October 4th, 2019 | Bernard Birnbaum
It’s important to know where you are going in your career and the easiest way to accomplish this is to set goals. When I started in commercial real estate (CRE) it was over a decade ago and I took time to think about my future and what I wanted to accomplish. I had been around the industry for my entire life as a third-generation property developer and knew it would be my career path eventually, but I was unsure of my long-term plans. It was important for me to understand CRE before setting these goals. A year into my career I was finally able to see my path forward and started to set realistic goals.
In my personal experience these goals shouldn’t be one-time events that could easily be completed. Most of the time we set goals based on years and timeframes. This becomes difficult and can create unwelcomed internal criticism because you didn’t hit a goal in an allotted time. It is more important to set goals with a sliding scale to allow for continued growth. This allows you to focus on a smaller number of goals knowing that they will continue to evolve throughout your career.
I wanted to select realistic goals that, once accomplished, could evolve to the next level. When I decided to create my goals, I selected three areas of focus.
By identifying these areas, I could develop a plan that could continue to evolve as I built my business. First, I wanted to increase my total square footage owned by doubling my current holdings. Developing a goal with a sliding scale allowed my business to grow without having to change focus. Next I wanted to increase my bottom line cashflow. My final goal was to increase my real estate holding to include international assets. This was not going to be an easy goal but was something I always wanted to accomplish. In 2018 I was finally able to close on a property located in Canada. It might be just across the border, but they have different customs and regulations that needed to be learned in order to own property as a foreigner. I have made an international acquisition, but this goal can grow and spilt into multiple areas. We can continue to gain additional properties in Canada or look towards other countries to enter.
I find that creating goals for your professional life is extremely important and assists to provide clarity and guidance. You should identify goals that can grow and scale with you as they are achieved. It’s important to spend time thinking about your goals and the best way to achieve them. It’s also important to evaluate your goals along the way to ensure you are improving and striving to level up. Through the process I learned to set realistic goals that, once accomplished, could evolve to the next level.
Bernard Birnbaum is a third-generation commercial real estate developer and property manager located in Rochester New York. He runs the daily operations of Birnbaum Companies and its subsidiaries Birnbaum Real Estate and The Warior Factory Franchise. Their real estate portfolio includes assets across New York and Canada. Bernard is also involved with several start-ups in a verity of sectors. Follow him on Instagram @birnbaumcompanies and LinkedIn