May 13, 2016
By: Daniella Soloway
Connect San Francisco’s group of young leaders – Laura Krashakova (CEO, SpaceQuant), Justin Alanis (CEO, Rentlytics), Kristina Owyoung Vinson (Director of Corporate Culture and Communications, Pankow), Laura Sagues (Vice President, CBRE) and Sarah Quinn (moderator, Vice President, Connect Media) – recently took the stage to discuss the keys to building multigenerational teams, CRE technology and where it’s headed, and conceptions about millennials in the workforce.
They unanimously agreed, and stressed the importance of bridging the gap between older and younger workers by promoting the balance of experience with open-mindedness to new ideas. Justin has recently hired 17 new employees in the past three months, and says that he looks for, “the right culture fit over experience”, using words like “resourceful, hardworking, adaptable and curious” to describe his ideal candidate.
Kristina shared that Pankow has a history of employees with 30 years of experience and so they take part in daily Lean Huddles to bring newcomers and veterans together in a space where they can openly share ideas to improve and collaborate. Laura S. said that at CBRE, there’s an interesting balance between experience and innovation, and it’s important to try to solve problems first, and then leverage the expertise of those seasoned individuals after, because success comes from approaching problems in new ways. As Justin said, “I call BS when people say ‘We’re doing it this way because it’s the way we’ve always done it.”
Each speaker addressed the rapid acceleration of new technologies being created and adopted in CRE. Laura K. reminded the audience that enabling human minds is still top priority because she “can see the limits of technology.” Justin, who echoed this sentiment by commenting on the importance of learning soft skills to drive personal relationships, believes that technology will displace low level jobs, and the average construction workers will become obsolete because of machines.
We’re in CRE technology’s infant stages, and the most successful of the industry’s adopters will be those who marry workflow technologies with decision-making technologies. To efficiently utilize technology and build better teams, human communication is still the key.