EACH YEAR, WE AT REAL ESTATE FORUM PUT
a call out to the industry to send in their recommendations for the most successful and
impressive young professionals in the business.
And every year, not only do we see a rise in the
number of increasingly qualified candidates, but we are also noticing a
broader range of diversity among them.
Of course, these trends are in large part a reflection of the overall
demographic changes we’re seeing as a country. But it’s also a testament to commercial real estate’s growing popularity as a career choice
among young people entering the industry.
We’ve been hearing for years about the incoming surge of Echo
Boomers, or Millennials, and how they will change all aspects of our
lives. Their huge numbers and collective influence, just about every pundit attests, will have an impact in the way we live and work, from the
types of food and clothing available to the mass market, to how we consume news and entertainment.
Or will they? There’s another train of thought that believes this cohort
may be exhibiting a set of particular behaviors and preferences now, but
will eventually follow in the footsteps of their forebears in many areas—
for instance, moving from the city to the suburbs when they start families, albeit likely at a later age than prior generations.
The fact, however, is we already see their influence, and it’s here to
stay. The best illustration of this is the presence of technology in our
lives. Sure, it’s a matter of advancement as a civilization, much like
the industrial revolution was a century ago. But think about this—the
upcoming generation was literally raised on technology. Most young children these days can operate tech gadgets better than adults. Whereas
my generation (admittedly I’m a couple years too old to be considered
a Millennial and too young to be in Gen-X) at least knew what a vinyl
record or Beta tape was, most youngsters today can’t identify a cassette
tape (I have seen this happen in person).
The world will only move more toward being Millennial friendly. And
with the last big generation, Baby Boomers, approaching retirement
age, it’s clear that much of the world will be run by the Millennials. If our
observations about the youngest generation of our industry are any indication, commercial real estate is in good hands.
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