CPE’s Stars to Watch 2019: Silicon Slopes Strategist

Since joining Cushman & Wakefield’s Asset Services leadership in Utah less than three years ago, Molly Westbrook has spearheaded more than 200 percent growth in the asset management business—an 8 million-square-foot expansion in 2018 alone—making the real estate brokerage the state’s top property management firm by market share.

Molly Westbrook, 37

Executive Managing Director, Asset Services, Canada, Cushman & Wakefield

Molly Westbrook
Molly Westbrook

Since joining Cushman & Wakefield’s Asset Services leadership in Utah less than three years ago, Molly Westbrook spearheaded more than 200 percent growth in the asset management business—an 8 million-square-foot expansion in 2018 alone—making the real estate service provider the state’s top property management firm by market share. The executive, who has just been promoted to the role of Executive Managing Director for Asset Services in Canada, based in Toronto, credits her success to teamwork and strategic decision-making.

“All the moves I take are really deliberate, because I surround myself with people that challenge me and are equally driven as I am to succeed,” she said.

Westbrook started her career in CBRE’s property management division in 2005, working in both San Diego and Salt Lake City. In 2013, she joined CommonWealth Partners to manage Cottonwood Corporate Center, a landmark 500,000-square-foot office complex in Utah’s capital. Westbrook’s team handled a phased retrofit and recalibration of the Class A property’s lighting and HVAC systems that slashed annual energy costs.

In her role at Cushman & Wakefield, which she joined in 2016, Westbrook oversaw all property management activities and staff in the Salt Lake City market. Drawing on her experience in both tenant relations and property operations, she helped to drive stronger investment returns across office, retail and industrial assets.

It’s an exciting time for the business. Over the last several years, Westbrook has seen Utah make the transition from the third tier to the second tier of U.S. markets. Utah’s tech market—nicknamed Silicon Slopes—is booming, as companies flock to metropolitan Salt Lake City to take advantage of a young, educated workforce. Nearly 114,000 people moved to the state last year.

Property management plays to Westbrook’s strengths, which she sees as a combination of financial knowhow and people skills. “I thrive on the interactive side of the business and developing strong, meaningful relationships with my team and clients,” she noted. “I really enjoy that if I do my job, then it really translates to the client side and they’re able to run their business.”

Paying It Forward: Westbook likes to give others a leg up. The property management veteran is an active NAIOP member and serves on the board of NAIOP Utah. She is also the organization’s Developing Leaders Chair and is responsible for implementing the Developing Leaders Mentorship Program.

What Others Say About Her: “I enjoy working with Molly, as she brings a lot of energy, positive can-do attitude and knowledge of the local market. Like in any business, there are moments of concern, and Molly does a great job in acknowledging our position while at the same time providing effective solutions to resolve the situation.—Corinne Hiromoto, Senior Asset Manager, James Campbell Co.

Biggest Mentors: Her mother, a high-level executive who achieved a balance between parenting and dedication to her work; Marla Maloney, president of asset services for the Americas at Cushman & Wakefield.

Meet the rest of CPE’s Stars to Watch for 2019—commercial real estate’s top young talent.