Mentoring and training are some of the most important components in finding the next crop of Commercial Real Estate professionals.
One firm dedicated to growing with young professionals is Dallas-based CORFAC member Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services. President and CEO Kevin Santaularia, says his firm is committed to being a generational, “evergreen” company. To achieve this, he says, “there is a commitment from our executive team that we grow the firm with young professionals. All senior leadership is engaged in mentorship.”
When asked how to find the right recruits, Santaularia says they source “YPs” (young professionals) through net working among its current producers to linking with institutions of higher learning, reaching out to upcoming graduates from Southwest colleges, for instance.
For Santaularia, the young professional fallout is represented to be upwards of 50% industry wide. “The industry fallout of YPs was likely more substantial than that in the 2008-2012 cycle when even CRE veterans struggled to earn a living. In 2012, we were compelled to create a ‘Young Professional Training and Mentoring Program’ to help ensure that when we elect to hire a Young Professional, we, and more importantly, the YP who is making a commitment to Bradford, have some assurances that they will succeed in CRE and with Bradford.” This program covers topics such as: Networking, Building/Suite showings, Owner/Tenant planning meetings/Cold Calling to name just a few.
He continues that the talented young professionals have options, both institutional and entrepreneurial. “Training is timely and expensive in mentoring man hours. We want to ensure success,” he says. “We don’t approach hiring or training people like my golf game, which is ‘hit and hope.’ Additionally, along with our ‘YP Boot Camp’ prior to hiring, we require YPs to take a sales assessment test to determine their aptitude for the selling process.”
One tale of success Santaularia points to is Nick Talley, Senior Vice President, Managing Partner based in Bradford’s Fort Worth office, the firm’s 2016 & 2017 Top Producer and now a 12-year veteran. “He was hired directly out of the University of Texas (Austin). He mentored with Michael Spain, our 2015,2016, 2017, and 2018 Top Producer.”
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