In the next five years, baby boomers will overwhelmingly have reached retirement age. Commercial real estate is one of many industries expected to feel the effects of the retirement wave which has already begun.

Rising young professionals, however, may or may not be interested in filling those shoes. While commercial real estate certainly offers a certain level of security and the ability to work from anywhere, it is currently still working to incorporate the latest technology, which has come to be expected in the workplace by younger generations.

What’s more, new professionals entering the workforce grew up in a different era. As a result, their values and goals are different. How can commercial real estate attract and retain this next-generation talent? Let’s explore some options.

Commercial Real Estate Industry Can Overcome Its Talent Deficit With Diversity

Build Diverse Teams to Combat Uncertainty

Diversifying to create strength is far from unheard of in investing; why not apply it to the workplace?
The commercial real estate industry has struggled with attracting professionals of various races, genders, and backgrounds. In particular, women in the CRE workplace have reported experiencing high levels of sexual harassment. This can obviously be a deterrent for people who could offer promising talent and insights.

By creating welcoming workplaces free of harassment, commercial real estate is slowly beginning to see more diversity in its professional ranks. The benefits of this are not only cosmetic: just like having a diverse portfolio to weather market storms works by spreading risk around, having diverse perspectives on a team make the entire team more flexible in their approach to problem-solving.

Hiring and mentoring people who are different makes CRE stronger. Consider ways in which you can harness this talent in your workplace.

Commercial Real Estate Industry Can Overcome Its Talent Deficit With Technology

Embrace New Technology, and Hire Talent to Operate It

There’s no doubt about it: technology is changing the face of commercial real estate. From self-driving cars slated to make parking lots obsolete, to artificial intelligence that can monitor buildings, track performance data, and match buyers with properties, it’s enough to make an investor wonder whether the need for hiring new talent even exists.

But it does.

As banks and firms worldwide embrace new technology, the upper hand will go to those who have the ability to take all the crunched data and apply a human analysis. Routine tasks which once took up most of the workday will be delegated to machines, and all that will be left to do is take the information and make informed decisions.

To attract young talent, CRE will need to recognize the need for human ingenuity and insight and seek it out. By challenging the next generation of real estate professionals with an earnest challenge and unlimited information at their fingertips, you can ensure an engaging experience that will keep professionals around.

Commercial Real Estate Industry Can Overcome Its Talent Deficit By Cultivating Loyalty

Cultivating Loyalty No Longer Means Coffee and Donuts

Office perks are nice, but rarely make the cut these days when it comes to creating a positive work environment. Next-generation talent desires meaningful work and clear payoff for their effort, but knowing this means you can create a desirable workplace that will attract the best professionals in the field.

By creating socially responsible plans to apply to practices, new CRE professionals can get a clear view of their larger purpose beyond closing real estate deals. By connecting to community and bonding with coworkers through a concerted effort to do the right thing, incoming talent can feel welcomed and motivated to be a part of something larger than themselves.

Whatever your method, it’s important to remember that turnover is expensive. Filling seats simply for the sake of leaving no desk empty quickly becomes a drain when team members continually leave because they don’t feel connected to the mission. Retention is not only more cost-effective, but makes your team stronger over time as experience level rises.

Not sure where to find this talent? Try taking a look at social media, where much of the job hunt has moved.