A unique all-female commercial real estate brokerage has been launched in Calgary.
Scout Real Estate was created from the vision of Lori Suba, president and broker, Laurae Spindler, vice-president and associate, and Eve Renaud, retail advisor and associate, who are all veterans of the industry in Calgary.
“We all have a very similar approach in how we do business. We really saw an opportunity right now to join forces and offer kind of a unique offering to the brokerage community,” said Suba. “We’re very relationship-based in terms of how we approach real estate. . . I would say relationship-based real estate versus transaction-based real estate.
“So we really strive to develop and maintain longstanding relationships with our clients. We’re very similar in terms of our mindset with respect to that.”
Each of the trio comes from a somewhat different background in the commercial real estate industry. Suba’s experience has focused on office, Spindler on industrial and Renaud on retail.
“I think relationships are so important in real estate, because with relationships we’re able to dive perhaps sometimes a little deeper in truly understanding what our clients’ needs might be and getting to the root of what they’re after, or what they want to achieve,” said Suba.
“So, having those relationships where we can have very open and collaborative conversations can really allow us to uncover opportunities that we might not normally uncover on the surface.
“The gender piece wasn’t the driving factor, but certainly it’s unique in the market.”
All involved with CREW Calgary
All three have been involved with the Calgary Chapter of CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women), a networking organization for women in the industry.
Suba has more than 17 years of commercial leasing expertise. She began her career as a commercial real estate broker in 2003 at a boutique real estate firm in Calgary, acting exclusively in a tenant advisory capacity.
She then joined the downtown office leasing team at CBRE in 2013. Following CBRE, Suba served as leasing director for a private landlord/developer. She is a past president of CREW.
Spindler began her career in 2007 with a boutique real estate firm in Calgary, specializing in the industrial asset class.
In 2010, she joined the landlord side of the business, working with two national institutional landlords including a publicly traded REIT and most recently a private developer of AAA-class industrial product on behalf of pension fund owners.
Since 2007, she has negotiated over 450 lease and sale transactions ranging from 1,500 to 416,000 square feet.
Currently she is the 2020 chair of the mentorship committee of CREW Calgary.
Renaud is vice-president of Rencor Developments Inc., a privately held development company specializing in retail developments in Western Canada.
She is currently involved in the development, leasing and operations of new projects such as Edgefield Place in Strathmore and Bingham Crossing in Rocky View County.
She has nearly 20 years experience in the retail industry and has worked for major landlords such as Cadillac Fairview, 20 Vic Management Inc. and Ivanhoe Cambridge.
She has worked at regional shopping centres throughout Western Canada, including Metropolis at Metrotown, Chinook Centre and the CORE shopping centre.
Renaud is also a past president of CREW.
“Unique background” for Scout’s founders
“What’s unique in terms of our offering, apart from just obviously that we’re women, but we have a very unique background. A lot of times brokers are just brokers or have only just worked on the brokerage side,” said Suba.
“What’s unique for the three of us is we all have worked on the landlord side. We’ve got exposure to the development side, operations. We’ve had experience in asset management for all the asset classes.
“So really, when we’re talking about some of the differentiators, those are some of the big drivers for us. We’ve got experience from all angles.”
The name Scout Real Estate came to Suba out of the blue. Scout means multiple things including finding and sourcing a solution which real estate people regularly do for their clients. It also is a bit of an outlier – ahead of the pack.
“And that’s how we like to think of ourselves as well,” added Suba. “We’re sort of charging forward ahead of the pack and maybe doing things a little bit differently than what they’ve been done in the past.”
Scout Real Estate was established during a tough economic time as Calgary struggles with the impact of a low oil price environment and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s an interesting time. While there’s certainly parts of different sectors that are struggling, we do see some opportunities as well,” Suba said. “Certainly we’re quite active on the industrial side in terms of small-bay, flex space. That seems to be quite active.
“We’re active in supporting office users that are contemplating what their world looks like in light of COVID and what that requirement is going to be going forward. We also think that we see opportunities across all asset classes – just in different ways.”