Membership Spotlight: Jennica Palecek

Wednesday, Mar 29, 2023

Jennica Palecek

Jennica PalecekJennica Palecek is a Commercial Real Estate Advisor on the leading office sales and leasing team across Canada at Colliers International. During her tenure she's been nominated for CREW's Rising Star Award, Colliers' Rising Star Award, and Colliers' EDI Award. She actively sits on panels with tech and VC firms (Plug n Play, Silicon Valley’s most active VC), local media firms (Business in Vancouver), and global design firms (M Moser). Constantly learning, she's authored six whitepapers on real estate which have been presented to global professional service firms and leads the National Young Advisors Council where her and the team actively meet with developers, clients, and leading real estate professionals to bring unique insights to their clients. 

Jennica, thank you for being our Member Spotlight! Can you tell us how you first became involved with CREW Vancouver, and what inspired you to join the organization? Can you speak to the importance of organizations like CREW in promoting diversity and inclusion in the industry, and what progress have you seen in this area?

I first became involved in CREW Vancouver during my first full year in Brokerage (2021). There are so many reasons to get involved with CREW – I wanted to connect with other women in the industry, learn about other facets of commercial real estate, and of course, where I can, support other women. I’ve had countless mentors over the years who believed in me, which allowed me to push myself further than I potentially would’ve otherwise. I always hope that I can be that for someone else and make a conscious effort to invest time into this. There’s been tons of change, but of course, like anything, change takes time. For me personally, I’ve met my mentor, Elissa Dabiri, through CREW, and to this day, she’s been my sounding board.

As a Commercial Real Estate Advisor at Colliers International, what do you find most challenging and rewarding about your job? Covid has certainly had an impact on office sales and leasing, what developments or trends do you see on the horizon that have you particularly optimistic about the future of office leasing and sales?

The most rewarding part, for me, is feeling as if I’m part of something bigger than a transaction, like supporting a global company relocating to Vancouver, helping a startup founder as they expand operations, or simply turning a cold relationship into one of deep trust and loyalty. The most challenging part is the uncertainty that can come with it, deals fall apart and plans change, such is life, so learning how to “go with the flow” (not the most natural thing for a slightly neurotic person like me, ha!). Most clients are looking for high-quality spaces that are centrally located to transit to attract talent and reduce any barriers to getting to the office (like long commute times).

You have been nominated for several awards throughout your career, including CREW's Rising Star Award. What do you think has contributed to your success, and what advice would you give to others looking to advance in their careers in commercial real estate?

It was such an honour to be nominated (especially during my first full year in brokerage), by peers that I look up to, and even some clients. I still have lots of things I’d like to achieve and a long way to go, but so far, what’s worked for me, is putting yourself in uncomfortable positions, being authentic and consistent, remembering your “why”, and always looking at things from a long-term perspective. They’re all equally important but the last two are something to remember when pursuing bigger goals. Good things take time and great things take time and strategy. If it was easy, everyone would do it and life would be boring.

Finally, what keeps you energized and fulfilled outside the office and how do you make time for these pursuits?

I know this sounds like an interview answer, but it’s the truth. I love serving on Boards - being able to work with people from different backgrounds who are “like-hearted” fills my cup and energizes me. It also helps me remember what’s most important in life – my impact on the world and those around you. For fun, I love travelling to exotic places, Pilates, or spending time with loved ones (preferably with an Aperol Spritz on a patio).