Stephanie Léonard has the privilege of working closely with her father, Michel, the founder, president, and CEO of BTB Real Estate Investment Trust, which is a publicly traded entity. Together, they have achieved a distinctive working relationship because of their ability to blend generations. According to Stephanie, she and her father have “a unique dedication to push the status quo of the industry and test its limits” within each of their respective positions.
As the director of communications and lease renewals, Stephanie takes great pride in representing the “new generation of real estate.” BTB has a relatively young employee base, which allows them to innovate in their daily thinking. Stephanie is especially pleased with how she and her father have been able to blend the older generations with the newer ones while enjoying the challenge of their different personalities. Stephanie and Michel both strive to lead by example, encourage each other, and embrace change in an industry that is constantly evolving.
Stephanie has been a part of BTB for as long as she can remember, and has been introduced to the industry at a young age by visiting her father’s different offices throughout her entire childhood. She explains that BTB owns, manages, maintains and develops sixty six properties in the provinces of Québec and Ontario, totaling more than 5,700,000 square feet. Stephanie explains that they strive to turn these assets into stronger, more valuable assets in order to enhance the asset value of the REIT and that this is mainly achieved through their hands-on approach.
As BTB is internally managed, she believes that by having their own property management department, as opposed to outsourcing this critical element of daily activities, is a tremendous advantage for the REIT as they a able to maintain a direct connection with their tenants and improve the overall health of their properties. By having a direct contact with its clients, it allows BTB to be proactive at solving issues as they emerge, and it enables them to be transparent with their clients. Furthermore, it allows BTB to introduce higher standards of management, by being proactive in its services offered to clients,. Stephanie explains that this allows BTB to truly understand the changing needs of their clients and allows them to create better relationships with them, which is critical for BTB.
When Stephanie first joined the workforce, her job was to assist the leasing department where she dealt with the different aspects of landlord representation. However, management began noticing that the marketing department was lacking and that needs were not being met with regards to brand growth and communications So, Stephanie was asked to assess the areas that needed improvement in order to ensure the notoriety of the brand. It also became her job to make sure that the brand was being properly marketed, in order to maximize visibility for new clients. Having graduated from the John Molson School of Business with a bachelor's degree in commerce, specializing in business strategy, this task was right up Stephanie’s alley.
For the past three years, she has built the basis for the marketing department, and she is now the director of communications and lease renewals. Stephanie says that she has had the privilege of working and establishing a strong, polyvalent team that is very solid and that works tirelessly to ensure a positive brand reputation and aimed at acquiring new clients. However, with the company operating within an industry that is incredibly dependent on the heath of other organizations, being quick and responsive to change enables the team to continuously push to find new and innovative ways to market the brand.
In addition to this, Stephanie is also the company’s main contact for investor relations. . She leads everything to do with both the visual and reporting processes for the annual and quarterly reports as well as how the company communicates with shareholders through the basis of press releases, quarterly reports and annual general meetings. This year, BTB’s annual report received the bronze award at the International Summit Creative Awards. Due to the fact that the marketing and communications has found its footing, in addition to being the director of communications, Stephanie is also shifting her focus on concluding lease renewals. With a big task at hand, Stephanie states that she believes that this role is actually complimentary to her actual role as she is a strategic link between their clients and the investors because at the end of the day, their clients constitute the foundation of their business.
Director of Communications & Lease Renewals
BTB Real Estate Investment Trust
1411 Crescent St., Office 300
Montreal, Quebec H3G 2B3