How Young Professionals Can Get Ahead in the Growing CRE Field

May 18, 2016
May 18, 2016 MeissnerJacquet

How does a professional still in the early years of his or her career succeed in the commercial real estate profession?  The first steps are to focus on the big picture and obtain the right credentials. Beyond that, learn the top four areas that are critical for rising to the top in the commercial real estate industry.

Education is key.

Young professionals who invest in schooling and continuing education will reap the benefits throughout their careers.  For example, a commercial real estate attorney clearly needs a law degree, but a Master’s of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) can provide a higher level of commercial real estate knowledge and business acumen at an early age. Southern California institutions, such as the University of San Diego, San Diego State University and the other accredited establishments in the region are great resources for young professionals looking to develop their skills and build a strong network locally and regionally.

Relationship-based networks.

However, top credentials will only get a foot in the door so it is also imperative that young professionals quickly build strong relationships with coworkers, clients and peers.  Any client relationship can be developed if there is a good personal relationship as the foundation.  Mentors are invaluable in this respect; not only can they train young professionals to handle sophisticated transactions but they also provide guidance in forming solid interpersonal connections.  Working with a mentor can enhance career options on many levels and help a young professional develop critical CRE expertise, knowledge, skills and abilities.

Strong skill sets.

Additionally, it is essential to build a skill set that provides value to commercial real estate companies, be it in financial analysis, legal skills, accounting, property management, etc.  To do so, aspiring executives must be willing to work hard and start at the bottom.  Young professionals with invaluable expertise survived the most recent recession and are now thriving as mid-level CRE professionals. It is equally important for young professionals to avoid being myopic about their immediate career prospects.  With many years in front of them, it is more fruitful to focus on the big picture and concentrate on building strong professional networks and skill sets early on in their careers.

Seek leadership opportunities.

Fledgling commercial real estate professionals looking to strengthen their credentials can benefit greatly by taking a leadership position in a professional organization, such as CREW who brings women together to build professional and personal relationships, expand industry knowledge and expertise, and support the development of commercial real estate, or NAIOP who provides unparalleled networking opportunities, educational programs, research on trends and innovations, and strong legislative representation. Civic organizations and industry groups constantly look for young people to fill leadership roles, allowing the opportunity to build leadership skills and give back to the community.

Seeking membership and leadership opportunities in professional organizations can be one of the best investments a young professional can make early in their career.

The future will afford plenty of opportunity for success to those young commercial real estate professionals who dedicate their early career years to developing skills, investing in business relationships, and preparing themselves for leadership.

About CGS3

A partner with Crosbie Gliner Schiffman Southard & Swanson LLP (CGS3), Fernando Landa is a real estate attorney with a broad transactional practice across the United States – specializing in the acquisition, development, financing, leasing and disposition of commercial real estate assets. He possesses a unique expertise in distressed real estate workouts and receiverships, handling the sale of nearly $1 billion dollars of real estate assets through the judicial process over the last five years. To learn more about CGS3, contact Fernando Landa at 858-367-7696 or


Crosbie Gliner Schiffman Southard & Swanson LLP (CGS3)