Fast-track your real estate career
Built environment (comprising of construction, the buying, selling and leasing out of property estate and various other related real estate-related activities) is one of the major contributors to the Indian economy. It accounted for approximately 17.7% of the country's GDP in the year 2009-10 (from a mere 10% in 1991-92). There is a projected area requirement of almost 95 billion sq. feet between 2010 and 2020 across the various real estate segments.
This means that manpower requirement has become one of the most critical elements that will drive this growth. This is good news for everyone who is pursuing a real estate career.
Indian Real Estate: Rife With Opportunity
A nationwide study by RICS indicates a likely demand supply gap of 44 million core professionals comprising of civil engineers, architects and planners by the 2020. New demand for specialized professions is now emerging in order to enhance professional expertise and improve productivity in this fast-paced sector. Among others, these are:
- Quantity surveying
- Project Management
- Facilities management, and
- Sustainable development
If you are pursuing a career in real estate in any of its various verticals, it is recommended that you plan your career to leverage future and current opportunities. One of the ways to focus your career on faster growth is to have a well-conceived career development that bridges all foreseeable gaps. What gets measured gets done.
Career development is a favourite topic on the agenda of employees and their managers, but it often lacks the robustness needed to propel careers and skill enhancement. The following tips will help you to formulate a relevant career development plan which reflects the skills and capabilities you need to advance your real estate career.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Most of the employees feel that they are slaves of the insurmountable limitations in their careers. Accordingly, they appear at their career review meetings unprepared and feeling slightly lost and hopeless. Such employees are generally unaware of the possible areas of growth available to them in their company.
It makes sense to study the various real estate verticals that you company is active in, and to pinpoint the verticals which you feel you can excel in. Plan your pitch in advance so that you can communicate to your manager your interest in the growth vertical of your choice.
Is Your Career Development Plan Still Relevant?
The world economy is undergoing major changes and global cycles are shorter and deeper. It may make sense to validate some of your goals against the economic reality, industry needs and your current job responsibility. Don't get me wrong - I do not advocate that you change your goals every six months. What I do advocate is strategic course alignment for maximum benefit.
For example - if you have specialized in residential real estate brokerage but have a talent for organization and people management, you may be a prime candidate for a management role. Likewise, if you feel your deep knowledge of the market is wasted in your current role, your company may find much better use for your talent in its Research division.
Is It Achievable Within Your Projected Time-frame?
It is your career and it is your job to set the pace for your developmental goals with a realistic timeline. There is little point in setting goals which are not achievable in a set time. My advice would be to start slow and build momentum along the way. A great career is always marathon - never a sprint race.
Does It Incorporate Recent Feedback?
You may have gained new insights into your working style which helps you to see your strengths and limitations holistically. In case the recent feedback is important for you to grow in a career, make sure you incorporate it in the career development plan.
Do You Have A New Manager?
Like most corporates, real estate companies of all stripes have their fair share of churn at the managerial level. Sooner or later, you may find yourself with a new manager. When this happens, there is a danger of finding yourself 'slotted' in your current role because the new manager has no idea of your own career plan. Make it a point to schedule an appointment to explain your career advancement plans to him or her.
Once the new manager has settled into the new role, be sure to mention that your current plan has been set in consultation with your old manager and that it was being reviewed regularly.
Optimally Use Existing Resources
Both time and money are finite resources in the modern corporate world. Take the time to review your manager's coaching efforts and see if they are aligned with your career development plan. If you wish to make changes in it, be prepared to discuss how your manager can help you to achieve your goals.
Make sure that your career plan balances current performance expectations with future career aspirations and challenges you to build on your strengths. Always remember that there will be resources which you may want and never get. This may be due to economic factors or your manager's own constraints. Identify what is readily available - successful people make their careers out of what they have on hand.