Hiring the Next Generation of Commercial Real Estate Brokers

Generation Z

We talk a lot about location, building conditions, and square footage of ideal commercial real estate properties, specifically investment properties. But now it’s time to start thinking about the most important investment for your business—the people you hire. Let’s talk about hiring the next generation of commercial real estate brokers.

Generation Z

With a wide range of ages in the workforce, we’d like to introduce the newest generation, Generation Z. The truth is, the lines of what ages constitute Generation Z, or Gen Z, are blurred. This age group, however, is essentially known as the generation that has never experienced life without technology.

Discourse shows that the years which include Gen Z are somewhat loose. Those who are a part of Gen Z were typically born between 1995 and 2015, the oldest of whom are just starting to enter the workforce. This is a generation who doesn’t know life without the internet.

Generation Z is no population to overlook. According to research, this group brings over 61 million job seekers. In fact, pre-COVID, Inc. Magazine predicted Gen Z would make up 24% of the global workforce by 2020.

As the end of the global pandemic sits on the horizon, Gen Z is flooding the workplace with full force. The data considered, you must be ready to hire and recruit the next (and largest!) generational cohort.

Let’s look at this newest demographic entering the workforce and what they need in order to succeed.

Generation Z

Getting to Know the Needs of Your Gen Z Brokers

Young People Love Learning… Fact or Fiction?

Amid a global pandemic, the way that the commercial real estate industry utilizes technological resources shifted. At Voit, we believe there is no better generation prepared to meet this challenge.

Somewhere along the line, however, people began to receive the impression that because younger generations are so attached to their devices, they don’t have a love for learning. This is, in fact, false. A great way to engage and connect with the younger generation is to show them that you not only care about their future at your company but that you also care about their growth as human beings.

Gen Z wants to work in an environment that makes them feel fulfilled. While they want to do great work, they also want to make sure the years they invest in their jobs are a valuable part of their self-development. For this reason, it’s imperative to make sure that your new hires have access to a wealth of learning materials that will continuously help them to grow.

Value of Single-Tasking

This generation knows how to toggle between screens and social media applications like no other. Although many parade their ability to multitask, some even include it on their resumes, research shows that multitasking can reduce one’s productivity by as much as 40%. Multitasking then, in fact, is a great way to diminish your productivity—not boost it.

Additional studies show that the attention span of this Gen Z can be as low as eight seconds. This is not a value to encourage, so you want to make an effort in the workplace to put a value on focused attention over multitasking. Teaching these values will not only help them improve as people, but they will be far more productive.

All in all, it’s time to reassess our productivity. Gen Z, and all workers at large, must focus on a single task at hand in the workplace. Empower yourself to finish one thing at a time before moving on to the next, then watch your productivity soar. Discover the value of single-tasking, instead.

Get Gen Z Engaged

According to research, Gen Z already makes up 30% of the globe’s population. The data considered, you need to engage Gen Z from a hiring and training perspective.

Z-ers, as some call them, have a lot to offer the older workforce. Contrary to stereotypical belief, marketing and technology aren’t the only areas to which Gen Z can bring new ideas. Every department can benefit from the input of a different generation.

These youngsters bring an innate understanding of the mindsets and social behaviors of the youth. Encouraging Gen Z-ers to share their insights and ideas helps everyone stay fresh and relevant.

It’s important to remember that every generation has its own quirks and its own merits. Each generation also comes with its own set of negative stereotypes. Many associate Gen Z with laziness or entitlement due to their dependence on technology. Just as many articles, however, challenge this position, citing studies showing the hardworking and innovative nature of Gen Z.

This group is entrepreneurial by nature. They are eager to work on independent projects. Companies who encourage them to think beyond the confines of their job descriptions will help them stay engaged long-term, greatly increasing their sense of loyalty. Offer your Gen Z employees a platform where their ideas can be heard, recognized, and implemented.

At Voit, we recommend considering what we can learn from one another. The fact of the matter is that Gen Z is here in full force, so seasoned real estate brokers should focus on the merits of the younger generation, passing on the knowledge they have. Although Gen Z may bring a fresh perspective to the commercial real estate industry, there’s no substitute for years of experience. The takeaway is that generations need to work together!

Work with Meaning

Like Millennials, Gen Z-ers are a socially conscious group who want to work for positive change. This demographic will challenge their employers to hold true to their word. 

The most important issues appear to be implementing sustainable practices and focusing on building communities and real relationships. The opportunity to participate in these groups and initiatives will help Gen Z feel more empowered and connected to their workplaces.

Provide Feedback and Solid Benefits

If you aren’t providing routine feedback, you’re failing your team members—especially your younger ones. Schedule regular check-ins to help them feel more assured in their roles. Regular check-ins help build connections and convey that you care about your team members’ personal development.

Gen Z is not sold on flimsy perks. This generation is seeking:

  • Healthcare
  • 401(k)s
  • Long-term Practical Benefits

It can be easy to forget these young professionals are still making sense of adulthood. Just because they have a good handle on their priorities doesn’t mean they have a complete handle on how they work, so be sure to guide them through the processes.

Generation Z doesn’t have the intention of simply clocking in and out of their nine to five. They want to know that what they’re doing matters and how. Initiating ongoing discussions about the larger implications of a project will keep them motivated and focused over the long term.

A Final Word

According to Deloitte, Generation Z will soon “surpass Millennials as the most populous generation on earth, with more than one-third of the world’s population counting themselves as Gen Z-ers.” In other words, you cannot ignore or underestimate the power that this generation brings—both as employees and clients.

Gen Z-ers who are just starting out and learning the ropes, especially in a first job, have realized that things can be tough. And companies are realizing that their organizations have more to gain by guiding young team members and instilling good workplace practices to set them up for successful careers.

Jon Larson | Vice President