Meet Paul Harrs
An accomplished leasing and operations executive with over 30 years of experience with institutional real estate development companies with a wide range of expertise in super regional shopping centers, mixed-use, community, and neighborhood properties.
Paul also has extensive experience with new development and re-merchandising leasing, and the turnaround of distressed shopping centers.
Q&A With Paul Harrs
What has been your biggest career win? What did you learn from it?
Leading the team that was responsible for the leasing of Vaughan Mills. How to work as a team with the involvement of many different departments and two companies, The Mills Corporation (now Simon Properties) from the U.S and Ivanhoe Cambridge.
What was a pivotal moment in your career? Why was it important for you?
I was working for CF as retail manager of the Toronto Eaton Centre. I was asked by a former boss (who later became a mentor) to join the CF leasing team on a full time basis. I said I would think about it at the time but as soon as I said that, I knew that I should have taken her up on the offer. When I told her yes, then she made me wait for 2 months to make sure that I really wanted the position. The transition to leasing was the pivotal moment for me.
How has the industry changed since you started?
Technology has revolutionized the industry. It’s still about connecting with people but it’s so much easier now with email, social media and researching on the web.
Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Relationships are everything. You always know this when you start out but as time goes on and you gather experience, relationships become even more important.
Are there any tough technological challenges in the industry you are seeing? If so, what are they?
Artificial intelligence will revolutionize real estate just like other sectors. I created a document just for fun to see what AI is capable of and was blown away by the result. AI will be a game-changer over time.
What are some tactics you’ve used to establish yourself as a trusted CRE professional?
Always be quick, responsive, and honest to any inquiry no matter how unlikely it might seem at the time. I have been amazed by the results that were sometimes produced just by following these tactics.
What’s your favorite book (leisure or business)?
What’s your superpower?
What words of wisdom do you live by?
What’s something you wish you had done years earlier?
Learned to ride a motorcycle
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