Runner making her way to the top

Developing Leader Spotlight: Charting a Path to the Top

What do the most successful people do before breakfast? You might ask Alison McGavigan, a recipient of NAIOP’s 2015 Developing Leaders Award, for her secret. McGavigan appears to channel her boundless energy, passion and remarkable talent into everything she does – from her commercial real estate work to her involvement in NAIOP and the community.

Alison McGaviganAs a Senior Associate, Valuation & Advisory Services, with Colliers International, McGavigan’s role focuses on preparing commercial property appraisals for acquisition, disposal, financial accounting, or internal purposes; inspecting properties as part of the valuation process; and working on a team that lists and sells hospitality properties. In recognition of her accomplishments – having valued over $500 million of real estate across all asset classes to name one – she received the 2014 Colliers International Valuation & Advisory Services Top Performer award. McGavigan also found time to complete her MBA and Post Graduate Valuation Diploma (a required program for the Professional Appraiser designation) while working full time.

McGavigan has been a member of NAIOP Edmonton since the chapter’s inception in 2013 and joined the chapter board of directors as a director at large in 2014. In 2015, she took on the role of chapter treasurer. She has been active for several years coaching a team of 30 participants in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program, which raises funds for cancer research, and has participated for several years in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Ride for Diabetes Research. NAIOP caught up with this mover and shaker to find out what powers her success.

NAIOP: What are some of the most rewarding aspects of your job?

McGavigan: The most rewarding aspect of my job is that I have the flexibility to work on a variety of different asset classes. No two assignments are the same; some days I’m working on development land and other days I’m working on a high-rise multifamily building. I value the diversity and complexity of appraising different properties.

NAIOP: How has being a member of NAIOP helped your career?

McGavigan: My overall knowledge of the industry has grown by interacting with members in other business lines (lawyers, architects, mortgage brokers, etc.), who have a different approach or viewpoint on our real estate market than I do. This access to knowledge enables me to think more critically about my appraisal work. Being a member of NAIOP has also greatly helped my career by allowing me to tap into the huge wealth of knowledge that is held by our Edmonton membership.

NAIOP: What advice would you offer to other young professionals in commercial real estate?

McGavigan: You are in control of your career, so take ownership and responsibility for your own path. Set goals for yourself to stay focused on what you want to achieve. Nothing is out of your reach if you are willing to work hard for it.

NAIOP: Who has been an inspiring or influential figure in your life?

McGavigan: My mum has been the most influential person in my life by encouraging my ongoing learning and fostering my love of travel. She has always instilled in me the importance of independence and confidence.

This is part of a series of profiles of NAIOP’s 2015 Developing Leaders Award recipients, who have distinguished themselves through exceptional commitment and contributions to the industry. This prestigious award was presented at NAIOP’s Commercial Real Estate Conference 2015 in Toronto. Read about all of the honorees in the Winter 2015/2016 issue of Development Magazine. Applications are now open for the 2016 Developing Leaders Award. NAIOP Developing Leaders are invited to apply online for the award. The deadline for applications is Friday, June 17.

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