The Key Business Driver in Commercial Real Estate? Talent

Your company may have the premier real estate asset, the best technology, the most coveted location and uniquely creative interiors, but if you do not have the right people—the most innovative and diverse talent—and an inclusive culture—non-bias, equitable—you will not win the customers or clients you need to do business.  The greatest driver in business today is talent.  The right people with the right skills to deliver the results companies seek.

Any company’s greatest asset is talent. Let me be clear:  diverse talent.  Global research indicates that diverse teams are more innovative. Diverse mindsets and skill sets drive a thinking style and work environment that encourages people who are creative, analytical, and hands-on.

The other business qualities that attract and retain the best and brightest are equity and inclusion.  Equity enables your workforce to maximize its potential and create opportunities and success for all. Inclusion fuels innovation.  It enhances engagement with customers and employees; and helps drive success in the ever-changing business landscape.

CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Network’s latest industry research white paper, Accelerating the Advancement of Women in Commercial Real Estate, highlights global studies and data points for the diversity business case, including:

  • Companies in the top 25% for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have higher returns
  • Innovation is six times higher at companies with the most equal workplace cultures
  • Changing board composition to include 30% female representation could add up to six percentage points to a company’s net margin


When you think about business drivers, know that talent and your talent pipeline are priceless assets.  Job growth in the industry is projected to grow exponentially, due to the aging workforce.  The demand for skilled talent is at an all-time high, particularly in construction as new buildings come on line and older buildings are renovated.  Seventy-seven percent of commercial real estate and construction firms agree that they expect jobs to change considerably over the next three to five years as a result of digital business trends. These companies are rethinking their approach to talent, employee experience and organizational culture—because they know that talent, diversity and innovation are the greatest business driver moving into the future.

Commercial real estate is a robust industry in need of individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and fields of study. The industry provides one of the greatest, yet often overlooked, career opportunities, especially for women and people of colour. The demand for talent is high, and the opportunities are numerous and impactful.

To build a more diverse talent pipeline, companies must make an intentional commitment to tangible action. Executive leaders should implement these practical tactics to recruit and retain more women and people of colour, thereby increasing the diversity and bottom-line results for the company:

  • Be intentional in the hiring process to ensure a more diverse candidate pool
  • Hold hiring managers accountable for growth in diverse talent on their teams
  • Incentivize executives to increase diverse talent at all levels of the company
  • Identify and sponsor high potential employees into promotable positions
  • Partner with schools and universities to educate students about the many opportunities that exist in the industry
  • Explore the org website, a platform dedicated to recruiting women and people of colour to commercial real estate internships
  • Commit to encourage women and people of colour to apply for company positions
  • Develop creative compensation models to attract young talent to commission-based careers
  • Actively recruit women and people of colour to join your company
  • Leverage assessment tools that evaluate core competencies and predictors of success

Meet us at MIPIM 2020 (3 June at 3pm) to learn more about leveraging CREW Network’s talent pipeline initiatives and gaining best practices for diversity, equity and inclusion.

About Author

CAE, CEO, CREW Network

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