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News & opinion

5 OCT 2018

Q&A: meet new fellow Reggie Chan

Reggie Chan FRICS, CFA, PGCV, Vice President of Asset Management at Artis REIT has recently achieved fellowship status in RICS Americas. We asked him a few questions to get to know him better.

What does achieving your FRICS designation mean to you?

Achieving the FRICS is the end of a 10+ year journey that had originally started with me thinking that all surveyors stood by the edge of a road looking through a theodolite (the thing that looks like a mini-telescope mounted on a tripod). 

To get to where I am today, I needed to have a precise measurement of the horizontal and vertical planes of my career and education and to figure out just what angle I was going to take to make it past the Assessment of Professional Competencies (APC).

In no way does the achievement of the FRICS represent the zenith of my career or development. If anything, it is the nadir as it has opened many opportunities above me.

As surveyors, we must constantly take sightings of our career, and make sure the cross-hairs are in alignment with our personal and professional targets. As time is finite and depreciating, to ensure that we are well centred and levelled professionals, we must rotate through a limited arc of opportunities and stay focused on achieving measurable results, as not everything in life is about the optics.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?

An employer's biggest liability and biggest asset is an employee who clearly understands his worth. 

Someone who understands their key value proposition and the competencies that they bring to an organization will turn out to be a double-edged sword that either divides an organization in half or cuts away all the bad habits and belief systems that prevent that organization from progressing further in its own growth and development. 

What exactly do I mean by this? The Finnish military would assess all of their conscripts according to Stanine ranking, which meant there was a Standard Nine point scale from 1 to 9 and 5 being the middle. The higher the number the more intelligent and capable you were. Stanine 9 candidates are all placed under special supervision and not assigned to ordinary work because when disgruntled, they can be incredibly dangerous as they are organized and intelligent enough to wreak havoc in the form of sabotage. They are both extremely capable when employed correctly and dangerous when misused and disgruntled. 

Therefore, as an employee, you must remain aware that if you are at the top of the heap of what you do, there will be a love/hate relationship with you because when you are trying to save the company, your colleagues may think you are trying to blow things up. You will be able to command the situation, solve seemingly impossible problems and when improperly managed, create problems to which there are no solutions except for you to leave.

In no way does the achievement of the FRICS represent the zenith of my career or development. If anything, it is the nadir as it has opened up many opportunities above me.

FRICS holders are the Stanine 9s of the real estate world, except that we are held to a much higher standard. It is our above-average integrity that drives us to solve problems, rather than create them, even though we can do both equally well. A little bit of humility goes a long way in treating others with respect and promoting trust in the profession and organization you work for. It is the exacting standards the RICS members voluntarily place on themselves that allow them to deliver a consistent high standard of service.

The lesson learned is that the greater the level of your own competency, the greater the opportunity cost of not utilizing your skill sets or not having them recognized by your employer. Therefore, achieving the FRICS puts you one step closer to utilizing your full potential.

What issue are you watching closely for the impact it may have on the industry?

Artificial Intelligence. The day IBM's Watson can pass the APC, I will retire.