By Brooke Gothard, JLL
The 30(ish) year old real estate professional entered the industry during a very interesting time – the economy was at an all-time low, companies were defaulting on leases at a high rate, the work environment was dismal as deals were scarce – yet there were quite a few of us who were dedicated to being in this industry, and we weren’t going out easy! It’s been pretty incredible to watch the market evolve over the past six years, but even more so to see how close-knit the professionals in this industry have become. As cliché as it sounds, we are the millennial generation and we are transforming the real estate industry through the adoption of technology and collaborating among our various niche practices. We’ve all become friends outside the office and are supportive of each other knowing that we are the future of this business.
Among this professional segment is a group of young women who have chosen a male-dominated industry and have managed to make a name for themselves. Thanks to programs like CREW, the relatively few women who’ve been in the business for 15+ years have been incredible mentors for our generation. In 2010, there were 15 to 20 of us who formed our own networking group and would get together once every few weeks to discuss market trends, tenants in the market, etc. That group has since grown – so much so that our annual holiday gathering has had to change locations each year to accommodate the growing number of female RE professionals. We’ve even started our own “Niners” golf group (thanks to Sarah Evan and Heather Lamb) and that group continues to grow each month.
Fast forward 6 years, and we (being nearly 100+ brokers, vendors, analysts, asset managers, etc.) are now mentoring the next generation of young professionals looking to get into the business. It’s been amazing to witness how many young men and women seek entrée to the real estate profession – way more than when I joined in 2010. This summer, I was honored to meet with a handful of interns (both at JLL and other shops), and I gave them each my three pieces of advice:
- Confidence is the best outfit you can wear – Be authentic and be you!
- Don’t act like a “millennial” – unfortunately, we have a reputation of being lazy and being “awarded a trophy just for participating”. As said best by Carla Harris, success doesn’t just happen, you have to earn it. If you haven’t heard Carla speak, you need to.
- Learn the game of golf – there is no better time spent with a client than riding around for 4+ hours in a casual environment.
This industry is fun, yet also intimidating and daunting at times. You’ve got to be very driven and passionate while maintaining a thick skin and an ethical demeanor. My No. 1 career goal is to be a successful tenant rep broker, while (most importantly) maintaining respect from my colleagues, peers, and clients. I am extremely grateful for the friends I’ve made in the business over the past six years, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for all of us 30(ish) year old real estate professionals.
Brooke Gothard is a member of JLL’s Atlanta Tenant Representation Group. In this role, she and her team represent a variety of clients including professional services firms, technology and marketing companies, corporate headquarters, and multi-market corporate accounts. Prior to joining JLL, Brooke was with CBRE for over 5 years representing large and mid-sized corporations and has helped clients successfully complete several million square feet of assignments in Atlanta and around the country.
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