Marcy Moneypenny joined Avison Young as principal and managing director of the company’s Denver office in March 2020. Moneypenny has a robust track record of operationalizing smart, service-led strategies, which drives the operations, business development and future service offerings for Avison Young Denver. Prior to joining Avison Young, Moneypenny was with CBRE for 15 years.
Title: Principal/Managing Director.
What has been the biggest challenge in your particular role and how have you overcome those obstacles? My biggest challenge was also the most rewarding – in March 2022 just two weeks prior to the pandemic shut down – I started my new position as Principal and Managing Director for the Denver office of Avison Young. We overcame the obstacles presented during the earliest stages of the pandemic by using the downtime to our advantage by rebuilding the foundation of the Denver office. This process required concentrating on the importance of an authentic culture that matched Avison Young’s focus on being a business powered by people.
I sat down with every person in the office and interviewed them to fully understand what was working and what was missing. We examined how to reinforce the things we do well and determined how to improve on processes and address what still needed to be done.
In order to continue to uphold our inclusive and supportive culture, we hired subject matter experts in marketing, operations, research, and data to make available a stable foundation of resources for our brokerage professionals.
We also looked around the office to see how we could physically provide a better sense of community and a more personal environment in a professional setting. One way we accomplished that was to have a photo contest. The winning photos of 2020 were framed and hung on the walls of our office. They really helped make the office our own. The photo content is now an annual tradition.
What about your current role at the company are you most happy with? I have always embraced the philosophy of servant leadership. I believe that in my current role this is the most authentic and effective way to support my fellow professionals and clients. Ultimately, I love being a part of generating real, sustained growth in a client relationship and in the success of our team members. I routinely meet with our Resource Team and brokers to discuss what is working and what isn’t; who can I connect them to inside or outside the firm; where we are falling short; and what we need to reevaluate. When it comes to clients, I review a report I receive from finance each month and call each client on that report and thank them for their business. And I always end each phone call with the question, “What can I do for you?” This is something that only takes a few moments but makes a big impact.
What is the best piece of advice you have received that has helped you succeed in your industry and do you have any advice specifically for the next generation? It’s not necessarily a piece of advice but a quote by Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Advice for the next generation? Be authentically real – you are the only person that can be YOU.
Would you advise any younger person to begin a career in CRE? Commercial real estate isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of hard work and persistence. I happen to believe that I have CRE in my DNA, so it was a natural fit from the beginning. I always advise younger people to find a mentor early in their career who will give honest feedback and support. When I began my career, I didn’t have a mentor and in hindsight wish I had because it would have been extremely valuable to my career.
Please share an initiative that you are working on that you are most proud of. I’m the Executive Sponsor for the Women’s Network at Avison Young. I am unbelievably proud to give back to women in our firm and the CRE industry in general. The opportunity to help someone else feel comfortable with her seat at the table is so rewarding.
Separate from the Women’s Network, I’m partnering with several of my counterparts as we focus on a professional development program for our brokers – junior to seasoned professionals. We are in our first month of the training webinars that will go through the remainder of the year, and are now working in partnership with leadership on the curriculum for 2023. The sessions will be in-person and webinars. It has been incredibly rewarding for me and my counterparts across the country.
In your opinion, what takeaways did we learn from the COVID-19 crisis? I believe we have been reminded that there are more dimensions to an employee, professional or team member than just business. Going through the pandemic together certainly reshaped how we see one another. During video calls, we’ve met one another’s pets, children, and spouses. We’ve worn very comfortable clothing, sported hats, interesting hair colors and even partaken of a beverage or two together during “Zoom Happy Hours.” Think about that – we were basically invited into the homes of our colleagues and clients. Together, we went through a very challenging and unprecedented time in history. I don’t know how that doesn’t make an impact.
What three words, phrases, statements or mantras would you use to describe your work mindset? I think of my work mindset as tough but fair. That would include all those mantras that underscore running to the bullet and doing the hard things first. But even with that internal grit and determination, I am very aware that I should never, never underrate the importance of working with people smarter than myself.
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