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23 March 2020

Entrepreneurial streak: The real estate talent turned founders - featuring Etienne Cadestin

‘It’s a start-up world out there’ In a recent article, Karl Tomusk talks about the real estate industry’s new challenges and the rising stars of entrepreneurialism featuring Longevity’s Global CEO and Founder, Etienne Cadestin:

Nearly half (49%) of millennials last year said they would quit their current job within two years if they could. More than a third cited a lack of opportunities to advance, while 28% blamed a lack of development opportunities.

There is a growing need for big companies to re-think the way they manage and encourage employees’ development. More than ever, they need to understand what makes a great employee leave a safe, well-paid structure to venture in the unknown.

Employee retention is of the utmost importance in the real estate industry. New employee retention strategies, such as CBRE‘s swap and share scheme, allowing employees to momentarily change places (being geographical or hierarchical) have led to an exceptional 85-90% employment retention rate.

The existing constraints of big companies (being in terms of creativity, initiative or time) often lead top talents to pursue their entrepreneurial dream outside of the company’s influence. For these new entrepreneurs, success often lies in the thorough understanding of the industry’s future challenges and the rapidity in creating an innovative structure that will grasp them before anyone else does.

Nevertheless, some big structures still leave space for as well as support an entrepreneurialism spirit within their organisations. A Savill’s employee, who was able to launch his own start up in 2016, declares that being part of this large corporate meant having the backing of a major agent, therefore setting his business apart from similar start-ups but also being surrounded by people who did know what was needed to build a business, to market it and to build the technology.

Staying in good terms with former employers is, for most, an essential part of career growth. Indeed, among the entrepreneurial Rising Stars interviewed, our CEO Etienne Cadestin, declared “I always say that I’m a Knight Frank product ". Etienne gladly recognizes the supportive structure he evolved in and the amazing projects he worked on, giving him the confidence to launch his own firm, Longevity Partners, in 2015.

It is clear that large firms need to understand and embrace the value of alumni relations and returning employees. Creating the appropriate structures would insure a culture of gratitude rather than resentment between former employers and the industry’s rising stars.