While commercial real estate firms may have temporarily slowed down their hiring, it is still worthwhile to think about marketing your skills to land your dream job when recruitment within the industry picks up again. Below are the top five most employable skills and traits in commercial real estate, based on what we look for when hiring top talent at Colliers.

Skill #1: A Client-Focused Approach

At Colliers, we look for talent who recognize that driving solutions based on client requirements starts with really listening to the client and understanding what they truly need.

How to showcase this skill

As a candidate, highlight customer successes you have achieved in your career, throughout your resume and during the interview process. When you talk about these examples, be sure to include what you did and what the quantifiable impact was on the business as a result. Perhaps you were involved in working with a client to help them find a new space for their business. What was your approach to supporting your client? Tell us how you deliver best-in-class service; we love hearing about this particular aspect.

Skill #2: Creativity and Innovation

We want talent on our team who can think outside of the box when identifying gaps and solutions. Don’t just tell us what could be better; tell us how you would improve these areas or solve these challenges.

How to showcase this skill

Are you the person in your team or office who has a proven track record of learning new technologies? Are you passionate about process improvement and automation? Consider tailoring your resume to show your knowledge of emerging technologies in the industry. Was there a time when you had to think outside of the box to solve a business problem? Tell us the problem: what you did and what the result was. We are always looking for ways to enhance our people’s and clients’ lives. If you have proven success in driving business and solutions using your creativity and innovation, we want to hear all about it.

Skill #3: A Collaborative Spirit 

This is a team sport; we win together and lose together. True collaboration comes when each member of the team inspires others to think differently, to support failures and to provide innovative solutions. We collaborate by bringing people together from diverse backgrounds and expertise to drive positive outcomes. Michael Jordan said it best: “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”

How to showcase this skill

Collaboration can come in many styles, but there are keys to collaboration that we want to hear about. Tell us about a time when your great communication skills propelled your team and led to success. Maybe your communication skills helped you overcome an obstacle and get back on course with the goal. Tell us how you listened intently to your client, asked the right questions and worked with your team to get that project over the finish line. Highlight times when your collaboration skills were tested under pressure and explain how you adapted to each situation. Provide us with angles on how you collaborate; this information gets our attention.

Skill #4: Adaptability

This industry is ever-changing. We move fast, succeed and fail fast, and learn even faster. Adaptability is a key skill that differentiates those who can keep up from those who get left behind. Consider our current environment for example: We are heavily subjected to external circumstances, but those who are adapting quickly, maximizing available options and resources, even choosing to explore unfamiliar avenues, are seeing continued growth.

How to showcase this skill

We all have that one colleague who comes to mind when we think of someone who is undeterred in the face of change. What makes them so? They are flexible,  willing to learn, embrace change, and are open to new ideas, ways of doing and achieving things, as well as technologies. If you’re a leader, tell us how you managed an unusual circumstance, or how you led your team through a major change in the organization. For business development or advisor candidates:while you might not be able to meet with your clients face to face to provide a service or tour a property at the moment, maybe you’re using this time to learn new technologies and tools to continue to drive the business forward. The best talent rises to the occasion and thinks creatively to drive and provide solutions for their clients.

Skill #5: Self-Motivation

When you work in an industry that is fast-paced, ever-changing and highly competitive, you need to be internally driven to get the job done. We can’t teach you motivation; you need to bring that to the table. What we can do is give you the tools and resources to help you get the job done.

How to showcase this skill

 To enter the deal side of the business, you need to be self-motivated. How will you remain driven to make high-volume cold calls, build your book of business and continuously prospect for clients? Be sure to showcase examples in your life and career wherein your motivation, determination and grit helped you remain on course to achieve your goals. Whether it was a summer of door-to-door sales or a call centre job, what were your targets and how did you stay inspired to meet those goals? If you’re currently involved with the support side of the business, what drives you to keep effectively supporting the team? Is it taking pride in being the expert for your team? Is it setting others up for success? Is it receiving recognition for a job well done? Regardless of your past or present position, highlight your self-motivators and how you will be unfazed by challenges in this industry.

Thinking Ahead

 It is constructive to think about what you need to do to now to market your skills in preparation for the time the opportunities start coming. Start with the following:

  1. Identify the skills you have that align with the industry.
  2. Update your resume to showcase you have these skills.
  3. Refresh your LinkedIn profile to reflect your capabilities and qualifications. This channel is one of the first places recruiters peruse.
  4. Begin networking with talent partners at Colliers.

If you want to learn more, reach out and start a conversation today with our talent partners and tell us why you have what it takes to build your career in commercial real estate.