Real Estate Agent Magazine Broker News Young Leaders in Real Estate Share Their Insights

Young Leaders in Real Estate Share Their Insights

Young leaders from Gen-Z and Millennial generations are increasingly entering leadership positions within the industry and sharing what they have learned with peers.

Young leaders can often face unexpected and drastic change. Morgan Hoffman, now 38, saw first-hand the aftermath of the 2008 housing crash when she obtained her real estate license at 18 in 2003 and began working for a company specializing only in foreclosed properties.

Six years ago, she and a business partner opened JPAR Live Local Real Estate Brokerage in Boise, Idaho; after several “normal” years she found herself leading her brokerage through a pandemic. At one point she recalls working 54 days consecutively unable to take any time off in an intense market of bidding wars and clients desperate for housing solutions.

“My agents appreciate my empathy; having been there myself, I help guide them towards what lies ahead,” says she.

Young leaders such as Hoffman are making waves in the real estate profession, taking on roles that showcase their perspectives and experience to infuse fresh ideas into the space. According to research, one such area where these younger leaders shine is work-life balance – something many younger generations cited as being central in their lives according to a 2023 Deloitte Global Gen-Z and Millennial survey. They noted their career is central but well-being and mental health are equally essential.

Empathy Leads the Way
Hoffman has seen all sides of business. From marketing, assistant, agent and now broker roles – she has seen it all! – to marketing assistant and broker. Through it all she has faced the market as it was up and when it was down. Now her specialty lies in helping agents navigate any difficulties as their businesses expand. She considers using her experience to assist her agents as she assists with any of the issues that might arise as their businesses expand.

“My role as a leader is to assist in creating a road map,” she states. “I provide them with resources for answering any queries they might have while also serving as a buffer zone on any unfamiliar issues that come up.”

Hoffman describes her experience when starting out in real estate as being one of self-learning the necessary skills on her own, without necessarily having any guidance in the business. To prevent agents from going through what she did alone, she now provides weekly classes to her team members that cover building client relationships, confidence and communication – key components for success in real estate sales.

Hoffman acknowledges the widespread perception that millennials get a bad rap; on average, their generation can be perceived as whiny, soft or unwilling to put in hard work. She insists otherwise and credits empathy as one of her generation’s key strengths; she thinks their empathy cares for people while they strive for balance outside work and aren’t afraid to reach for what they want in their lives.

“With my parent’s generation, the focus was solely on career success – there wasn’t any focus on happiness or fulfillment,” according to her.

So she strives to build a brokerage where her agents and clients can find balance and fulfillment – by building trust through leading with empathy.

Make Room for Young People
While working as an office manager at his hometown grocery store during high school, Alec Roth rapidly advanced through the ranks to office manager – experience which later transferred over into real estate sales and development.

“In real estate, this situation doesn’t differ so drastically from any other profession,” notes Roth, team lead partner with Arthur & Roth Real Estate of Edina Realty in Edina, Minnesota. “There’s a diverse group of age groups and generations involved; some just starting their first job; others have been around longer.”

While in college in Minnesota, he began as an assistant for a real estate company before progressing into transaction coordinator status. Reviewing files for around 1,000 transactions annually gave him invaluable insight into the industry; when he decided to acquire his real estate license he felt prepared for success.

Roth, now 25, claims to have known exactly what he was doing when he entered the business at 20. His first sale was of a small townhouse to clients who have since completed five more transactions with him.

Roth says his move from Chicago to Minnesota for college broadened his skill set significantly. Without an established network or circle of influence, he had to construct both confidence and business with intent.

“I completed deals that other agents were unwilling to undertake, travelling a wider circle,” according to him.

Roth’s experience has helped mold him as a leader. He dedicates much of his time helping four agents advance their business and also creates space for younger real estate professionals.

Edina Realty is a non-franchised brokerage with approximately 2,400 agents; approximately 450 of these younger agents are 35 or younger. Roth and another agent approached Edina Realty’s president last year with the proposal for New Voices: an initiative within the brokerage that provides younger or newer-to-the-business agents a dedicated space within which to connect.

“We strive to show newer and younger agents that they have a place in this industry for the long haul, by hosting events monthly or bimonthly such as volunteer activities and games,” according to him. “We bring this group together just so they know there are others their age in this industry.

Roth has been recognized for his leadership at his brokerage. To celebrate, its president invited him and other professionals for lunch and an open dialogue about its future and potential improvements.

Honesty and Determination Make the Difference
Kadee French of Keller Williams Central in Edmond, Okla. and vice chair of the National Association of REALTORS(r) Young Professionals Network Advisory Board emphasizes three qualities essential for real estate success: an open mind, adaptability to change, and explaining things directly, honestly, and kindly to clients.

French, 29, has established herself as a leader in numerous aspects of real estate. She takes an holistic view and strives to avoid negativity that could get in her way. “I don’t want to become rigid; instead I prefer listening to others’ perspectives while adhering to my ethics and morals.”

She does not let her age prevent her from gaining clients, knowing her guiding principles of honesty and adaptability make a difference in client acquisition. Some hire her simply because she is young. “Some choose me because they need solutions quickly.”

French recently took over an expired listing that had previously been listed with another agent. While hosting an open house nearby, French was invited by her new client to come take a look at his property. French was upfront with him about being flexible on pricing while offering improvements prior to relisting it for sale.

“We are painting the entire house,” she informed him, and are planning to reduce costs by an estimated $44,000. That is where she believes they need to be.

He appreciated her honesty and willingness to be upfront with what they thought was necessary in today’s market, which ultimately resulted in multiple offers once relisted.

As French embarked upon her real estate career at 22, she approached it with leadership in mind. Within two years she achieved much, starting by getting involved with local, state, and national associations – something REALTOR(r) Magazine recognized when including her in its 30 Under 30 list two years later. French also served as President of Edmond Board of REALTORS(r), earning that organization’s REALTOR(r) of the Year honors.

She currently holds the vice chair position on both Edmond’s YPN and Oklahoma’s YPN Advisory Boards, in addition to her national position with YPN.

As she describes, many of the boards where she has served include older individuals from diverse generations.

“They embraced me with open arms; they wanted my younger perspective.” she states. “I have been working tirelessly on their behalf; they respect me even though I’m younger.”

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