Jackie Fehr, Business and Financial Consulting, Jackie Fehr Professional Corporation
Hi, I’m Jackie Fehr (B.Com, CPA), a financial executive with over twenty five years of experience in the commercial real estate industry. I am currently working as a financial and business consultant. Previously, I was the CFO at a real estate investment company with diversified experience in financial and stakeholder reporting, financing, property acquisitions/divestitures, major change initiatives and more.
What originally drew you to CREW? Can you share with us a few things you have learned or gained since joining?
I was originally attracted to CREW to meet real estate professionals with diverse roles and to increase my network as I was a key facilitator within my company but had limited regular interaction with other real estate firms. With my previous company selling its assets and facing a major personal transition, I greatly appreciated the positive, cooperative spirit of CREW members and found the group to be a great resource with others having similar experiences. I also value the educational seminars to keep up with industry trends. In particular, online seminars and discussions facilitated by CREW around challenges managing properties during COVID-19 were really informational and helpful.
What are your favourite aspects of your job? Can you share what motivates your success and drive?
One of my favourite aspects of my job has always been having a diversified role where I am able to make contributions to all aspects of a company. I love having a role that ranges from financial reporting to transaction facilitation, strategic planning, process improvement, property management, and asset management. I have always been motivated by forming strong relationships with company stakeholders and always working to improve the company for its shareholders and staff.
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?
I never originally set out to work in CRE, but I began my career in an office that consulted for my previous real estate company. I noticed issues they were encountering in their property management operations and developed and presented potential solutions. I was given the opportunity to implement these solutions and my role continued to grow as I solved further problems and increased my education and experience. I continued to take on additional duties and eventually became the CFO. I enjoyed taking on new challenges. I would encourage anyone starting out in CRE or interested in CRE to take every opportunity presented to them and to share their talents.
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?
My biggest tip would be to organize as many virtual events as possible. I think it’s great to recreate experiences people are missing right now. People seem very willing to engage in these types of activities right now and are looking for ways to foster connections and community.
What is the best piece of career or life advice you have received?
A strong leader I worked for often said “two wrongs don’t make a right”. I think it’s really important to not react reflexively to problems, and to take the time to try and look objectively at what action is best of all parties involved. Acting too quickly to counteract a negative action with another negative action only complicates the situation. When you focus on actions that are the most reasonable for all parties in a situation you will feel good about your decisions when you look back.
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?
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family, going to the lake, and am really looking forward to travelling again. I have always found balancing my work and home life to be a challenge. There always seems to be a deadline or an important project that has to be done that makes me focus on work. I have learned to block off time in my calendar for personal time to ensure that it stays front of mind. Another benefit of CREW has been learning how other busy professionals maintain a work/life balance.