Recognized as one of Atlantic Canada's Top Employers (2019) and Nova Scotia's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Jan 8, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why Crombie REIT was selected as one of Atlantic Canada's Top Employers (2019) and Nova Scotia's Top Employers (2019):
- Crombie REIT strongly encourages employees to take action in their local communities, offering unlimited paid time off to volunteer
- Employees at Crombie REIT are encouraged to keep in shape with free membership to an onsite fitness facility, complete with stationary bikes, weights and towel service -- the facility even features a Vitamix blender and ingredients to make smoothies
- Crombie REIT supports new mothers and fathers, including adoptive parents, with maternity and parental leave top-up payments (to 70% of salary for 26 weeks) and offers the option to extend their leave into an unpaid leave of absence
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2018):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 12, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Crombie REIT was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2018):
- New employees at Crombie REIT receive 3 weeks of paid vacation allowance to start along with flexible work hours, a telecommuting option, and up to 6 paid personal days to help balance their work and personal lives
- Crombie REIT encourages all employees to develop their skills through a variety of in-house and online training programs, as well as tuition subsidies for courses related and not directly related to their current position
Crombie REIT develops properties -- and employees
In January 2017, Trevor DeGeer joined Nova Scotia-based Crombie REIT after several years working for a major financial institution and quickly concluded that he had made a good career move. "Being in a smaller company, you get exposure to a number of departments and groups," says DeGeer, a Senior Analyst in the development division. "The learning curve is steep, but you learn more than you would at a larger company."
Established in 2006, Crombie REIT invests in high-quality real estate where people live, work, shop and play. With 286 income-producing properties nationwide, Crombie's portfolio comprises approximately 19.2 million square feet. The company is focused on steady income growth through the ownership, operation and development of high-quality grocery and drugstore-anchored shopping centres, free-standing stores and mixed-use developments, primarily in Canada's top urban and suburban markets.
DeGeer's group is responsible for enhancing the value and revenue-generating potential of existing properties, by redeveloping them or by adding to mixed-use residential to enable sustainable growth of communities. DeGeer has the opportunity to work with a broad array of outside professionals, including developers, planners, architects, engineers and financial analysts. He also works directly with municipal governments and community organizations. His group is responsible for obtaining municipal zoning approvals.
Crombie employs its own in-house real estate and other professionals as well, including business analysts, engineers, accountants, financial analysts and talent and communications specialists, says Cheryl Fraser, Chief Talent Officer and Vice President Communications.
"We look for people who have an interest in real estate, a background that fits and the energy and drive to have some fun at work," says Fraser. "We want people who have the ability to be nimble and adapt to whatever we're doing."
Crombie also offers people the flexibility to grow and change direction professionally. "We give our employees the opportunity to learn and do different things," says Fraser. "If they come in as a chartered accountant, some day they can do leasing or property management or get into development."
New employees go through a 90-day onboarding program that involves coaching and mentoring and the company also has a robust professional development program. It includes both formal and informal learning. Fraser says the company has funded employees who were pursuing MBAs and others who took university-level professional real estate programs.
"If someone shows an interest in growing their career, we start off with a personalized leadership development plan," she says. "We developed an assessment tool to help people understand what their challenges are as well as their opportunities."
Crombie places a great deal of emphasis on health and wellness within its workforce. Some of its larger offices have on-site gyms while others have access to shared fitness facilities within office complexes. "We have a gym in the office tower next to our building," says DeGeer, who works in the Mississauga office. "I use it every day."
The company offers its employees flexible work arrangements, including working from home, to help them meet family obligations, make it to medical or dental appointments or to manage difficult commutes in major urban areas. "The flexible work arrangements are fantastic," says DeGeer. "I'm big on being in the office, but when life gets in the way Crombie is incredibly supportive."
Crombie has properties in dozens of communities across the country and has made a corporate commitment to giving back to the communities it serves through charitable or volunteer initiatives. The company helped furnish a house for a Syrian refugee family that was being re-settled in Nova Scotia and regularly encourages employees to take the lead when it comes to volunteering. From food banks in Calgary, Toronto, New Glasgow and Halifax, to charity bike rides and dragon boat fundraisers, the Crombie team sees the greater picture when it comes to community investment, says Fraser.
"We really think about enriching neighbourhoods," she says. "We believe in giving back to the communities where we're located."