February 20, 2019 Maria Verdin

Connecting with the Future Leaders of CRE: Millennials & Gen Z

Young handsome successful stylish businessman standing. Concept: victory

How did you get your start in Commercial Real Estate?

Whether it was decades ago, or just last week, every broker instinctively remembers that gut feeling of nervous excitement at the prospect of closing the first deal, coupled with the stark reality of how to actually make it happen.

A broker’s journey can be challenging to navigate alone, no matter how many deals one has closed,  which is precisely why AIR CRE is a necessity for every broker, from those just breaking into the industry to the CRE power players staying ahead of the curve.

During the past 50+ years, AIR CRE has continuously worked to provide members with the network, tools and resources required for success.  AIR CRE’s established reputation, combined with the loyal dedication of our members, has made our association a critical asset for young brokers rising up in the ranks, looking to carve out a lucrative career path.

Today, we usher in the next generation, Millennials and Gen Zs, breaking into the industry, in what we can safely say is an entirely new era of brokerage.  Thanks to technology, gone are the days of the painstaking efforts it took to gather data.  In today’s CRE world, PropTech resources are, literally, at one’s fingertips via myriad electronic devices.

However, because of the proliferation of technology, younger brokers run the risk of overlooking one of the key components of building a successful brokerage business: creating personal relationships with clients, and, perhaps even more importantly, with fellow brokers.  These relationships are best created and maintained by virtue of face-to-face connections.

A few months ago, a managing director at one of the largest brokerage firms in LA told me the story of a young broker he hired who had all of the tools to be successful.  He was smart, organized, hardworking and had a great personality…His only weakness: he would not leave the office.  This young broker believed he could build a career via email, phone calls and texting.  The managing director encouraged him to get out, cold-call, attend industry events, network with industry players and build relationships.  The young broker did not listen.  As can be expected, after a couple of years he washed out of the industry.

I mention this story because one of AIR CRE’s primary initiatives in 2019, that I regard as an utmost priority, is to create a professional network of Millennial and Gen Z members who will be given the opportunity to learn from and network with industry leaders.

Members of our highly esteemed Board of Directors as well as other successful industry veterans will work to ensure that participants in this young professional group will have a network of leading experts on their side; mentoring, offering guidance, and answering questions.

AIR CRE’s networking mixers, small-group educational sessions and industry-specific seminars are designed to help build a strong, expert-class of next generation brokers who have learned from the best and are prepared to carry the torch of success into the future of CRE.

We’re kicking off our first young broker mixer of the year tomorrow evening at the NoMad hotel in Downtown Los Angeles and if you’d like to attend, please contact us for further details.  I can’t wait to meet the industry’s future leaders and talk to them about their journey and how AIR CRE can serve them along the way.

You’ll be hearing much more about this and other industry events geared toward ushering in the next generation of brokers in the coming weeks, so please stay tuned…


Tim Hayes