Let’s take a step back in time (maybe a leap for some!) and remember when we were first starting our careers in commercial real estate.
A lot of young professionals give up not knowing how to enter the industry as there can seem to be a lot of barriers. When young talent can get through the obstacles, they can often burn out, not having proper guidance to learn from and survive the business. I have seen it often happen during my time in the industry.
Today, more young leaders are moving into decision making roles in other industries making it imperative to have that young talent on your team to help bridge those connections. As of late, it seems that the CRE industry realizes the need to help cultivate this young talent to create well-rounded teams.
I was fortunate to find some wonderful mentors almost every step of the way who helped me navigate my career, connect me with opportunities, and provide guidance. Some I sought out and some I lucked out having the opportunity to work with. What I also understand is that those who take the time to mentor will also receive the benefit of building those relationships with the younger generation. That was one of the catalysts for an organization I founded in 2012 with some of my female peers, Ladies in CRE, which now supports 700 members.
We saw a need for young women like ourselves in their 20’s and 30’s in the industry trying to grow their careers and provide a platform that brings in accomplished women to speak and learn from. We are now in the second year of our mentorship program, which is allowing young leaders in the organization to take on mentoring roles as well. To date, we have reached over 35 mentees since launching the program.
The Ladies in CRE mentoring program happened thanks to my mentor and fellow commercial real estate woman, Tanya Little Hart, who has a tremendous passion for mentoring young women.
In addition to Ladies in CRE, other organizations offer mentoring programs like the Real Estate Council for those of you looking for something like this too. If you are seeking a mentor, or you have the desire to invest your time to become a mentor, I highly suggest you do. The average young professional has a much better chance to not only succeed but to also stick out the initial grind and become a valuable asset. Who knows, these mentees could be your next top producer, or they may have the chance to mentor your kids one day.
In the famous words of the great Arthur Ashe, “From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.”
Allison Johnston Frizzo is the vice president of leasing at Gaedeke Group and founder of Ladies in CRE