Aesop’s Fable says, “He who finds discontentment in one place is unlikely to find happiness in another.” CRE employees are leaving their jobs at an accelerating rate right now. Due to the pandemic, layoffs, companies not hiring for the past 18 months, and the market now being open, there are opportunities in just about every CRE company.

After having thousands of conversations with CRE job candidates, I’ve boiled down the five reasons why you might want to leave your job. If you are looking for a new position in CRE, or you are a company and find your team members leaving, the reason will likely fall into one of these buckets.

 

#1: Company Culture

  • “It’s a poor work environment due to….”
  • “I don’t feel like a valued team member, and this is how I’m treated….”
  • “Too bureaucratic and it’s hard to get things accomplished, so I can’t….”
  • “Company isn’t innovating, so it’s hard to….”

Executive recruiters and current industry professionals have good insight into how companies treat their people. I recently sat in on a Construction Management class at the University of Miami MRED+U. There was a case study on an ethical issue about using cheaper material to increase profits. The owner of the firm told the employee it had to be done without telling the developer. One student said, “I would leave the company due to a toxic environment.” I was so happy with this answer because these are real-world examples of what can, and does, happen on the job.

I hear endless stories of companies that ask their employees to make decisions like this. If you are looking to transition, I’d recommend asking around what the company’s reputation is like. Another good place to look at company reviews is glassdoor.com.

If you are a candidate looking for a new job, preparation, research, and creating a game plan is a must. If you are blindly applying for jobs on LinkedIn and going into interviews without really understanding what you want, you’ll likely find yourself settling for just another job and back on the job hunt a few months later. If you fall into this trap, the market will consider you a job hopper. Much of this can be mitigated if you do your research properly.

#2: Lack of Training

  • “No one has shown me how to do my job….”
  • “There is poor onboarding….”
  • “My company doesn’t provide opportunities for professional development….”

The biggest lesson I learned in my swimming career that translates into what we are talking about today is, the better technique you have, the quicker you will progress.

One of the reasons I sought out working with Adventures in CRE was because the market told me it was the superior program for real estate financial modeling on the internet. I also heard case study after case study on how it is the reason they got their job. Companies that aren’t providing proper training (like the Accelerator program), mentorship, lunch n’ learns, etc. are leaving huge opportunities on the table and risking employee loyalty.

To become a more well-rounded candidate or achieve a higher level of competency in your job function, learning new ways of doing tasks is critical. It’s critical to your professional development and to finding an edge in this competitive marketplace.

#3: Outgrown your Roles & Responsibilities

  • “I want a new challenge….”
  • “I feel stagnant in my current role….”
  • “I’m better at my role than my boss….”
  • “I want to get experience in another asset class or job function….”
  • “My current company isn’t growing….”

What do Fortnite, Call of Duty, Minecraft, and athletics have in common with your CRE career? The better you get, the more you level up and face new conditions.

These new conditions could be a promotion, a new function in CRE, a different asset class, or an entirely new company. They all require change, which is necessary for growth.

There is a price to pay to get good at real estate.

Time is a key component. That includes deal seasoning, being on a myriad of projects from start to finish, having a few promotions. Effort is another key component. When the going gets tough, are you giving up? Or will you deal with the current problem, like asking for a promotion, asking to pivot roles internally, or bringing new/different deals to your current company?

There are many ways you can solve your problems just by having these kinds of conversations. Don’t feel like you have to jump ship.

#4: Relocation/Quality of Life

  • “Spending too much time in my commute.”
  • “My company isn’t offering work from home anymore.”
  • “I work too much.”

The CRE world has historically been an in the office job. Boots on the ground are important. Most job duties require you to be in your city. Before leaving your job because your employer wants you to come back full-time in the office, first see how other companies are adapting. There are only a few functions in the CRE business that will enable you to work from home.

#5: Money

  • “They didn’t live up to their promise.”
  • “Company is not paying me what I’m worth.”

Out of all the reasons why people leave their job, money is one of the last I hear about.

It’s up to candidates to do their due diligence on what they should be making. Talking with people who have a similar job, talking with recruiters, and reviewing this compensation guide here are all great resources for you to do your due diligence.

If you are getting into this business for the money, not out of your love for real estate, there is not a high likelihood you’ll find success long-term. This business is hard. There are ups and downs. You will lose more than you win.

One of the main reasons I became a recruiter is because my mom lost her job in the 2008 downturn and ended up finding a job teaching. She’s still at that job 13 years later, happy, determined, and wouldn’t leave because of the community and impact she has.

There are multiple reasons people find themselves getting into the CRE business. I believe without loving what you do, you won’t be able to sustain what’s required to be successful long term.

About the Author: Tucker is the Head of Training and Career Services at A.CRE where he works with universities, companies, and candidates to provide training and job placement. Prior to A.CRE, Tucker spent two years at the 9th largest executive recruitment firm, where he focused on recruiting top talent in Commercial Real Estate. Tucker holds a BBA in Real Estate Finance from Southern Methodist University. While at SMU, Tucker was President of the Real Estate Club and was instrumental in providing guidance and connecting students with careers in CRE. Tucker currently resides in Dallas, TX.