Canada CRE News In Your Inbox.

Sign up for Connect emails to stay informed with CRE stories that are 150 words or less.

Sub Markets

Property Sectors


Canada  + Cross Border News + Ontario  + Office  | 
Avison Young COO Martin Dockrill talks about his leadership style.

Dockrill Strives to Provide Opportunistic Leadership

In this interview with Connect, Martin Dockrill, Avison Young’s COO, discusses how he plans to lead his teams in 2024 following some disruptive years in Canada’s commercial real estate sector. Toronto-based Avison Young is a full-service global commercial real estate services company. Dockrill oversees the firm’s global operations and the work of the executive management team in such functions as marketing, legal, research, human resources, information technology and innovation. He also leads and manages day-to-day operations and is responsible for attracting, recruiting and retaining future members of the executive team and the next generation of Avison Young professionals.

How do you define leadership in the current environment?

Leadership today requires optimism and a focus on opportunity. Economic downturns demand that leaders have the courage to make difficult and responsible decisions, balancing costs against performance. These responsible leadership decisions can sometimes create anxiety and pessimism within an organization; however, together with being responsible, today’s leadership is best defined by the ability to inspire optimism and opportunity in a period of accelerating transformation. Optimistic leadership envisions a positive outcome in challenging and changing times. Opportunistic leadership searches for opportunity in the downturn and encourages innovation by embracing advances in automation and AI to drive efficiency and create differentiated client solutions. 

What key leadership traits do you expect/encourage in department heads?

I am fortunate to be surrounded by a group of very experienced leaders. They are authentic and accountable. They understand their roles within the organization and are experts in their disciplines. They have a willingness to listen, observe and self reflect. These leaders apply both what they gather and learn, measuring  impacts on both business indicators and employee wellbeing. When we combine  all these great traits, add teamwork, and then add perhaps the most secret ingredient of all – a leadership team that sincerely trusts each other – that is when we accomplish great things, together.

What advice do you give to your organization’s rising stars? 

Be willing to operate outside your comfort zone. It is in those moments in life, when we really push ourselves, that we learn and grow the most. Rather than avoiding “failure,” seek risks as opportunities for growth and improvement. It is impossible to set expectations on perfection – so set expectations on pushing your comfort zone to achieve great expectations. To grow, we need to be willing to allow ourselves to be uncomfortable and pursue those awesome moments that challenge us and force us to grow. My greatest learnings have come in moments where I pushed myself to operate outside my comfort zone.

Photo: May Truong of Women Photograph/Avison Young


Inside The Story

Martin DockrillAvison Young

About Monte Stewart

Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s. In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star. Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.

New call-to-action
New call-to-action