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GlobeSt.com's look at diversity in the commercial real estate industry.

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Diane K. Danielson

The commercial real estate brokerage industry is at the edge of a demographic precipice. According to NAR research, with a median age of 60 years old, CRE brokers as a group are substantially older than the average funeral home director (median age of 53.1), textile mill worker (51.5) and religious organization employee (51.5), who work at the three oldest industries as recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2017. How did this happen?

The following are five factors that have contributed to the aging of the CRE industry:

*A tale of two recessions. Generation X and millennials were both hit at the beginning of their careers with recessions (the early 1990s and 2007). This meant that CRE was not a career option for young or new to the business professionals for years at a time. There was also a hangover effect from these recessions, where young people didn’t see their peers in the industry and, as a result, CRE careers were rarely on their radar screen.

*The dominance of dinosaur companies. An industry- wide resistance to technology and the dominance of companies with over 100 years of history do not fit the cultural expectations of the entrepreneurial, growth- oriented companies that young people want to work for today.

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