Sponsor Spotlight: Nicola Wealth Real Estate

Friday, Apr 5, 2024

We're running a series to highlight and learn more about our CREW Vancouver Sponsors. We asked them a few questions so we can get to know them better.


We'd like to thank one of our Diamond Sponsors, Nicola Wealth Real Estate.


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In what ways does your company support the advancement and empowerment of women in the commercial real estate industry? 

Nicola Wealth Real Estate (NWRE) has been a diamond sponsor of CREW since 2020. All team members, from entry level to executive level, are encouraged to join CREW, volunteer, and attend events to build connections with other women in the Commercial Real Estate industry. Several NWRE team members have been and continue to be actively involved in CREW. Past involvement by our team members includes serving on the board of directors, leading the mentorship program, and speaking at CREW conventions. NWRE team members continue their engagement with CREW through volunteering at events and serving as committee members.

Nicola Wealth strongly supports empowering women in their careers, and the firm’s Women’s LEAD platform is a testament to this. Launched in 2022, this initiative elevates the stories of inspiring female role models, including several women on the Real Estate team. At least 40 % of Nicola Wealth’s senior leadership team are women and within the Real Estate team, women are well represented in leadership roles. We are proud that NWRE’s Finance, Asset Management and Leasing teams are all lead by women.

Can you highlight a recent development project your company has been involved in that has had a significant impact on the local community or economy?

In our portfolio, we are always looking at opportunities to contribute to the community and work on a great cause. One project we would like to highlight is 858 Ellis Street & 399 Bay Avenue, Kelowna. This project is in the Nicola Value-Add Real Estate LP and was acquired in 2022 with a strategy to redevelop under Kelowna’s North End Neighbourhood Plan. The 3.99-acre site is improved with a 89,000 sf industrial building. While we go through the entitlement process, we arranged to lease the building to BC Housing as temporary shelter for people experiencing homelessness. Now called the Bay Avenue Community Shelter, the facility provides guests with individual sleeping pods along with shared washrooms, storage space and other amenities.

In an ever-changing landscape, what excites you most about the potential for innovation and advancement in the commercial real estate industry, whether in design, sustainability or technology? 

From a sustainability perspective, there are so many avenues of potential for commercial real estate and opportunities for collaboration. Within our portfolio we have been able to involve team members from our asset management, development, debt, and investments teams to work together on making sustainability a key facet of our decision-making.

Since our portfolio spans multiple markets in both the U.S. and Canada, we are seeing in real time how various municipalities are thinking about sustainability and then taking those approaches and using them to inform our go-forward strategies.  We are getting to trial innovative technologies, revise our design standards, look at creative solutions to reimagine legacy buildings and beyond.

One of the benefits of being involved in CREW is the access to the broader network.  Liz has joined CREW Network’s ESG Council and has already been able to leverage the connections made there to benefit our broader portfolio.

Could you share a story or example of a woman in your company who has benefited from her involvement with CREW Vancouver, and how has this experience contributed to her professional growth and development within the commercial real estate industry?

Vicky Hou from the asset management team at Nicola Wealth Real Estate joined CREW Vancouver four years ago and is currently in her third year as a volunteer. Vicky’s experience in CREW allowed her to expand her network and develop professionally both inside and outside of the office. She participated in the mentorship program and was able to build valuable relationships with like-minded women in the industry. Last year, Vicky was one of the two recipients of the CREW Vancouver scholarship to attend the CREW Convention in Atlanta. She was able to represent CREW Vancouver and Nicola Wealth Real Estate, and support her colleagues, Liz Firer-Gillespie and Stephanie Marshall, who were speakers at the convention.


Thank you to all of our sponsors who support CREW Vancouver. If you'd like to become a sponsor, visit our Sponsorship page for more information.