At the time it seemed to be the worst piece of career advice Melissa Alexander ever received—until it turned out to be the best. Someone told her she wouldn’t make it in brokerage. Instead of getting discouraged, she got serious and used theencounter to do her best to fight through barriers in the industry.
When Alexander began her career on the marketing andresearch side of the business, she was initially unaware of the potential to transition into brokerage. As she shifted into a more client-facing role, she grew increasingly interested in the field of brokerage as a viable career option. She made inquiries—and was toldessentially to forget about it.
Indeed, typically the transition from an administrative positionto producer is challenging—particularly for women—butAlexander went on to learn that having a strong support system offamily, mentors and colleagues is key to growing and succeeding inher career.
Now the VP of Foundry Commercial, Alexander has some of herown wisdom to pass down to the next generation of brokers: don’tassume anything is off limits to you. And when in doubt, reach outand ask.
It is good advice in general for anyone looking to grow a career
but particularly apt for commercial real estate. While there are
certain structural issues to consider when moving up a career lad-
der or making a change in CRE—such as, for example, moving
from capital markets finance to retail brokerage—the main barri-
ers to advancement tend to be who you know and what you believe.
With that in mind, we tapped CRE executives for advice on howto navigate those two challenges, particularly the latter.
IDENTIFY A NICHE
One of the best pieces of advice that Jill Mozer, managing directorand national sales director of Black Creek Exchange, received inher career was to not be afraid to course-correct and pursue newopportunities.
Prior to joining Black Creek Group, Mozer worked as an attorney in a private practice before recognizing that it was not the rightfit. She advises that it is important for everyone to continuously“check-in” with themselves and ascertain whether they are wherethey desire to be on their career path. “If the answer is no, take thenecessary steps to voice your concerns and desires for advancement, more responsibilities, resources or whatever the case maybe,” Mozer suggests.
With a legal background and past real estate experience, Mozerwas able to shift her career into 1031 exchanges.
Climbing the Ladder
TOP INDUSTRY EXPERTS OFFER THEIRINSIGHTS TO YOUNG PROFESSIONALSAND DISCUSS THE BEST PRACTICESNECESSARY TO ADVANCE WITHIN THEINDUSTRY TODAY.
BY NATALIE DOLCEMAPPINGYOUR CRECAREER PATH