Colliers names Wilkinson new managing director of Ottawa office

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Colliers International has turned to a veteran broker to fill the post of managing director at its Ottawa office.

Warren Wilkinson, who has worked for Colliers’ local brokerage since 2005, officially assumed the job last week. He takes over for Kelvin Holmes, who recently left the company.

The 38-year-old graduate of Carleton University said his No. 1 goal is to help build Colliers into the top brokerage in the Ottawa region.

“There’s a limited number of active agents in our market, so my growth strategy is pure organic growth,” said Mr. Wilkinson, who has held the job on an interim basis for the past seven months.

“I’m looking for the best young talent that’s eager to make their name and start their business in commercial real estate. There’s no substitute in my mind for a good, solid aggressive approach towards business development. The market share is there to be had. There are five or six commercial brokerages in town, each one of them all going after the same piece of the pie. But it’s a big pie and if the agents are willing to put in the time, energy and effort into making the calls and booking the meetings, the business is still there.”

Mr. Wilkinson’s appointment is the latest in a series of shakeups at Colliers so far in 2016. In January, founding partner Paul Bennett left the firm along with colleagues Doug Tilley, Kimberley Hall, Brittany Wilson and Jason Tilley, who joined rival brokerage Cushman & Wakefield.

Mr. Wilkinson said while he was disappointed to see his former co-workers leave, their departures opened new doors for younger members of the Colliers team.

“With Paul and Doug, there was 23 and 22 years respectively of relationships that they’d had within the community – relationships that now no longer exist based on their going to a competing shop,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for the junior advisers and the next group of senior agents that we can get here to start cultivating those relationships that exist across the country.”

Mr. Wilkinson said the turnover also allows him to start his new job with a clean slate.  

“As a new manager, I don’t have to compete with the way it used to be,” he said.

“I’ve got a young crop of advisers who are excited about the opportunity. I get to build an office here with the people that I believe are going to be the best fit culturally for Colliers, where we’re going to be recognized once again as the leading commercial real estate brokerage in town.”