"It's been a non-stop journey as a facilities manager"
One of the keys to the success of Calgary-based Avenue Living Asset Management Ltd. is taking rental apartments in its portfolio and adding value to them by way of improvements and renovations.
It's a philosophy that has grown the business into one with more than $1.2 Billion in assets today.
Ali Sebbahi has been one of the instrumental company employees who has helped make that happen in Edmonton through his role as facilities manager.
When Avenue Living acquires buildings to add to its growing portfolio, they come in various states of condition that require everything from renovations to complicated repairs. In Edmonton, there were various challenges that were flagged by Alberta Health Services for repair over the last few years.
Sebbahi and the Edmonton team made it their personal goal to attack the list of deficiencies flagged by AHS and through their diligence and capital expenditure, the improvements were made and today everything is in compliance.
"Since 2015, it was a lot of work," said Sebbahi. "It's been the biggest accomplishment for me at Avenue Living."
Sebbahi is transitioning into a new role as regional project manager for Avenue Living beginning April 8.
Sebbahi has been with Avenue Living since December 2012. He was born and raised in the city of Rabat in Morocco. His education included a computer science degree from the University of Rabat. With job prospects not that great in Morocco, he decided to move to Canada in 2008 through the recommendation of a friend who was here. A contract was available. Several of his family members were also living in Denver.
When he first arrived in Canada, he worked for a Super 8 hotel in Edmonton where he started doing industrial maintenance. After a few months he was switched to the front desk, working there until 2012. Sebbahi went back to Morocco for a visit. When he returned to Edmonton, he wanted to do something different and applied for a job with Avenue Living.
"As facilities manager, I looked after 45 buildings in Edmonton. Anything to do with the operations side of the business. Suites renovations. Work orders. Lining up the crews to go. Cleaners. Landscaping," said Sebbahi, who is 33 years old.
"It's been very busy. Non-stop. My phone is with me 24 hours. I always answer calls at three o'clock in the morning, one o'clock in the morning, it doesn't matter. It's been a non-stop journey as a facilities manager."
Sebbahi's new job will be as regional construction manager working on capital projects.
"I make sure if there's a bigger job to be done like siding, parking lots, common areas or suite renovations where they need lots of work and we're hiring a third-party contractor, that's where I step in. Now I deal with contractors and bigger projects," he said.