The following Q&A was completed as part of our conversational Commercial Real Estate FAQ Interview Series, we hope you find it helpful:
Finding a great firm to work with is one of the most important foundation building practices a young broker can embark on. A great firm will have established procedures, invest in employees, and send you out into the world prepared for what the real estate world has in store. The knowledge you gain is knowledge you’ll take along for the rest of your career.
Richard Wilson: If somebody wants to start their career in commercial real estate, and they just take the very first step or two, besides going to the CapRocks website there in the Midwest, and going to apply to work for you, what else could they do as a very first step or two to break into the industry?
S.L. Van Der Zanden: Everyone that comes in here gets Peter Lineman’s book, I don’t know if they all read it, but it really gives you a baseline. The day you think you’re interested in becoming a broker you should sign up for and start taking the classes to pass the state exam. Because the shorter time, when you find an employer, the less time that’s spent passing the exam the sooner you can get to work. Showing up with the licenses is the entry point. I would recommend finding an opening at a firm, a larger firm, that has established procedures and training. That invests in their people. There’s some that will give you a phone and tell you to pound the pavement, all that stuff. The good firms really train their people well. Even if you’re only there a couple of years, it’s knowledge that you’ll have for the rest of your life.
Richard: Right, right.