Take Heed, Young Jedi: Advice From the Big Guns of CRE


Nobody doubts that the brokers in this year’s young professionals edition are a smart, accomplished lot, ready to take on all challenges, with impressive records to point to. But they are still early in their careers and have a ways to go before reaching the pinnacle of their careers. Commercial Observer decided to ask some of the most seasoned real estate pros for their best advice on what these young guns can do to remain at the head of their class for many years.

Stephen Siegel, CBRE

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“Never believe you know all you need to know about your profession. Every day you can learn something new that improves your competitive advantage and allows you to better service your clients.”

C. Bradley Mendelson, Colliers International

“In markets like this you have to work twice as hard. Business won’t fall out of the sky. Be proactive!”

Robert Knakal, Cushman & Wakefield

“Always remember that you are only as good as your last transaction and each and every interaction you have with market participants counts, as your reputation is the most important asset you have.”

Adelaide Polsinelli, Eastern Consolidated

“The client always comes first. This is a service business. Keep your eye on the client’s goals, rather than your commission. Clients can sense when your interests are ahead of theirs.”

Ofer Cohen, TerraCRG

“To succeed in the real estate business you must focus. While focusing on one submarket, asset type, deal type or an area, you build expertise. With the credibility of a real market expert within a certain market, you can become a true sought-after market maker.”

Chase Welles, SCG Retail

“This white-haired guy’s advice is pay attention to pipeline. When I was a young broker a more seasoned broker—she must have been 35—told me, ‘[Make a] deal a month—don’t worry how big—or co-broke. Just deal a month.’ To this day I still count deals by the month.”

Jodi PuliceJRT Realty Group

“Totally understand that the commercial real estate industry has changed and no more does the situation exist where there is a single broker representation. It’s now teams. For people coming up the ranks, they need to understand who should be on their team. They have to be on many different teams and represent many different companies.”

Andrew Mandell, Ripco Real Estate

“Make sure you are working for a company or individual that promotes your growth as an independent broker. It is critical for young brokers to establish their own relationships. Read everything! Our industry touches every aspect of life—business and personal.”