Member Spotlight: Vanessa Houliaras

September 1, 2021

Vanessa Houliaras, Mortgage Associate, Prairie Commercial Mortgage Corp. and Sponsorship Coordinator, Edmonton CREW​

Currently, I seek business development opportunities (mortgage origination), create financial packages for lenders, source competitive financing options, and facilitate funding. I also oversee aspects of RECA regulatory procedures. I have worked in CRE for 8 years with prior experience in accounting and project management software while working with finance teams.

What originally drew you to CREW? Can you share with us a few things you have learned or gained since joining?

A member, Natalia Pakin-Amer (Space Studio) introduced me to CREW and the benefits it has to offer. I have learned how important it is to surround yourself with influential and successful women that encourage you to go beyond your self-imposed limitations. I learned that not only do I participate in an organization that strives to network and create business opportunities, I also had the opportunity to help our community when coordinating CREW’s donation of 100 pajamas to E4C Womens Emergency Accommodation Centre. I am proud to assist on the Sponsorship Committee that is open to ideas of giving back to our community while doing business.

What are your favourite aspects of your job? Can you share what motivates your success and drive?

My favorite aspect of my job is business development, thereby connecting with people to understand their requirements and matching competitive financing solutions for their project. I also enjoy creating financial packages for lenders to initiate the ball rollin’ to the next stage. What motivates my success and drive is learning; each deal presents different challenges, which provides expansion of learning through innovative ways to structure financing to suit clients’ individual requirements.

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 originally drawn to the CRE industry through observing entrepreneurial and business-minded individuals collaborating with developers/investors in making their vision come to life with strategic planning and knowledgeable expertise.

My advice would be to interview people in the industry. Additionally, participate in a job shadow to experience the daily functions of a CRE career. In comparison to reading responsibilities listed in a job summary, job shadowing allows you to discern certain aspects that reflect your individual strengths more favorably in one position than another.

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?

A call to see how my clients or colleagues are doing, as well as a zoom call if they’re up for it. A coffee meetup for a walk in the River Valley has proved enjoyable to get out of the house as well.

What is the best piece of career or life advice you have received?

When setting a goal or task, give yourself a deadline and you will experience how disciplined you become to line up the cooperative components in making the goal happen in a specific time frame while proving personal accountability. No target, you end up wandering aimlessly.

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 am passionate about Kung Fu Martial Arts and Greek cultural dance. I maintain time to enjoy my interests by meeting family and friends to practice our shared hobbies together.

I enjoy walk/runs in the River Valley and I make sure to set aside 1-2 hours, 3 times a week to enjoy nature and get some exercise when gyms are closed.