Brooke, what are you up to this summer?
I am interning for Colliers International, a commercial real estate company. I got involved because my dad, Joe, is Vice Chairman of the Eastern Region (NYC) and I intern for "The Cabrera Team" comprised of eight brokers including my father.
What's your typical day like in the working world of NYC and in the commercial real estate business?
The most exciting thing about commercial real estate that there is no "typical day." Though I have a cubicle and I come to work every morning, each day brings something new. I could be making calls to verify office addresses, studying the streets of NYC, going on office 'space tours,' sending emails on behalf of the team, attending meetings, listening in on important phone calls, going to lunch with clients of The Cabrera Team, etc. The list continues. For example, just today I toured a space alone in order to acquire pictures for a perspective client (tenant) who is seeking space. The best way to think about it is residential real estate on steroids...you eat what you kill and you have to find your own leads for new clients. If you don't make a deal, you don't make any commission.
Having said that, the commute from Greenwich to New York City is an hour long. I get up around 5:30 and I either jump on the train or drive in/out with my dad based on how his schedule looks. It's certainly tiring but it has to be done!
How has this experience helped you for the future?
This relates with my major in communications due to the fact that I am in constant communication with people every day. I have to exemplify good networking/people skills through my presence and appearance, project strong body language and have to be able to hold a conversation. The best way to advance in the commercial real estate world is through networking and in order to network you have to give off a certain likability for people to pick up on so relationships can be established. A major in communications has certainly enhanced these skill sets for me.
I plan on being a commercial real estate broker after graduation in the fall of 2014.
So far my experience has highlighted the importance of a good education coupled with hard work. I work long hours and perform a multitude of tasks every day. Hard work and grit are required to demand answers from people or get into vacant spaces of buildings to provide maximum optionality for clients.
Without the University of Maryland I would never be prepared for a job like this. It's great coming from such a big school because the networking opportunities are endless and I have already run into a handful of Terps!