by Stephanie Marthens of Lee & Associates Orange

The room was bustling with the assembly of displays and arrangement of handouts. Sounds of anticipation from the attendee queue outside the door were starting to grow. There were sweaty palms and a racing heartbeat coupled with the worrying about what to say, and that was just the broker. Imagine how the young professionals looking for their first post-college job were feeling?

For many of us, our first professional position came from connections made at a career fair or an on-campus recruiting session. And this connection landed us in the commercial real estate industry.

It was reported in a survey conducted by the NAIOP, The Commercial Real Estate Development Association, that 77% of today’s real estate firms are challenged with recruiting young, new talent. It has also been reported, that the average age of a commercial real estate professional in the United States is 49. All of this is coupled with the severity of the talent shortage.

It’s time to meet this challenge head-on.

Employing Lee & Associates’ vision of an organization of brokers with unrivaled expertise in the “Local Market,” it seemed obvious to look to the local colleges and universities to build the firm’s future talent pool and leadership base. Hence, the brokers have set their sights on the local career fairs and are enjoying every minute.

“The Chapman University Career Fair was an action-packed event. What a great experience to see the future of the business world. They are energetic, entrepreneurial-minded and excited about working, and I got to spend time face-to-face with our future,” says Bob Sattler, President of Lee & Associates Orange. “It was fascinating to see the diverse backgrounds of our upcoming professionals.”

Technology is a Way of Life.

This next generation of professionals was raised on technology and the many forms it takes. The embracement of technology is their “normal.’’ As recruiters of young talent, we must be cognitive of their daily interaction with technology and realize that they must be reckoned with by the CRE industry, which recognizes only now the role technology will play in commercial real estate. At Lee & Associates, we know the importance of technology and have been actively moving forward in incorporating it in our brokerage platforms, which ultimately translates into more business and better client service.

A Unique Opportunity Awaits New Recruits

The purpose is to offer new recruits unlimited potential in the commercial real estate industry. In keeping with the spirit of today’s young professionals, entrepreneurialism is the backbone of our culture and business model. Utilizing a bottom-up, as opposed to a top-down business model, agents of Lee & Associates Orange are the decision makers and determine how their office operates. The brokerage is 100% owned and operated by the real estate professionals in their office. In turn, this culture allows for quick response to today’s ever-changing markets or technology.

“Working at Lee & Associates has emphasized the importance of persistence and attention to detail. The office has an exceptional family culture where teamwork and trust are foundational to business,” says Robert Degan, a Chapman University Senior and Lee & Associates Intern.

Because upcoming generations are bringing dramatic abilities in talent and technology to work and company cultures, it is imperative that firms embrace what these prospects have to offer. Attracting young talent to our firm will not only give us a competitive advantage but more importantly, will keep the business fresh and alive with new ideas and better service. The last thing we can afford is a stagnant workplace.

Lee & Associates Orange is a group of dedicated professionals that are interested in building a future with today’s talent. We invite you to contact us to find out more about our opportunities and how we can help you start a career in commercial real estate.

About Stephanie Marthens – Stephanie is the Marketing Manager for the Orange office of Lee & Associates. She develops and implements marketing and public relations strategies for the promotion of company listings, brokers, services, brand, and accomplishments. Her career includes marketing professional services for real estate brokerages and architectural/engineering consulting firms. Stephanie can be reached at (714) 564-7135 or