That level of care rarely comes without an intentionality to follow through and create something.

What is your best CREW memory to-date?

The AGM panel at Ritchie Market. To see the calibre of leaders we have in our industry will always be inspiring. It was real talk with no bs, and was an engaging discussion to witness.

Finish this sentence: “I would like other CREW members to call me when…”

This one is harder to roll with the given sentence.

I enjoy connecting people, connecting with people, as well as ideation. If there’s someone I might know in the industry that I can introduce you to, you want to get to know me or the Group of Companies and what we do, or there’s an idea you want to bounce around and get a different perspective on, I’m all for that.

How are you positively adapting to the work-from-home and or work/life challenges presenting by Covid-19 and self-isolation measures?

The business development and sales world has definitely been impacted by COVID. The intentionality between every interaction is encouraging, but can also be draining as social events provide so many random collisions and natural occurring interactions that I’ve definitely missed over the last couple months.

That said, our company has implemented a lot of different measures and provided a lot of support in platforms and ways to interact with one another and clients in impactful and meaningful ways. One way I worked to gain a sense of ‘normalcy’ throughout was the have ‘social isolation lunches’ where I would Uber Eats a client something and Skip the Dishes something to myself from the same restaurant, and we would ‘have lunch’. Definitely a win during a weird time of life.