Cresa employee spotlight: Matthew Rosenberg
Cresa is committed to building an inclusive workplace that encourages, supports, and celebrates the diverse voices of our employees. Our employee spotlight series gives our team members the opportunity to share their unique experience.
Matthew Rosenberg is Vice President in Cresa’s Toronto office. He focuses primarily on managing accounts with multi-city requirements, as well as strategy implementation and transaction management for clients with atypical and unique real estate requirements in the Greater Toronto Area. Matthew has been with Cresa for 5 years.
Left: Matthew and his partner Jason during lockdown in Toronto in 2020
Right: At the Cresa conference in San Antonio
How did you get into the industry?
I graduated university during the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis with a management degree in finance, entrepreneurship and international business. While I never saw myself as a natural born salesperson, the only jobs cropping up were commission based. I met my former boss, who I still consider a mentor, at a career fair. The opportunity was an advisor position at a boutique transaction management firm in my native Montreal. We had a great chat and knowing that I always had a passion for buildings, architecture, and cities, I decided to jump in feet first.
What are some challenges you have encountered during your career and how did you overcome them?
After six great years at my previous firm, I saw little room for advancement within the company and I started to feel as though I was no longer learning. With the company’s scope being almost exclusively transaction management focused, I felt there was so much about the industry I just didn’t know about. I wanted more. I decided to leave Montreal and head west to Toronto, where the majority of head offices are located in Canada. I networked and shook hands for six long months trying to find the right job opportunity. There were lots of ups and downs. In one instance, I was about to be hired for a position I was pursuing for months, only to learn weeks later that there were unforeseen issues at the company that resulted in that role never being created. As a doer, it was very hard on my morale to be unemployed, but I knew if I kept at it, I’d find the right opportunity. After four interviews with the great leadership team in the Cresa Toronto office, we were able to create a hybrid role, roadmap and career trajectory centered around my strengths and my eagerness to learn. Since starting in a more finance and research focused position at the Toronto office, I have been promoted three times and have learnt more than I ever could have imagined in less than five years.
Why are you passionate about what you do?
I love effecting change and improving peoples’ lives. In corporate real estate, there are countless way to do that. For lots of people, their working hours take up an inordinate amount of their waking hours. It’s great to know you’ve had a measurable impact on the day-to-day lives of your clients and their employees – whether that’s providing a great environment that increases work satisfaction, helping the bottom line, shortening commutes, easing someone’s mind as a result of finding a solution to a challenging problem or ultimately helping someone see their dreams become reality.
Are there any projects or contributions to your local Cresa office that you would like to share?
It’s been very rewarding to be an unofficial bridge between the brokerage team and the shared services team (finance, marketing & research). We have a great breadth of talent in our office. Part of harnessing that talent is making sure that processes consider everyone involved. Having been on both the brokerage and the shared services team, I’m often able to use my prior experiences to get creative and find unique work solutions that function for the entire team.
What organization(s) are you currently involved with?
Over the past few months I have been working with one of the directors of the newly formed Commercial Real Estate Equity and Diversity Council (https://equitymatters.ca/) in Canada to form a partnership with LGREG (https://www.westlgreg.com/) out of the US to host a future speaker series focused on LGBTQ+ communities present and future place in the world of real estate.
How did you become involved with this organization?
My introduction to CREED Council was through a recruiter I met with when I first moved to Toronto who I’ve stayed in touch with. My introduction to LGREG was through Cresa San Francisco Managing Principal, Craig Zodikoff.
Why is their mission important to you?
CREED Council’s mission is “to evolve, cultivate and advance equitable workplace practices that invites, retains, develops and celebrates all diversity – both people and thoughts – into the commercial real estate industry.” As the commercial real estate services industry continues to evolve into service offerings far beyond classic transaction management, commercial real organizations need a huge array of talent with different strengths and points of view. Some of the best talent out there may be people from communities and backgrounds that don’t yet feel comfortable or welcome within our industry.
How do you think we can better promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion within the CRE industry?
People need to feel comfortable where they work. Unconscious bias and microaggressions from the most well-intentioned people can lead others to feeling uncomfortable in their work environments. Assessments, workshops and training, like those Cresa will be embarking on over the coming months, can help lead the way to a CRE industry where everyone feels like they have a seat at the table.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I’m looking forward to seeing where Cresa’s Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging initiatives take the company going forward. Harnessing the best talent comes down to being able to recognize talent in circles outside of our normal recruiting pools. I am truly thankful that the people who have hired me during my career have been able to see that in me. While I may not be a natural born salesman and I may not have the personality traits or personal background of what most people envision a real estate broker to be, my bosses have always been able to see what I can bring to the table.