Hired Learning

Mentorship offers a CCIM candidate a wealth of knowledge.

With large numbers of generation X and Y members entering the workforce and baby boomers remaining in the workplace well into their sixties, internships and mentorships are good stepping stones in the current job climate. Commercial real estate especially is suited to such situations since those new to the industry can learn much from the experiences of seasoned professionals.

Joshua W. Floring, sales and leasing associate with Magnum Real Estate Services in Minneapolis, benefited from such an arrangement as he was beginning his commercial real estate career. The company’s principal, Greg S. McDonald, CCIM, not only became his employer, but also his mentor. Commercial Investment Real Estate asked Floring to share some of the benefits of his mentorship.

CIRE: How did you find your first position in commercial real estate?

Floring : I answered a job posting on a Web-based college job board. A real estate company was looking for an intern. After a series of interviews I was offered the six-month position, which had a possibility of turning into a full-time position.

CIRE: Did having a CCIM as a mentor help?

Floring : I was fortunate to have a mentor that had CCIM training. His combined training and experience enables him to truly understand the business and explain all of the intricacies involved. I have had the opportunity to see how other brokers without his training conduct business and have found their work styles and abilities to be at a disadvantage.

CIRE: What was the most important thing you learned from your mentor?

Floring : How to be a cooperative and ethical broker with a high degree of integrity. This business is built on a foundation of trust, and without that, you’ll never have the opportunity to use your analytical skills.

CIRE: Did the fact that your mentor was from an earlier generation cause any friction?

Floring : He has a different style for approaching new projects and keeping tabs on client calls, administrative data, and such. I am more comfortable with new technology, which he avoids because he doesn’t have the time to learn it.

CIRE: Did the generational difference hurt or help your working relationship?

Floring : I can figure out and use new software a lot quicker, but I lack his business experience and prospecting abilities’. Our abilities complement one another nicely in this business. Our combined skill set allows us to quickly identify and turn assignments utilizing the latest tools and training.

CIRE: What effect has the mentorship had on your career?

Floring : It has helped me acclimate to the business environment a lot more quickly than if I was going solo. This will help me to gain stronger business relationships and experiences much faster. Also I can reflect on what I need to do as I progress in business to stay competitive in terms of new ideas, technology, and learning experiences.

CIRE: Would you advise someone new to the industry to seek out a mentorship?

Floring : Yes, having a mentor is an indispensable experience and provides a [novice] with a roadmap to navigate through the industry. The opportunity to bounce thoughts and ideas off someone who has experience is valuable and can save you a lot of time and hardship. A mentor also helps motivate you.

CIRE: Would you be interested in serving as a mentor for someone new to the industry?

Floring : Absolutely. Having the opportunity to help someone else is very rewarding and brings a new dose of energy into your work. You can learn a lot from people who are new because they bring a fresh perspective and a new line of questioning into a conversation.

Carolyn Bilsky

Area report is written by Carolyn Bilsky, associate editor of Commercial Investment Real Estate. Contact her at (312) 321-4507 or


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