Where Is The Best Source Of Talent For #CRE? Just Ask A Veteran. Better Yet Hire One!

Yes, let me state right up front, “I AM BIASED.”

If you are looking for a fair, open, perfectly written and crafted unbiased journalistic article you are in the wrong place.

You may have already known that when you clicked on in the first place. (Wink)

Seems too obvious to me. #CRE is always on the lookout for talent. Of course, it’s not just #CRE it’s stated as a top issue in any industry.

I realize that there are some schools (Wharton) and companies (Blackstone) that seem to attract some of the best and brightest to #CRE.

Power to them. It’s part of their competitive advantage.

Generally, if you ask any CEO what they need the most the answer about 99% of the time is “quality, talented people.”

So, why not look to the greatest source of quality talented people in the world.

The United States Military.

I told you I was biased. Yes, I know #CRE is global, but hey let me run with this one.

Let me bring up something beyond the flag waving and chest thumping and get real for a minute.

There are so many positives and that’s the point but what about what I call “understanding the right fit.”

Of the conversations I have had, there is a single theme that comes up every time and this comes from the veterans themselves. It’s that employers often don’t know how to interpret the relevance of a veteran’s skill set or appreciate their capacity for such all-purpose skills as rapid learning, leadership, and pure smarts.

I highlighted the last statement in bold for a reason. It says it all. Not in any way am I  trying to throw this at potential employers and say it’s on you.

I would seem that those are the exact skills not only desired but needed with any organization.

So, then why is it an issue?

I’m not sure. What I am not here to do is question the why. What I am trying to do is just put it out there for thought. Hopefully, bring some context to the conversation. Look up there one more time. Think about it for a minute.

You can get any nerd to code. That does not take away their value at all but what about every other part of your organization.

What if they are a veteran and can code? Hmm, find me a bunch of those. I want to meet them NOW!!!

The experience of every veteran in the military is unique in itself. That’s a given. But there are some skills that just never go away.

I am the poster child for that. It just stays there. It’s part of your being and still is to this day still, for me.

There are some if not many companies and organizations actively engaging and seeking veterans for #CRE.

How can I not mention TenX. Just look at what they are doing with the Vets In Tech Program  Look up and down their roster of people, Impressive to say the least.

CCIM has a brilliant initiative that they came up with called CCIM Veterans in Real Estate Program. Nothing but a winner!

Did I mention Blackstone before? I’m sure I did.

Look at this.

MAY 25, 2017
Blackstone Reaches 50,000 American Military Veterans Hiring Target Ahead of Schedule; Commits to New, Additional 50,000 Veterans Hiring Goal.

Now that’s flat out getting it done. There is a reason they are who they are.

There are many more that may go unheralded and have hired or are actively looking to hire veterans.

And for that, I want to say a big THANK YOU.

For those who may be wondering…………..

Where Is The Best Source Of Talent For #CRE? Just Ask A Veteran. Better Yet Hire One!


+1. My Veteran Status: U.S Air Force Active and Reserve Duty Honorable Discharge. (DD214) In case you were curious.

+1+1 “Aim High…Fly-Fight-Win.”



  • Hi Duke – Excellent post. This is something we are also working on at SVN. With the student debt crisis preventing many from taking commission-only jobs, this creates opportunities for military personnel who may not have taken on the debt but have learned many of the important life skills needed to excel in CRE. I applaud what CCIM is doing because some of the reason we don’t have enough non-traditional CRE practitioners is that “you can’t be what you can’t see.” We’re coming off years of residential being the only visible real estate career. The licensing process barely includes CRE. But, layered on top of this is our past of “you need to know someone in the business” recruiting practices for CRE. I have an additional hope that because the military is more gender and ethnically diverse than ever before that we will see more non-traditional candidates flow over into our industry. I would also like to see property and facility management create more apprenticeship programs which could also be geared to veterans (and our governments to create tax incentives for our industry in order to do so), but that’s an agenda item for another day …

  • Great post, Duke (but I’m biased). Some thoughts on this: “…employers often don’t know how to interpret the relevance of a veteran’s skill set…” – I agree, but it’s also a big problem that we (Veterans) don’t properly interpret our skill set to employers. I gave this a lot of thought when I was entering CRE post-military, and there are unlimited ways that my time in service prepared me for biz. One of the most common things I hear when someone learns what I did in the military and what I do now is “How did you go from that, to this? It’s so different!” But it’s really not… you just need to find the similarities (literally dozens).

    I started a side passion project last year that connects post-9/11 military Veterans attending the University of Illinois with mentors in the field that they wish to work in after graduation, and I’ve really seen the challenges that many Vets have in interpreting their military experience… which has created a new opportunity within the organization to change this.

    Thanks for writing, and your service (even though you’re USAF…).