Audrey Powell, Leasing Manager at Aspen Properties
I'm Audrey Powell, a Sahtu Dene ts'ekwi from Treaty 11 territory, currently working as the Leasing Manager for Aspen Properties in downtown Edmonton. I am responsible for leasing office and retail space in Bell Tower, MNP Tower, and the Annex, and helping to grow our brand in the Edmonton market. I've been in the commercial real estate industry for over 8 years, and a part of Edmonton CREW for 5 years.
When and how did you first get interested in the Commercial Real Estate Industry?
I was tumbling through my mid-20's after a long stint in the hospitality industry, and wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life. I fell into a role as a tenant coordinator with a large commercial property owner in the city, and started to learn about commercial real estate, including all the opportunity and potential that exists. I was hooked. I knew I wanted to transact but wasn't sure how to get there, however was certain that was what I wanted to do.
What was your path to where you are now?
From my stint in property management, I got a role with an international brokerage for 3.5 years, and continued my learning and development. During that time, I became licensed to trade and was grateful to work with an experienced and busy team, but continued to search for my place in CRE. I was lucky enough to find and secure my dream role with Aspen Properties in early 2020, and haven't looked back since.
If you were asked to give one piece of career advice to someone entering the commercial real estate sector, what would it be and how has this guidance helped your career?
Build your network and reputation! This is a people business, and developing relationships within the industry is so vitally important as you're starting out. Take the time to meet and connect with your peers outside of your company (or with the company you want to work with), and look for ways to get involved. Create those opportunities for yourself, and be bold and clear about what you want, and what you're willing to accept or not - the industry rewards those with initiative and drive who go after what they want. All of this said, stay true to who you really are - being genuine and honest is key to those relationships.
How has CREW affected your professional career? Has it changed your business and personal relationships in the Commercial Real Estate Industry?
CREW has been absolutely critical to my career in CRE so far for a multitude of reasons, but the greatest being the powerful support it offers to those who partake. In CREW, I found a network of people who wanted to see me succeed in an industry that hasn't always been welcoming to women or people of color, and the support and mentorship I craved. I have developed strong relationships with wonderful women all over our industry, and been empowered to put my hand up for more opportunities, development, and growth.
Share the top reason(s) you would encourage a member of the Commercial Real Estate Industry to get involved with CREW.
CREW is an incredible network of like-minded people working in our industry, and who want nothing more than to see each other succeed. It is vital to build your network with a wide variety of people when starting out in CRE, and I believe CREW truly is a "safe space" from which one can grow. It's important that if you do join, you lean in and drink the "CREW-laid" - join a committee, come to events, and connect with your fellow members to learn more about them and what they do over lunches and coffee. You never know where those connections can lead you!
BONUS: Share an interesting or little-known fact about yourself?
I love to speak Spanish and am learning French (and need practice with both, so don’t be shy); I also completed by first triathlon this past summer and loved every second. I will be an Ironman in the next three years!