Advocating for the Industry with Michael Brooks of REALPAC

Houses for sale in Ottawa

Our guest today is Michael Brooks, CEO of REALPAC. This organization is a trade association which Michael simplifies into four pillars: connect, advocate, support, and educate. Michael took a unique path to get where he is today; he even wrote and passed the Law School Admission Test with no studying.

With the term “smart city” becoming somewhat of a buzz phrase recently, Michael explains the different meanings this can have to various people. He describes what he sees in sustainability initiatives and shares victories at REALPAC that he is proud of.

Topics covered include:

  • How Michael started his career and ended up at REALPAC.
  • Concepts that REALPAC advocates for across Canada.
  • The four pillars of REALPAC.
  • Different definitions of what a smart city is.
  • The Sidewalk Labs project by Google in Toronto.
  • What ESG is and how REALPAC is promoting it.
  • The bell curve of companies taking environmental initiatives seriously.
  • Attracting better tenants because of sustainability.
  • REALPAC’s approach to proptech and what Michael sees coming.
  • Proptech that has impressed Michael.
  • The first thing Michael would use capital on in a new building.
  • Diversity and inclusion at REALPAC and in the whole real estate industry.
  • Three advocacy wins for REALPAC that Michael is proud of.
  • One change Michael would make to further enhance the industry.

For more commercial real estate content, visit the First National Commercial Resource Centre.

More about our guest:

Michael is the Chief Executive Officer of REALPAC, the senior Canadian industry association for large public and institutional investment real estate companies.

REALPAC represents the Canadian investment real estate industry in government relations, public relations and standard setting. Michael has represented the Canadian real estate industry in all major policy initiatives with government, including property tax reform in several provinces, the emergence of real estate investment trusts and enabling legislation, real property income tax issues, telecom deregulation and building access, and many other issues since 1997.

Michael is also the Author and Editor of the Canadian textbook “Canadian Commercial Real Estate: Theory, Practice, Strategy”, and a former Adjunct Professor and Executive in Residence at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management. He is a special advisor to the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative Property Working Group, and a Board member of GRESB, BV and Toronto Foundation.

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