Navigating the Pathways for a Successful Internship in Commercial Real Estate

Discover the Benefits, Strategies, and Insights for Aspiring Commercial Real Estate Professionals

June 2024 | J.C. Casillas, Managing Director, Research and Public Relations at NAI Capital Commercial

Summer is a great time for students aspiring to gain experience in commercial real estate to explore internship opportunities. In this dynamic industry, there are numerous benefits and pathways for successful internships. The goal is to build the traits and skills necessary for success in commercial real estate:

  1. Proactive, Persistent, Competitive, Ambitious: These traits are essential for success in the fast-paced world of commercial real estate. Being proactive and persistent helps you make those crucial cold calls and engage with potential clients.
  2. Tech-Savvy: Staying updated on the latest market changes, research, and developments is vital. Embracing technology can give you an edge.
  3. Knowledgeable: A deep understanding of economic cycles, tax laws, business, contracts, and finance is crucial for navigating the commercial real estate landscape.

Importance of Internships

Internships provide students with hands-on experience in a professional setting, allowing them to apply what they’ve learned in their academic courses to real-world scenarios. This practical experience helps students assess whether their field of study aligns with their desired career path. By working in the industry, students can better understand the daily responsibilities, challenges, and skills required for the job. This insight is invaluable for making informed decisions about their future careers and ensuring that their education supports their professional goals. Additionally, internships offer valuable insights into industry culture and operations, and they often result in college credits.

Benefits for Interns

  1. Gain Experience: Internships provide valuable experience, mentoring, that is often required for entry-level positions.
  2. Identify Career Goals: They offer a realistic preview of a job, helping you determine if it aligns with your career goals.
  3. Strengthen Resumes: Adding work experience and new skills makes your resume more attractive to future employers.
  4. Attain College Credits: Many internships offer college credits, which can be useful for completing degree requirements.

Benefits for Companies

  1. Identify Future Employees: Internships serve as a talent acquisition tool, helping companies identify potential future employees.
  2. Increase Brand Awareness: Connecting with local colleges and communities through internships enhances brand visibility.
  3. Enhance Productivity: Interns assist with smaller tasks, freeing up time for senior agents to focus on more critical responsibilities.
  4. Optimize Labor Costs: Interns often receive college credit instead of pay, helping to manage labor costs effectively.
  5. Expand Viewpoints: Interns bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to the company.
  6. Community Involvement: Helping students start their careers fosters a positive community presence.

Tips for Obtaining an Internship

  1. Conduct Research: Ensure you meet the requirements of the internships you’re interested in.
  2. Write an Effective Resume: Highlight your qualifications, goals, and relevant experiences.
  3. Contact Companies: Directly inquire about internship opportunities at companies you are interested in. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to find internships? Utilize school resources, networking connections, and search engines to discover internship opportunities.
  • Duration of internships? Internships typically last between six weeks, semester, to a year.
  • Can non-students pursue internships? Yes, depending on the specific program’s eligibility requirements.

Final Thoughts

Internships in commercial real estate offer a myriad of benefits for both companies and interns. For companies, they are a strategic way to identify future talent, manage labor costs, and increase productivity. For interns, they provide invaluable experience, career insights, and resume-building opportunities. If you’re considering a career in commercial real estate, seeking out a summer internship could be your first step toward a successful and fulfilling career.

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