New Voices - Career Development and Industry Know-How Comprise Developing Leaders Forum

Fall 2011

Networking, idea exchange, education and mentoring are all vital to young commercial real estate professionals seeking to advance their careers, broaden their networks and boost their knowledge of industry practices. The challenge for today’s overtaxed young professional is where to find the tools that offer the greatest value for the time commitment.

The NAIOP National Forums, long regarded by the membership as a valuable knowledge-sharing network, is expanding the former Young Professionals Forums to fill this niche. With NAIOP Developing Leaders (DLs) steadily growing -- more than one-third of all new NAIOP members annually are DLs -- the need for a structured program for DLs interested in engaging in a deeper networking experience was evident.

To fulfill the need for a more elaborate program, a new National Forum – called the Developing Leaders Forum – launches in October 2011. This two-year comprehensive program will bring together the industry’s up-and-coming leaders age 35 years and under who have at least four years of industry experience.

As with all National Forums, the DL Forum will meet twice per year, and each meeting will engage members in diverse opportunities – from private sessions with keynote speakers, to project tours, to candid discussions with senior-level industry leaders – that result in a complete experience that elevates DLs careers and connections in NAIOP.

Ralph Heins, president of Primera Companies, Inc., Dallas, Texas, and chairman of the National Forums Advisory Committee, is confident that the new DL Forum will be successful and meet the needs of this all-important demographic. “Now, more than ever, it’s important that young professionals are afforded an opportunity to truly connect with their peers and harness the power of the collective knowledge of their NAIOP membership,” said Hines. “This Forum allows the best and brightest newcomers in the profession to network and learn best practices.”

One of the most unique aspects of the DL Forum is the confidential setting it provides for young professionals to candidly ask questions, share lessons learned and glean resources and strategies from peers facing similar experiences in their careers. Outside of Forum meetings, conversations and networking will continue online to foster deeper networking and idea exchange.

Among the new elements of the program is the exposure DLs will have to seasoned industry veterans from various parts of the industry who will volunteer time to meet with the Forum and share the strategies that have propelled their careers. In DL Forum meetings, visits from industry leaders and other subject matter experts will focus on specialized topics, such as capital markets and sustainability, advancing DLs’ knowledge of the industry variables and topics that may fall outside of their day-to-day job functions.

At the end of the two-year term, the DL Forum will come together as a group to present a capstone case study incorporating the topics covered during the term to selected members of the senior-level Forums. Here they’ll get a stage on which to spotlight their work as a group and demonstrate their understanding of the diverse elements that make up the industry.

The benefits of joining the DL Forum are many, but one of the primary benefits is that participation will prepare DLs for priority consideration for a senior-level Forum at their term’s end, setting a path for them to further advance their careers through ongoing industry involvement.

For More Information

To learn more about the National Forums program and the new Developing Leaders Forum, visit the National Forums website.