I’m coming up on 4 years in the business. They go by fast. My dad has worked at CBRE for 27 years, longer than I’ve been alive. CBRE preaches the importance of specialization for its brokers. It isn’t wrong for doing this; the brokers who have developed a specialty are consistently among the most successful. I am part of the next generation, and while I am currently developing my specialty, I am 100% focused on using technology to make me better, more efficient, more adaptable. This will have a direct benefit to my clients.
For my team, the drive to embrace new technology began with the desire to get off e-mail. Clearly, we aren’t alone in this endeavor. We use Slack for day to day, quick communication, Asana for to-do lists and tasks, Evernote for notes and are testing VTS as our CRM. As with all new technology, it often slows you down before it speeds you up. However, it’s not a choice to make – whether to learn it or not – it’s a must.
Businesses are always changing. This is true for my career as a tenant and landlord advisor in New York City just like it’s true for CBRE as a whole or other behemoths like AT&T (Gearing Up for the Cloud, AT&T Tells Its Workers: Adapt, or Else) and General Electric (How GE Exorcised the Ghost of Jack Welch to Become a 124-Year-Old Startup.)
“There is a need to retool yourself, and you should not expect to stop.” – Randall Stephenson, CEO and Chairman of AT&T.
Mr. Stephenson is absolutely right. The article observes that to him, “It should be an easy choice for most workers: Learn new skills or find your career choices are very limited.” Just last week, we had a meeting with VTS’ engineers to offer our thoughts on how to make their platform better. This was not our first meeting. We are consistently investing our time in them and offering feedback to help them build something great for us. I am hopeful this experiment will be a good ROI, and am willing to take the chance because I am aware of the threat that not learning presents.
If you don’t stop and be purposeful about what you’re doing, the business will pass you by. It’s tricky because as an associate, you are directly judged and evaluated by how many meetings you generate for your senior brokers. But what’s more important – making that 20th cold call of the day, or researching and experimenting with new technology that will make you adaptable and ready for the future? The importance of being purposeful about what you’re doing cannot be said enough.
My partner Michael Movshovich often teaches me things. In fact, he won a well-deserved Mentor of the Year award just last week at the company’s awards ceremony. One thing he often says is, “There’s so much I don’t know, and isn’t that great?” Being in a mood of wonder and having an open attitude to try new things is something we live by. We’re focused on our clients and determined to find and help build tools that will make our work with them faster, better, and stronger – more interactive, and less about e-mail.