Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Drumming Up Business: Young Brokers Weigh Risk vs. Reward

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Drumming Up Business: Young Brokers Weigh Risk vs. Reward

Article excerpt

Overseeing the transactions and leases of commercial real estate can have a high financial return, but for many young brokers, that money didn't roll in on their first day in the office.

"It takes you a year before you start making any decent amount of money," said David Dirkschneider, multifamily broker at Price Edwards & Co.

Dirkschneider, 35, has been in the apartment business for 12 years. He made his start on the management side, and became a broker five years ago. He said it was his start as a property manager that helped him get ahead in the game.

"Apartments are so complex," he said. "You really need to know the business to do well."

Dirkschneider was able to close his first deal in five months. If it hadn't been for that sale, he said he doesn't know how he would have make it. Although he didn't have a mentor, he would recommend that young brokers have one.

Dirkschneider's colleague Tre Dupuy, 36, and Newmark Grubb Levy Strange Beffort retail broker Danny Ojeda, 29, were both the benefactors of mentors. Dupuy was helped by Mark Beffort, and Ojeda worked with Tim Strange. When Dupuy left to go to Price Edwards, he learned even more from Ford Price and Carl Edwards.

"As a young broker, you continuously need to be learning," Dupuy said. "You have to take the initiative to always be learning something new."

That's why Travis Mason wanted to work with Cushman & Wakefield commercial real estate broker firm. He said he wanted to help the firm create a brand in the city, as well as grow personally.

"It was an incredible opportunity," he said.

But the opportunity came at a cost, which many of the young brokers found when they started with their firms. When their paychecks are 100 percent commission-based and don't close daily on sales, money can be scarce for a while. Mason lived with his parents for at least eight months in order to save money while he lived off his savings.

"The people I see that are young and don't make it - they don't have the support they need or the guidance," he said.

Ojeda said he was able to survive on the minimum earnings before his first deal by using credit cards. He lived with two other men and they were able to split the rent cost.

Dupuy didn't have as bad as luck financially because he started in research with Grubb & Ellis Knight Frank. He was able to save some money, but still struggled until he received his first sales check. He was anticipating the risk because he knew he would get a great reward.

"With a lot more risk comes a lot more reward," he said.

Before the reward, Dupuy said he was surprised to see how often he faced rejection. He said he quickly learned to not count his chickens before they hatched, as the old adage goes.

Mason said during his first six months, he started immersing himself in the city's commercial real estate market. …

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