Carla Woodward, Vice President, Real Estate & Construction Services, RBC
Carla Woodward, VP, Real Estate Markets, Edmonton and Northern Alberta at RBC. I lead a team of five Directors and three Financing Specialists who provide financial services and advice to owners of income producing properties, developers, and homebuilders. I have been a banker since 1990 and have worked with clients in many industries, with a focus primarily on CRE the last 12 years.
What originally drew you to CREW? Can you share with us a few things you have learned or gained since joining?
I joined CREW about 5 years ago at the suggestion of a past president of the Edmonton chapter who told me about the opportunities to meet and network with other women in CRE in Edmonton. Learnings include: the importance of mentorship as it can help encourage women in CRE to set ambitious goals and build confidence in their ability to succeed in a competitive and dynamic industry; the education events are always informative and I try not to miss them for both learning and networking opportunities; the annual CREW Convention is an outstanding professional development event and a great way to get to know a diverse group of CRE professionals across North America but especially the other Edmonton delegates.
What are your favourite aspects of your job? Can you share what motivates your success and drive?
The work itself is my favorite part: I still really love the challenge of working with a team of colleagues at RBC and with our clients on a complex financing and arriving at a lending structure that is a win-win for the client, the bank and the community. It is rewarding to drive by a property that RBC financed and see the tangible outcome of what is often months of hard work and negotiation. Ultimately, it's gratifying to contribute to the success of our clients and the community. Regarding the motivation for my success and drive, I would say it really comes down to curiosity and a love of continuous learning. The CRE industry is fascinating and there is always a new challenge to tackle and learn from in the process.
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 was drawn to CRE because the entrepreneurial, innovative, and community spirit of the people working in the industry is energizing and inspiring.
My advice to someone new to the industry is to build your competencies and capabilities through learning and networking, be bold in setting ambitious goals for your career, and focus on how the real estate deals and projects you are involved in you can contribute to building thriving communities where people will want to live and work.