Lindsay Sparks – Fresh Perspectives: CBRE’s Emerging Leaders
August 24, 2023 4 Minute Read
After several seasons playing professional hockey, Lindsay Sparks happened upon an opportunity in commercial real estate more or less by chance, by making an important industry connection at a neighbour’s backyard barbecue.
Since then, Sparks has built his business by helping clients across various property types in Oakville, Halton, and the surrounding areas. His hard work and dedication led to him being named CBRE’s Eastern Canada Rookie of the Year at this year’s company awards event.
How did you get into commercial real estate?
My got into commercial real estate began when I met my current colleague, Elliot Goldspink, at a neghbour’s backyard barbecue. I was transitioning out of a seven-year career playing professional hockey. We hit it off right away, which was really timely as I had just obtained my real estate license and was looking for an opportunity. I’d done some commercial real estate investing with some friends and teammates in the GTA and knew I wanted to get into it post-hockey. That initial BBQ turned into a more formal meeting with Elliot, who was looking for an associate, and he brought me to the Toronto West office to meet the managing director. I started with Elliot a couple of months later.
What inspires you about commercial real estate in Oakville?
Oakville is a unique market in the sense that there are a ton of different asset classes in a small geographical area. I really enjoy working on and learning about all of them; industrial, office and investment sales, all within my market.
Oakville, Burlington and the surrounding area have about 4 million sq. ft. of planned industrial developments scheduled for delivery over the next year and half. I’m excited to see how that’s absorbed in our market and make the most of the opportunity it presents to find tenants who can relocate to the Oakville-Burlington area.
What deal are you most proud of and why?
Last year I door-knocked at a building whose owner I had been trying to get a hold of since I started at CBRE. I was able to secure a meeting with them and ended up listing and selling the building. However, one of the conditions of the sale was that they wanted to move into their dream building. They’d had their eyes on it for a long time. So I approached that building owner and successfully negotiated the sale of their building for my client. The deal was two-fold, with the sale of a building and the purchase of another, none of which could happen without the other. It was exciting to put those pieces together for the client.
Talk about a mentor you’ve had and how they helped you.
I’m lucky to work alongside my mentor Elliot Goldspink every day. He welcomed me into the industry and has opened a lot of doors for me. It’s been great to be able to learn from him. He’s given me every opportunity to succeed by including me in meetings and always making himself accessible.
How is your perspective helpful to clients?
I try to be a good listener. With every client, I want to ensure I have a strong understanding of their needs and wants, so I can better help them with their overall growth and real estate strategies. I take the time to understand them not only as businesses, but also as people, to provide the best service and advice I can.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
Meeting new people and also that no two days are the same. In this industry, we have the unique opportunity of learning about all kinds of businesses that our clients are running. There’s a variety of things you can do within this industry, so I’ve never felt stuck in one area. Every day present new opportunities.
What’s your advice to people entering this industry?
CBRE is such a great company and has a strong platform that gives young people the chance to engage with seasoned real estate professionals. You should make the most of that network by getting to know people within your office and industry, and even beyond that. That’s a piece of advice I was given early on, and I try to follow it as much as I can because it’s been really beneficial.
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