Myah Ollek – Fresh Perspectives: CBRE's Emerging Leaders
September 7, 2022 3 Minute Read
Most children harbour fantastical ideas for their future careers –you’d be hard-pressed to find a kindergarten classroom without at least one superhero hopeful. But CBRE’s Myah Ollek has always listed broker as her dream job.
Ollek’s commercial real estate career began in 2015 when she joined CBRE the Vancouver National Investment Team as a summer intern. Upon graduating from Western University in 2017, she accepted a Research Analyst position in the Toronto Downtown office. Within a year she had transitioned into the role of Sales Representative, Office Leasing.
Outgoing and captivating, Ollek has quickly made a name for herself as a leader in the Toronto real estate community. The 2022 winner of CBRE's National Emerging Leader Award, Myah is actively involved in the CBRE Mentorship Program, CBRE Women’s Network and sits on Toronto CREW’s Community Outreach Committee.
We spoke to Ollek about the best career advice she’s received, the tips she has for other young people in the industry, and what excites her about commercial real estate in Toronto.
What excites you about commercial real estate in Toronto?
I’ve always been inspired by Toronto’s evolving commercial real estate market. Since moving to Toronto, I’ve watched the skyline of the city erupt with new developments. This is just the start of the city’s evolution. It really inspires me everyday.
If you could go back in time to your first day of work, what advice would you give yourself?
Just relax and enjoy the journey. Every day is different and comes with different challenges, but that’s what keeps the job exciting and why we keep fighting the good fight. Just remember to do it with a smile because it really makes a world of difference.
Can you talk about a mentor you’ve had and how they helped you?
One mentor that has truly helped shape my career is my dad, Gurch Ollek. He’s been an industrial broker with CBRE in Vancouver since 1985. From talking through difficult transactions or listening to me practice a pitch, I honestly wouldn’t be the broker I am today without his and my family’s love and support.
What’s the most surprising thing you learned early on in your career?
Something that I learned early on in my career is how willing people are to help others. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone to ask a question or to go for a coffee. People in our industry, including myself, are willing to connect and support one another. You just have to reach out and ask.
How is your perspective unique and helpful to clients?
By taking a true client-first approach, my perspective is helpful because I truly view myself as an advisor. I look at every decision as if it were my own money that I’m spending. I think that really allows me to be the advisor that my clients are looking for.
What are the biggest challenges facing young people looking to get started in commercial real estate?
I think just mustering up the confidence to pick up the phone for the first time. Taking that first leap or asking that first question can be difficult.
How do you support other young people in this business?
One initiative that I’m honoured to be a part of is the CBRE Academy Committee. The committee was created to put forward unique business development programs that are focused on our Under 7 brokers. It really helps foster the development of our brokerage team.
Do you have some tips for others who are just starting their commercial real estate career?
My advice would be, as simple as it sounds, put in the hard work. Say yes to everything. Focus on being excellent at one thing, and do it really, really well. And don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions because you often gain the most from them.
CBRE’s National Investment Team has won Real Estate Deal of the Year at the Best Ottawa Business Awards (BOBAs) for its $277 million sale of 160 Elgin Street, Canada’s biggest office deal of 2023.
Interest rates are up and commercial property sales have slowed. Lenders are responding to new economic realities by shifting capital away from properties seen to have a higher risk, especially speculative land purchases and certain office assets.
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