Shane Asbell, Partner, Office Leasing & Sales, Cushman & Wakefield Edmonton
I specialize in office leasing and sales at Cushman & Wakefield. I'm a Partner that works closely with 2 other associates in my team and with 7 other associates in the office division. We are mainly tenant representatives helping our clients renew, relocate, and or on occasion purchase an office building. We also assist Landlords and Vendors and list their properties for lease and sale, however, it represents about 30-35% of our teams' annual average production. I started with J.J. Barnicke in 1998 and our partnership acquired Royal LePage Commercial and re-branded as Cushman & Wakefield Edmonton in 2007.
What originally drew you to CREW? Can you share with us a few things you have learned or gained since joining?
I wanted to support my sales assistant, Alyse Pascoe, who at the time was instrumental in helping get CREW Edmonton established. I've gained many insights since I've joined including the importance of teamwork, networking, always be open to learning, and just the importance of really supporting women in our industry. CRE is still far too much of "an old boys club" and while it is improving, the pace of change is very slow but organizations like CREW are making a big difference and are invaluable in contributing to gender equity in the workforce and in society at large.
What are your favourite aspects of your job? Can you share what motivates your success and drive?
I love many aspects of my job from meeting new people on a regular basis, to learning about their businesses and helping to reduce tension points in a company's office situation, and/or assisting a business owner in helping her realize her goal of buying a building to house her new office. I get a lot of satisfaction when my phone rings or I receive an unsolicited email from a decision maker saying that their friend, lawyer, or accountant referred me because they have a lease expiring in 6-12 months and need help.
What originally drew you to the CRE industry? What advice do you have for someone who is looking for, or is new to, a career in CRE?
My step-mom's brother-in-law was a Partner at J.J. Barnicke and was looking for a sales assistant. Advice is simple - have a positive outlook, an attitude of gratitude, work really hard, and be willing to always learn, put yourself in your clients shoes, and lastly get out of your comfort zone. We only truly grow, develop, and improve when we challenge ourselves or I suppose are challenged...and given the Pandemic and enduring recession in Alberta, it's not too difficult to get out of ones comfort zone.
Our industry has seen a big shift with the ongoing pandemic. What tips do you have for staying connected to clients and colleagues at this time?
Pick up the phone and an good old fashioned (maybe because I'm getting Grey and long in the tooth) conversation will help you connect with clients and colleagues; Book lunch/coffee meetings over Zoom, Teams, FaceTime etc. as if you were going for lunch and lastly send random emails just asking about your contacts and how their families are doing; Or send an interesting, noteworthy article or book suggestion that isn't related to CRE or about the upcoming lease expiry :) People really appreciate that you thought of them and that you weren't looking for anything in exchange.
What is the best piece of career or life advice you have received?
My former mentor, Dennis Herbut, stressed be honest, work hard, do what's in your clients best interest, and the money will follow. Sound advice especially for a commission earning sales professional. The key is to become your clients trusted advisor.
Outside of work, what hobbies are you passionate about? How do you make sure you maintain time to enjoy them while balancing work and home life?
I'm a weekend warrior and play hockey in the winter and slow pitch in the summer. My wife, Rebecca, and I followed our kids and took up competitive tap dance about a decade ago, and while we are not very good, we have a lot of fun. It's difficult striking a good work and home life balance especially early in ones career but it's so very important. I try not to do too much work on the weekends and in addition to athletics, enjoy reading and get out for family walks with our dogs daily.