Today’s extraordinary demand for real estate professionals has highlighted a serious scarcity of talent in the 30-something category. The dearth of experienced candidates in this age group is an echo-effect from the real estate collapse of the early ’90s, when freshly minted graduates steered clear of real estate to pursue other, healthier industries and what appeared to be better long-term career opportunities. This shortage creates significant present-day issues for organizations that want and need a blend of talent on their teams, especially to occupy the second chair, to leverage leadership and fulfill succession plans. The problem has reached epic proportions, as capital flows continue to fuel investment and development activity. In response, we see the gap being filled increasingly by late-stage career professionals who previously may have been viewed as too old to recruit but now are recognized as delivering extraordinary experience and the ability to hit the ground running. These seasoned pros also provide significant organizational leverage for growing and grooming the young talent that has flooded real estate, suddenly a trendy alternative for the hungry graduate.

Anthony J. LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders

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