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Member Highlight: Rebecca Thomson
3 Keys to Building A Successful Career in Real Estate

by Rebecca Thomson

Building a successful career in real estate means committing to excellence. It calls for immersing yourself in your business and getting involved in the industry that shapes and protects your livelihood. Rebecca Thomson, a recent Goldie Scholar, shares 3 keys to building a successful career in real estate. 

  1. Build Your Foundation

Knowledge is the foundation to every great career and reinforcing it is core to sustaining one. While pursuing an MBA is a significant time and financial commitment, a rigorous academic program broadens perspective, bolsters business acumen and lays a solid foundation. Not ready to go back to school?  Seek out other professional development opportunities, such as industry designations, executive education courses or educational programs offered by REALTOR® associations and other industry groups. 

  1. Build Your Network and Expand Your Sphere

It is all about who you know. Building a strong network is a career-long endeavor and one of the best aspects of our industry. Include peers, mentors, and others from outside your immediate circle.

Connect with your peers. There are two parties to a transaction, so build a network of colleagues with whom you can do deals with, seek counsel from and trade referrals. Expand your network to include different areas of specialization and geographic location. Join industry networks such as CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women Network), and the ULI’s (Urban Land Institute) Women’s Leadership Initiative. Attend the annual REALTORS® Conference & Expo (and other industry events) and make a point to meet new people and create relationships.

We all need good mentors. Seek out opportunities to learn from others who are at a point in their career that you aspire to.  Organizations such as The Goldie Initiative have formal mentorship programs, but many mentor relationships are informal and organic. Regardless of how you engage, mentors can open doors and provide valuable guidance.  

Look beyond the real estate environment. Network with individuals from other spheres, e.g., classmates, neighbors, alumni groups, professional clubs, members of your local chamber or other community groups. Take time to foster those relationships. You will reap the rewards long-term.

  1. Build Your Business

Create a business plan and execute it. Define your niche and go deep; become the expert. Set goals and identify actions that will help you achieve them. Regularly review your progress to keep the focus on actions that will lead to your success. When you reach a goal, set a new one to keep your career-building moving forward.

 

About the Contributor

Rebecca Thomson is a nationally-known speaker, and influencer with over thirteen years of experience in the real estate industry, including four in senior management at the top residential brokerage in Chicago. She is Principal at Thomson Real Estate Group and provides sound consulting on high-level organizational decisions, C-level hiring, and strategic planning. She’s also a frequent contributor for digital, print, radio, and television news.

Thomson serves on multiple boards including the Chicago Association of REALTORS, where she was President in 2018, National Association of REALTORS Executive Committee, Illinois REALTORS, Women’s Council Executive Committee, and the Women’s Council Foundation.  

Her many accolades include National Association of REALTORS® “30 Under 30,” Women’s Council’s “Leading Women” and “Elevate Award” as well as “Who’s Who” In Chicago Real Estate.

She is completing an MBA at the University of Chicago and has her BA from the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign.