Celebrating Women’s History Month: Vanessa Magnuson

by | 07 March 2019

This Q&A series celebrates Women’s History Month and the dynamic and inspiring women of Colliers, who discuss advice, accomplishments, the importance of inclusivity and more.

What advice would you give to women new to the commercial real estate industry?

Dive in head first and run with the opportunities that come your way! Be confident, hold your head up high and own your role. Mistakes happen and when they do, we learn from them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, always ask questions when you may not be sure about something—no question is a stupid question.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

My proudest accomplishment so far is where I am now in this industry. Not knowing what property management was, I ended up with a summer job in high school working at boutique firm doing clerical work. This turned into my after school job and I ended up leaving after graduation. A couple years later, I was working in an office building that just so happened to be managed by the company I previously worked for. I called in to request service and was asked if I wanted to come back to work as the receptionist. 15 years later, I had worked my way up to earning the position of property manager and obtained my RPA designation. A couple years after joining Colliers, I became a CPM candidate and was promoted to senior property manager!

Who is a woman you greatly admire and why?

One woman I greatly admire is my stepmom, Dale. Growing up, I did not have a strong female role model in my life, and Dale filled that void. She encouraged me to always do the best I could, try new things and reminded me that if I failed at something to try again. She was the support system I needed to make myself believe I could be who she already knew I was. To this day, I strive to make her proud as a way of showing her how thankful I am for all she did and still does for me.

How have you helped to foster an inclusive environment here at Colliers?

In our world of property management, working as a team is how we are the most successful. It is important to me on a daily basis to say good morning to everyone in our office and start the day on a positive level. Something this simple can go a long way. When I receive praise for something that was done, I share it with my team and remind them that it was us that earned this—not just me. If there was a mistake made, I look at the situation from all angles to determine what happened and how we can learn from this. I’m also a personable person, I enjoy getting to know those I work with and establishing both a professional and personal relationship. By doing this, I find people are more comfortable with me as well and we learn about each other, our strengths and weaknesses, and we build the trust that is needed to be able to really communicate with the other.

What inspires you?

My team! They are my support system—without them I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. Behind every property manager is a rock star team. I can honestly say I have that rock star team, and I try to remind them of that every chance I get!

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