In Fall 2011, I received the Allen Block Real Estate Scholarship, established in memory of Allen Block, a respected member of the commercial real estate community. The scholarship helped me complete my Master’s of Business Administration with an emphasis in Real Estate and Finance from UMKC. Since graduating, I have gotten married, switched positions within the General Services Administration, and started my first side business. I have learned life-long lessons even in my first years in commercial real estate. Here is an overview of some of the things I have learned since entering my professional career:
Be a Lifelong learner
After taking multiple courses in Real Estate and working in the industry for three years, I discovered that there will always be something to learn. As a result, I have started taking CCIM courses and read as many trade publications as possible. Some of these include:
- Site Selection
- Block Real Estate Services Market Reviews
- CBRE Econometric reports
- The property report in the Wall Street Journal and
- Have also found a lot of good and free real estate literature at my local library
Find a mentor
It is never too early to find a mentor who can provide useful tips of the trade and help you navigate the industry. At GSA, I have found that I am a lot more competent in my position and approach problems differently, all because I obtain advice from two mentors. I talk to them often and consult them on challenges and opportunities I encounter. Mentors have a broader understanding of an organization because of their experience, which valuable information you can’t learn through a newspaper or trade publication.
Start a side business
During my MBA, I would get up at 6:30 AM, go to work until 5:00 PM, grab a bite to eat and then head to class from 6:30-9:00 PM. After graduating, I had some new-found free time after work, so I started working on a side business. Some people don’t recommend having another business if you are working full-time, but I find staying busy all day keeps me even more focused at my primary workplace and maximizes my time.
My first business is Kansas Property Tax Reduction. The business helps to reduce the tax liability of a commercial real estate owner’s property. I have been able to utilize a lot of the information I developed through my MBA to help with this new venture. I am still looking for my first customer, so please feel free to check out the services we provide. It is a risk free deal because we only charge you if we save you money!
Hopefully the information will be helpful to both new graduates and experienced professionals!
Lease Contracting Officer