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Why Hiring Young Agents Will Lead Your Firm to a Competitive Advantage

Posted by Terry Ooten on February 1, 2018
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“Winning the game of attracting young talent will be a key competitive advantage for commercial real estate firms that are leaders in the industry,” said Dylan Taylor, President of Colliers International.

Globalization has brought a new wave of transparency and accountability for firms throughout the world and this revelation has been a catalyst for many young people to demand change. The increased activity on social media platforms such as Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook has provided an outlet for people to speak, be heard, and act on those ideas with like minded people from all over the globe. Whether it be climate change, global tensions or political uncertainty, many young professionals are grasping the idea that change is pertinent, especially if they want their children and grandchildren to enjoy the same freedoms we ourselves experience.

The 2016 NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Compensation Survey uncovered that 77 percent of real estate firms are having trouble hiring young, new talent. To emphasize the dire need of new hires in our industry, census data shows the average age of commercial real estate professionals to be 51 years old. Although this number is not astronomical, it becomes alarming when considering the simple fact that a mere 4 percent of commercial agents are under the age of 30. With this lack of educated, eager, young talent entering the workforce paired with the imminent exodus of retirees over the next ten to twenty years, how can we bridge the gap and ensure a successful future for the next generation of commercial agents?

  • Recruit at local colleges
  • Invest in technology
  • Offer educational courses to high schools
  • Foster an open minded work environment
  • Implement open office plans
  • Emphasize importance of work-life balance

How can young brokers impact your business?

  • The prevalence of technology with millennials is generally thought of as having a negative impact on their generation, often leading to lethargy, complacency, and a sense of entitlement. Although this may be true in certain instances, if harnessed in the right setting with forward thinking mentors, firms can gain significant competitive advantages utilizing exciting new methods for marketing, research, networking, and distribution.
  • Another way in which this new generation is changing how we view commercial real estate is through their ideas on social and collaborative work. The days of monotonous cubicles and congregations around the water cooler are dwindling due to the advancement of technology and the renewed desire to commingle home and work life. Young professionals are putting an increased significance on shared spaces, open idea flow, and flexibility regarding the way in which they get their work accomplished. 

Whether or not you agree with their perspectives, this new generation is here and will soon be taking over the workforce as the baby boomers retire. If approached with an open mind and a desire to learn about each others differences rather than foster preconceived notions, the commercial real estate world can make enormous strides in efficiency, creativity, sustainability and profitability.