At the core of Colliers are our people and their stories. We have a diverse group of talented experts each with a unique story and journey that has brought them to Colliers where they have continued to grow and reach new heights of success.
Amy Vuong, Vice President, Strategy, Real Estate Management Services Canada, is one of our team members who has designed a path for herself at Colliers that is uniquely her own. By staying true to her values and leading with confidence and an open mind in all her interactions with colleagues and clients, and in her approach to every project, Amy consistently creates new opportunities and identifies solutions. Discover her story.
Where others saw a closed door, Amy opened it:
While studying at Toronto’s Schulich School of Business, Amy was contemplating her next steps, but couldn’t see herself pursuing a finance or economics role. When marketing was presented as an option, it immediately felt like a fit. “The study of human behaviour and psychology appealed to me, and I liked how marketing also gave me the chance to really lean into my creative side and make that a daily practice,” reveals Amy. When she came across a job opportunity in Marketing for Colliers’ Brokerage group, she felt it was the right fit for her even though she wasn’t initially familiar with commercial real estate (CRE). “Growing up, I didn’t know anyone with a job in the corporate world, and I definitely didn’t have any connections at Colliers, but I had to trust myself to figure it out once I got my foot in the door,” she says.
Where others see a professional roadblock, Amy sees an opportunity to grow and make her mark:
After only three months at Colliers, Amy’s team experienced a sudden shakeup when her manager exited the company, leaving Amy and a team member without any direct marketing leadership.
Despite the unexpected turn of events, Amy saw this as an opportunity to have more input in building out a plan for the team going forward. “I felt the loss of coaching and expertise, especially so early on in my role, but the team also saw how it opened a door for us to take marketing in the direction we felt was best.”
With other members of the leadership team open to different approaches and new strategies, Amy was even further emboldened to use her marketing expertise in untraditional and previously untested ways to add value to client pitches.
A five-year-long successful career with the brokerage arm of the business gave Amy the experience and confidence to explore the next stage of her career. When an opportunity presented itself at Real Estate Management Services (REMS), Amy carefully considered the transition. “There’s a different rhythm to REMS and I was attracted to its national scope and completely different challenges that needed a longer-term strategic approach,” says Amy. Leaving the relative comfort of her role, team and a history of carefully crafted strategies felt like a daring step, but she felt confident pursuing the opportunity, knowing that she was stepping into a world of new possibilities.
Where others don’t see the next step, Amy carves out opportunities for herself and others:
After acting as Marketing Manager and Marketing Director at REMS for a total of eight years, Amy found herself contributing to and taking on more of the strategic direction for the group, which naturally positioned her for greater success. Having developed multiple strong relationships within the senior leadership team, she shared this prospective new role for herself and secured their feedback and support. When the time came to present the idea to her manager, she knew she had done everything under her control to present a vetted, creative solution that was mutually beneficial. “If, like me, you were raised to work hard, keep your head down and not ask for things, you have to put in the work to unlearn this and replace it with self-awareness, knowing your worth and speaking up,” Amy shares. “As it is for so many, it was initially challenging to figure out what the next chapter would be for me professionally and I can’t emphasize enough how important it was to have working relationships with a manager and team of peers who supported me in creating something new within Colliers.”
Knowing how challenging it can be for people to create new opportunities for themselves, Amy was acutely aware from the early days of her career at Colliers that there was great value in speaking up, whether for her own growth or to help others grow. She recognized that the subject of diversity was one that could especially benefit from added focus and care in the industry and she made a commitment to join the conversation and help build and promote a diversity and inclusion program at Colliers. She is now an active supporter of internal diversity programs, participating as both a mentor and a mentee in the Colliers mentorship program, and is also a committee member of BOMA Canada’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council. “What’s important in equity, diversity and inclusion today is leading with compassion and not making anyone feel uninformed or inadequate when they engage or ask questions,” says Amy. “More than anything, we have to keep the conversation going and be willing to have difficult discussions to be able to bring more opportunities to underrepresented groups in the industry.”
Where others have a limited perspective, Amy opens her eyes to imagining something different:
Amy rarely defines challenges as problems. Whenever faced with a challenge, she takes a step back and considers what the end goal is and which path is the best one to pursue. To her, it is important to reframe the situation whenever possible. “I recognize that I have a limited reserve of emotions and I try to measure how much emotion I should allow into any situation. The more balanced I can be, the more I can focus on the facts and next steps.” Amy acknowledges that this approach takes a lot of practice and doesn’t always come easily, but according to her, “Challenging situations in the workplace are rarely worth the automatic emotional response. It’s more important to focus on how to move forward rather than sitting in the frustrations of a single moment.” Amy believes it is important to view challenges as opportunities for growth and change. “I enjoy change and how every day is different; there’s always another opportunity to approach things differently and level up at Colliers, which is part of what makes working at Colliers such a positive experience.”
Where others see just another CRE employee, Amy sees a collaborative group of passionate experts, each with a unique perspective:
For Amy, what differentiates a Colliers team member from those at other CRE firms is a willingness to collaborate. “There isn’t as much of an inherent hierarchical structure within Colliers,” she shares. “In my experience, anyone will make time to help you and others out, which is what has made Colliers stand out over the years to me.” Amy adds that what sets Colliers team members apart from others is their ability to continuously offer new ideas and not default to what we’ve done in the past. She admits that it can be challenging to maintain this type of approach, but it also helps everyone stay motivated. She further says that Colliers respects that every team member brings their own personal experience and perspective and that’s what allows them to bring new and different ideas to the table; the people who ultimately thrive are those who put themselves out there and look at the world differently, imagining new possibilities.
Where others fear starting a new career, Amy focuses on the excitement and the learning opportunities:
For anyone just starting their career at Colliers, Amy recommends that they get an understanding of the commercial real estate industry as a whole, not just the specific service line they are working in, as doing so will help them ultimately succeed in their role and in the industry. “The beauty of working at Colliers is that there are a lot of people willing to help. There are so many open doors if you want to talk to someone and get some guidance,” says Amy. For those looking to grow, Amy, with 13 years under her belt, recommends owning your career development: “Don’t wait for things to happen to you. The environment at Colliers allows every single person, regardless of their seniority, to be enterprising. Your path may not be clearly set out for you and it’s up to you to explore where you want it to lead.”
We see beyond what’s directly in front of us.
At Colliers, we don’t see what is. We see what could be.