When our company hires people, there are a few core attributes we look for: high intelligence, strong work ethic, great communication skills with clients, and a self-starter. In this economy, one would think that we would be able to take our pick of qualified people. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in our search for a leasing agent with 2-5 years of experience.
The opportunity to work with seasoned, successful professionals is great. The generous (and potentially unlimited) pay is even better. Yet the availability of qualified candidates when we completed our target list is slim.
Over the years the commercial real estate industry has attracted many intelligent and skilled individuals fresh out of school. I’m pleased to say that the industry is attracting a more diverse workforce today. As the business world becomes more diverse, it’s important for the CRE sector to mirror this evolution. This business attracts highly motivated self-starters who are looking for an opportunity to “conquer the world.” They’re attracted to the industry by many factors—two of the more prominent being the ability to have work flexibility and make a lot of money.
There are so many different areas of commercial real estate that young professionals can look into. It’s not just all about making deals; it’s understanding the current economic conditions and the local market landscape. It’s knowing the intimate details of both parties’ interests and leveraging them for your client’s best interest. It’s being a negotiator, economist, and mind reader all at once. It’s not an easy job by any means, but if you can master it, you can be proud of the value that you will add to your client’s business.
Although the enthusiasm for the commercial real estate sector seems to have waned for young professionals, those who do choose this career path have the opportunity to become a leader in the industry. It’s not easy, but nothing worth working for ever is. Individuals with fires in their bellies and who aren’t afraid to work hard and exceed expectations for clients are encouraged to contact me—I know you’re out there. The industry always has a place for the best and brightest with a passion for hard work.
Steve Everbach oversees Jones Lang LaSalle’s leasing and management operations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.