Gen Z, Millennial, Baby Boomer—oh my! You’ve probably heard these terms for the various generations of the U.S. population being used more in the past few years than ever before. And when it comes to the workforce, a generational shift is underway. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by the end of the decade, around 50% of the American labor force will be composed of Millennials and Gen Z.
For the real estate management profession, that means it’s time to think about developing the next generation of talent’s leadership skills and incorporating them into our succession planning, as they’ll be the ones leading our industry in the future.
This is where IREM and the Next Gen Advisory Council (NGAC) enter the picture. The NGAC seeks to provide guidance and direction for young professionals. They support leadership and career development opportunities and create tools for engaging academic institutions. The advisory council comprises passionate, talented, and experienced members, many of whom were previously recognized by IREM programs such as 30 Under 30 and Next Gen CPM Leaders. These member volunteers are driven to equip the next generation of real estate managers with the skills and tools necessary to lead their organizations moving forward.
Many IREM members often share similar stories of having found themselves working in the real estate management profession essentially by chance. But with many more higher education institutions offering formal programs and degrees in real estate and property management, IREM is dedicated to leading the growing effort to make real estate management a profession by choice and support these students throughout their academic years. By connecting students with IREM’s global network of industry professionals, members of the NGAC bridge the path between being a student and entering one of the many property management career paths.
Before 2023, IREM was supported by the efforts of the Next Gen Advisory Board and the Student & Academic Outreach Advisory Board. In alignment with the IREM strategic plan objective of increasing the impact of next-generation talent within IREM leadership, the two advisory boards were combined to form the Next Gen Advisory Council. This new council is charged with ensuring our members’ long-term success as they progress along their career journeys. Proactive steps like this show IREM’s commitment to providing our younger members with the development opportunities that any property manager needs to truly take on the leadership roles of their organizations in years to come.
2022 was an impactful year for Next Gen initiatives at IREM. Both the 30 Under 30 and Next Gen CPM Leaders programs celebrated their five-year anniversaries. The Next Gen Advisory Board consistently played a vital role in the selection process for the 30 Under 30 program and in driving greater engagement within the IREM community. Many of these leaders have gone on to volunteer with their local chapters and on IREM’s national boards and committees. More than 80 members have gone through the Next Gen CPM Leaders program and similarly served both locally and nationally.
The IREM Student Leaders program was also introduced as a new initiative in 2022. This program, funded through a generous grant from the IREM Foundation, works to foster leadership development and deepen engagement with the IREM network as students complete their academic studies. These students, representing nine different colleges and universities across seven states, came together at the 2022 Global Summit and used the opportunity to conduct informational interviews, network with industry professionals, and connect with one another. Opportunities like this allow our members to share best practices they can bring back to expand the programs at their home campus.
Along with the Student Leaders program, IREM’s commitment to supporting students and academic institutions continues to grow. At the end of 2022, IREM had more than 25 Academic Partners who all share in our goals of advancing the profession of real estate management through education and encouraging interest in it as a career opportunity for current students. Property management or real estate degrees from these colleges and universities may qualify CPM Candidates for the CPM Fast Track option. Over the coming years, the NGAC will continue supporting new Academic Partners and strengthening connections with our existing partners and IREM Student Clubs.
By 2030, it’s estimated that there will be more than 375,000 positions in the real estate industry, so the time to start connecting with talent is now. IREM and the NGAC will continue working to ensure that property management careers are introduced to students earlier so that they can develop the skills necessary to be successful in the industry. And for those new professionals who are still sure to fall into the career by chance, IREM remains a key resource and place to network with individuals committed to moving the bar forward. We are grateful to our members who continue to work on behalf of IREM’s mission and bring awareness to property management careers for future generations.