Ambition’s Back: A Rebounding Market Calls for Career Confidence

It’s taken seven long years, but the shadow of the financial crisis has finally receded from American real estate. Residential property values have seen sustained increases across major markets. Commercial activity has picked up, and in many cities builders are scrambling to meet a significant under-supply of multifamily housing. For professionals in the industry, guarded optimism has given way to justified confidence about the future of their careers.

Good News for Builders

Recent job statistics from the Associated General Contractors of America back up the trend. April saw the construction workforce expand in 220 markets compared to the same month the year before. Employment remained stable in another 49 markets and declined in 70, partly because of reduced spending on government projects and the impact from Hurricane Sandy. Job gains ranged between 10 percent and 11 percent in the greater Los Angeles area and came in at 9 percent in Atlanta and Dallas. A handful of smaller markets experienced a small gold rush, with the construction workforce increasing by 42 percent in El Centro, Calif., 35 percent in the Steubenville, Ohio, region and 27 percent in both Pascagoula, Miss., and Springfield, Ill. These numbers don’t just represent tradesmen. In my recruiting practice, I continue to see consistent demand for construction professionals in purchasing, acquisition and development, regional/divisional leadership, investment management and other areas.

Make it yours

Confidence is empowering. It helps people work harder, take risks and broaden what they consider possible. An optimistic future for real estate should inspire those who work within it to seize the potential for advancement and professional growth that might have been delayed during the recession. Now is the time to redefine your goals for the next five years. How can you assert yourself in your current position to make them happen? Who in your professional network can help you? Is the organization you belong to the best place to grow? A rejuvenated market affords us the chance to explore these questions to an extent that wasn’t possible in the fairly recent past. As you do, remember: Mindset matters. I’ve found that success isn’t necessarily a product of one-off opportunities, but rather the result of decisions we make based on the circumstances at hand. In real estate, at least, today’s circumstances are as promising as they’ve been in a long time.

For more than 20 years, Christopher Frederick has helped executives and the companies they lead seize opportunities in real estate. Visit our website at where you can find exclusive job listings for real estate professionals and read more about our one-of-a-kind approach to executive recruitment.