Empowering Young Professionals in Commercial Real Estate – How to be an Effective Mentor.
Over the past few weeks we spoke to some of our partners and young professionals that work with them about how to empower those new to the industry to achieve their career goals. The one thing that comes up time and time again is the importance of mentorship.
We explore why mentorship is important, the benefits to your firm and how to be a good mentor to young professionals.
Why is it important to be a good mentor?
Real estate is highly competitive – it’s important to support young professionals with mentorship to help them reach their goals. It is surprising how many decisions are made by small, powerful groups of senior brokers. Young professionals will need to help make industry connections and learn how decisions in real estate are made.
Entering such a highly-competitive industry is a challenging experience for recent graduates and career changers. This has been particularly true during the COVID-19 pandemic and now as we emerge with new ways of working. Overnight, gone was the normal office environment, replaced by work from home scenarios and hybrid-working. Normal practices, such as building tours and meetings were all moved online. Such a shake up was particularly challenging for young professionals; they’re not only new to the industry but they came in a time of a major upheaval!
Young professionals bring new perspective
Young professionals bring new experience and energy into the industry. They can also bring a new perspective to your firm – through marketing or new technologies – they can bring a whole new aspect in the way your firm can improve to serve your clients better.
Those new to the industry often bring eagerness and are very competitive. It often helps firms open up new avenues for business. Empowering YPs to make decisions and contribute ideas also paves way for new ways of thinking. Perhaps they may know a new tactic for social media that will help you expand your reach online and gain exposure, or help you build your professional brand.
Mentorship allows those from underrepresented backgrounds, who experience additional barriers to success and may not have been exposed to the same opportunities, reach their potential. Promoting a work culture which values talent beyond stereotypes and helps the team break down barriers, fosters better decision making, productivity and efficiency.
How to be a good mentor?
For young professionals a mentor is someone willing to listen and teach. Without mentorship those new to the industry find that their role is very task-orientated. As a mentor you should be able to guide the younger professionals looking up to you and allow them to pursue their way of doing things. Helping them look past the day to day tasks towards a strategic view of the industry.
People have to love their career and really enjoy what they do. Peers are important. Mentoring a young professional helps them to feel more comfortable in their role and enjoy the social element of it. Creating a welcoming environment, where your team feels able to socialize, ask questions and suggest new ideas or ways of working will make people enjoy their work and produce better results.
Look to those around you to help them achieve their goals – through that you’ll be able to achieve your own, and your company’s goals. A well performing team means success for the entire firm.