Membership Spotlight December 2022

Thursday, Dec 15, 2022

Membership Spotlight | Liz Firer-Gillespie, MBA

Liz Firer Gillespie

Liz joins us this month as our Member Spotlight and is an active CREW volunteer helping grow and foster the mentorship program. Liz holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and an MBA from the University of British Columbia and joined Nicola Wealth Real Estate (then Nicola Crosby) in 2013 and now oversees the asset management of their Canadian and U.S. assets. 

Liz, thank you for being our Member Spotlight!  What originally drew you to join the CREW network, and further, to volunteer? 

While I’ve been working in Vancouver since 2013, the majority of the assets I had been working on weren’t located in this market, so I felt like I hadn’t really developed a local network.  In 2019, I was talking to one of my colleagues about wanting to expand my network, and she convinced me to join CREW and it’s been such a great decision.  As for volunteering, I’ve been fortunate to have had a lot of people be incredibly gracious with their time and knowledge.  I certainly would not be where I am without their mentorship, so for me, it is important to share my time and experiences. 

You have had a very successful career at Nicola Wealth with continuous growth within the company, what advise do you have for other professionals looking to grow within their organization? 

I think curiosity and a willingness to learn and try new things is critical to success.  Real estate is an industry with so many facets, that even if you’ve picked your path, being interested in and willing to learn about what others do will serve you well in the long run- you’ll have better insight into what helps drive deals, incentives tenants, makes better teams, etc.  Over the past 9 years we’ve grown from a team of 6 to over 60 and added in a lot of subject matter experts.  It’s a lot easier to collaborate when you genuinely have interest in the people you work with and what their role is.

For those looking to get involved with the CREW mentorship program, what advice/resources do you recommend? 

My favorite thing about the mentorship program is the breadth of experiences and real estate roles that come together.  My recommendation is to reach out to as many participants as possible, even if they’re not working in the niche you are working in.  You never know what knowledge or experience they have that might come in incredibly useful at some time in the future.  Ultimately, real estate is a very relationship driven industry and having people you can reach out to when a question or need comes up is invaluable.   And, when you do go out for a coffee or drink with someone, before you leave always ask ‘is there anyone else you think I should meet?’.

What is a work or personal accomplishment that you are most proud of?

I’m most proud of my toddler- she just turned 4 and getting to see her personality develop and her imagination grow, it’s the most amazing thing.  Especially if it’s been a challenging time at work, coming home, she doesn’t care what I’ve done all day, she just wants to play silly games with me.  It’s a really good mental re-set to step into her make-believe world and remember what’s really important. 

Outside of work, what are some of your hobbies/passions?

I am an incredibly mediocre golfer, enthusiastic but sporadically motivated cyclist, increasingly cautious skier and an avid reader of ‘fluffy’ books where everyone ends up happy at the end.  Between work and family, free time is a precious commodity!