The FORT Podcast: How To Get Your First Job in Real Estate

Fort CEO Chris Powers discusses the ins and outs of finding a job in the real estate industry for those graduating college. He discusses the top 3 things people should know when looking for a job, the importance of networking, how to narrow your search when looking at potential companies, interview preparation, big vs. small company experiences, and much more.

Listen on:
Apple Podcasts

(01:56) – Disclaimer to College Students

(02:29) – The 3 Things College Graduates Should Know When Looking for a Job

(03:59) – #1 Picking the Right Asset Class to Work In

(05:24) – #2 Pick a Market You Want to Be In

(06:45) – #3 Picking a Line of Work

(14:58) – Proptech

(18:01) – Networking and Honing in on Places to Work

(21:00) – Reaching Out to Folks You May Want to Work With/For

(25:32) – Things to Think About When Analyzing Potential Companies You May Work For

(28:41) – Find Out How a Company is Using Technology

(31:28) – What are some red flags in employers?

(33:51) – Getting a Masters Degree vs. Work Experience

(36:11) – Things to Be Prepared for in an Interview Situation

(37:07) – Things that Catch our Eye for New Hires Coming Out of College

(42:26) – Big Company vs. small company: Which do you join?

(51:49) – What is an entry-level position that gives you the most optionality as you move through your career?

(1:02:36) – Other Things to Think About

(1:02:51) – Internships for Current Students, Argus Course, Utilizing Free Online Resources, Getting a Real Estate License

(1:04:14) – Sitting in on City Hall Developer Meetings and Zoning Commissions

(1:04:43) – Find Physical Places that are Interesting to You

(1:08:00) – Wrap Up


Episode Summary

Chris Powers, a seasoned expert with a profound understanding of the sector, unravels these complexities, shedding light on the myriad facets encompassing career pathways, company cultures, networking nuances, and the dynamic intersections of technology and real estate in a recent podcast episode.

Powers begins by diving into the myriad opportunities available within the real estate sector, illuminating the diverse roles within domains such as development, construction, finance, brokerage, and more. His emphasis on the significant investment seen in prop tech, and its applications spanning software for building operations, property management, energy efficiency, and data aggregation, underscores the transformative impact of technology on the sector. Moreover, instances such as Airbnb signify not only the operational efficacies brought in by technology but also the evolution in real estate utilization and management concepts propelled by technological advancements.

Navigating through the maze of establishing a career in real estate, the essence of networking and establishing connections, especially for college students, is brought to the fore. Powers delineates the importance of being succinct, specific, and respectful when reaching out to experienced professionals, advocating for clarity and conciseness. He underscores the virtue of persistence, highlighting how successful young hires often embody tenacity and unabated persistence in their efforts to connect and network.

A significant portion of the discussion delves into understanding and assimilating into company cultures, emphasizing the importance of aligning oneself with a culture that resonates with one’s values and aspirations. Powers underscores the importance of considering factors like a company’s track record, the histories of its founders, and its notable deals, ensuring that professionals immerse themselves in an environment conducive to their growth and value systems. Furthermore, he navigates through potential red flags such as a lack of clear, positive company culture or adverse legal histories, elucidating the imperativeness of due diligence when selecting potential employers.

The discourse further bifurcates into exploring the discernable differences between operating within large and small companies within the real estate sector. Larger companies, as Powers articulates, might offer a structured working environment, established training programs, and a potentially slower, yet stable, career trajectory. In contrast, smaller companies might afford professionals the opportunity to delve quickly into diverse projects, providing a steep, albeit potentially tumultuous, learning curve. Here, the dialogue intertwines the stability and structured progression of larger companies with the dynamism and rapid experiential learning offered by smaller firms, providing listeners with a comprehensive overview of potential career trajectories.

Shifting the lens towards compensation and equity, Powers advises young professionals to focus not on equity during the nascent stages of their careers, but on imbibing learning and establishing themselves within the company and sector. He elaborates on the possible variances in compensation structures and career progressions between smaller and larger companies, providing a nuanced view of potential career pathways.

Did this help you find a job, or maybe you have a question that wasn’t answered? Email Chris at

Back to Top