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Would You Advise Any Younger Person to Begin a Career in CRE?

In our Q&A series, Pay It Forward, one of our favorite questions has been “Would you advise any younger person to begin a career in CRE?” And the most common response to that query has been a resounding “Yes!”

Professionals are enthusiastic about welcoming new individuals into the commercial real estate business.

Bentley Zhao, president of New Empire Corp., told us, “Anyone can start almost anything at any time and anywhere, although there is no fixed formula for it. It just depends on that person’s want and need to effectively grow.”

Colleen O’Connor, SVP of BioMed Realty, is equally positive. “I would absolutely encourage younger people to dive into a career in CRE. There are many different ways to get involved in the industry, so there’s bound to be a position where your talents align, and you can thrive. It’s essential to find the intersection between your skillset and your interests.”

Grant Greenspan, principal of the Kaufman Organization, recommends CRE to young professionals with specific qualifications: “Commercial real estate is the ideal career for a social individual that is willing to network and build relationships.” He advises, “Have a strong sense of social media, networking, and be open to learning about growing industries. Commercial real estate requires the ability to adapt and shift as the markets do.”

Christina Champness, project executive with Lendlease New York Construction, offers her opinion regarding the construction side of the industry: “I’d recommend a career in commercial construction for anyone who likes problem-solving, a lot of variety in their workday, and the excitement that comes from starting a new project.”

Some leaders offer a caveat. Darshan Patel, CEO of Hotel Investment Group, advises: “A career in CRE is not for the faint-hearted, but it is quite rewarding for anyone who doesn’t mind dedicating their life to the endeavor. For those that are willing to sacrifice short-term personal life gain for long-term professional gain, it is the right move.”

Shlomi Avdoo, founder of Avdoo & Partners suggests how to begin. “Be ready to make many sacrifices to succeed. Start at the bottom and work yourself up. It’s the best way to learn every aspect of this industry that has many layers to it. It may take time, but you will have invaluable knowledge that will give you an advantage over others that are looking for shortcuts.”

Find more CRE career advancement tips and inspiring stories from industry leaders in our Pay It Forward series.

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