Colin Scarlett started his 15-year career at Colliers International by winning the company’s rookie of the year award. He went on to be part of $1.5 billion worth in real estate transactions, covering more than five million square feet, impressing superiors and earning the nod to be one of the youngest senior vice-presidents in Colliers’ 115-year history.
Scarlett’s real estate career began somewhat unpredictably.
He was living at his parents’ West Vancouver home after completing a BA in economics at the University of Western Ontario.
“I told my dad, who was a lawyer, that if he wanted to get me out of the house, he had to find me a job,” Scarlett joked.
His dad made good on that challenge and helped Scarlett land a position in 1996 at Royal LePage Commercial (now Cushman & Wakefield), helping people buy and sell investment properties. Two years later, Scarlett shifted to Colliers’ commercial leasing division.
“I thought commercial leasing would be more of a growth business than selling investment properties,” he explained.
One recent transaction Scarlett closed was one to make McCarthy Tétrault LLP an 80,000-square-foot anchor tenant in the under-construction office tower at 745 Thurlow. He also helped renew large downtown leases for companies such as Farris Vaughan Wills & Murphy LLP and the University of British Columbia.
Colliers’ Canadian CEO, David Bowden, recognized Scarlett’s value and named him to a five-person advisory committee on national business issues.
Scarlett’s penchant for entrepreneurialism goes way back.
During his university years, he founded the company Western Student Marketing, which produced advertising-supported student calendars. He later sold the venture.
More recently, he has put his entrepreneurial skills to work for charitable purposes by founding and leading a campaign at Colliers to sponsor a hot breakfast program at Hastings Elementary School in East Vancouver.
“I’ve been fortunate in my business career and feel it is important for every citizen to give back to the community where they live and work,” he said.
Outside work, Scarlett spends as much time as possible with his wife Alison and their two young sons.