Q&A with the President and CEO, Urban Development Institute
We at Spark were lucky enough to connect with Anne and have her answer some of our questions about what drives her to continue being an influential force in Canadian real estate development industry, and an inspiration to the next generation of female voices.
Q: Can you tell me a bit about how you got started in the industry?
I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of areas that I felt I could make a difference. I started as a journalist, I worked with the resource sector and then as the VP at Port Metro Vancouver. Each position taught me a lot about what was important to BC and how I could be a part of an exciting future for the province. When this position came up it was a turning point for me. It was the best decision I ever made — I have never looked back.
Q: May you share a defining moment in your career that shaped you today? Perhaps a moment where it took great courage to suggest innovation, cause a shift in status quo or effect a positive change?
This past year is a defining one. At the start no one really knew what to do, it was so uncertain what the future looked like. We are an organization that holds over 65 events a year, from a tactical point of view, we quickly pivoted to a digital platform with our members and became one of the most successful organizations hosting online events hosting more then 1000 participants at a single event. More broadly — it takes courage to stand-up in times when what is right is not popular. Housing and the development industry are very important to everybody. It is a critical issue, my job is to help the industry, the government and the public build better communities.
Q: What has driven your motivation to be, and stay, in the new development real estate industry?
I feel motivated every day, by new development and the opportunity it will bring. It is so critically important, it is about the growth of the region, the province and our city. There is nothing more important than our home. This year has certainly taught us that.
Q: What excites you about the future of Real Estate and the market?
The challenge and the opportunity that I can make a difference. That is what keeps me going. There is so much work to do — it is incremental, but we’re making progress.
Q: What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?
Listen — everyone says it…. but it is very true.
Q: What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders who are determined to effect change?
Don’t see the barriers — see the opportunities.
Believe in yourself as an individual
Seek mentors — I am grateful for the mentors in my life.
Bring people with you
Loved this story and want to read more? Check out the other incredible women featured in our blog: Influential Women in Canadian New Development Real Estate.
About Anne McMullin:
As President and CEO, Urban Development Institute, Anne McMullin spent more than twenty years in public relations and government communications before accepting the well deserved title as President and CEO of the Urban Land Institute, the oldest and largest network of real estate experts in the world. Always striving to be at the centre of the economic story, Anne has found herself doing exactly that in the world of new development real estate. She has been described as “engaged, passionate, and intelligent”, a rare combination that was recognized through an award as a Distinguished BCIT Alumni in 2017.
Anne’s previous experience working as the President of the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce allowed her to speak publicly about a variety of housing supply initiatives where she communicated her passion for creating stronger communities, a platform which led to her current role. Anne’s is an accomplished leader who sees the value in diversity and advocates for everyone to voice their individual views on a team.