Have you heard the news? May’s construction spending was up 5.4 percent in the trailing twelve months, driven by the strongest residential numbers in more than four years. Bidding wars on scarce properties have reemerged in once-stagnant markets. The Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index has jumped 75 percent in the last two years, and some builders are even having difficulty finding enough qualified tradesman to handle all of their projects.
Yet despite the headlines, caution remains the watchword for real estate companies expanding their professional ranks. The beginning of a recovery comes with as many risks as opportunities. Rebounding interest rates, for example, could dampen housing demand. Many effects of the deep federal budget cuts from sequestration won’t kick in until next year. The eurozone, which collectively represents America’s largest trading partner, reached a record-breaking 12.1 percent unemployment rate in May. To the east, concerns about China’s murky banking system and slowing growth offer another potential shock to U.S. markets, job growth and, ultimately, real estate. At the same time, those who fail to act at all risk missing another long climb for U.S. GDP growth and economic expansion. One thing is certain: The decisions of real estate professionals laying out their career plans now will affect their livelihoods for years to come.
Plan, Plan and Plan Some More
Even though we face unknowns in the economy, a well-thought-out career strategy is valuable no matter what direction the market takes. How long has it been since you considered what position you want to hold in five, ten or 15 years? What doors do you see opening as your skills advance, and what opportunities do you see expiring as you move further into a single specialty? Are there things you know you will regret missing if you don’t act, such as starting a business of your own? The simple act of thinking through questions like this, sharing them with your family and discussing them with your mentors can put you in a position to act with confidence when a new job or business opportunity emerges unexpectedly. Build your professional network accordingly. Once sales pick up, new positions will emerge quickly as firms position themselves to expand. Be ready.
Optimism about the economy and confidence in your career should help you work harder to reach your goals. Just don’t let anticipation built over a long recession push you into rash decisions. Even if you’re dissatisfied with your current work, take a hard look at all the options available before you make overtures to your contacts about jumping ship. Even if an exciting new opportunity emerges, carefully study the company’s prospects and business plan to ensure the position has a high likelihood of getting you where you want to be. Finally, don’t settle. If a position with a moderately better paycheck comes along – even if it’s been a long time since you’ve had a job offer – go back to your long-term plan and ensure the move is worth the risk of missing a better opportunity next month. Those who plan with patience today will find themselves at the top tomorrow.
For more than two decades, Christopher Frederick has used its deep recruiting experience and digital network to help connect the leading people and companies in real estate. To learn more about how we can enhance your next executive search using our unique method of digital recruitment, contact Chris Hingle at firstname.lastname@example.org, 800-EXU-FIRM. Or visit our website at www.chrisfred.com.