Project REAP Promotes Diversity in the CRE Industry

Diane Danielson REAP advertisement
@DianeDanielson appears in Project REAP ad. Photo courtesy of @ReidBennettCCIM

Project REAP (Real Estate Associates Program) provides underrepresented minorities with access to the commercial real estate industry through classes and connections to sponsor firms and supporters. Each year, several of our SVN® Advisors and Experts participate as instructors and even recruit Project REAP talent. When Project REAP President and Executive Director, Gregg McCort asked if I could say a few words about why we support the program for an ad campaign, it was simple. Diversity is good business.

“The Sperry Van Ness (SVN) organization has always taken an innovative approach to separate itself in the brokerage business. As COO, I knew that repeating past hiring practices would not serve us in the future where our clients would demand greater multicultural representation. Sperry Van Ness International Corp. (SVNIC) supports REAP because it gives us access to diverse talent that more fully represents our prospective clients. More than promoting diversity and inclusion, REAP introduces our brand to accomplished professionals who can solve problems, create opportunities and open new doors. Investigate the benefits REAP can bring to your company. Because great talent leads to greater success.”

Diane Danielson, COO, Sperry Van Ness International Corp.

[bctt tweet=”SVN supports REAP because it gives us access to diverse talent that more fully represents prospective clients. @dianedanielson of @SVNIC #CRE” via=”no”]

I caught up with Gregg earlier this week for a brief interview. As a longtime supporter of Project REAP, the SVN organization stands to benefit from learning more about the initiative.

Gregg Mccort Project REAP
Gregg McCort, President and Executive Director of REAP.

1. What is Project REAP?  

REAP is a talent delivery system that links accomplished professionals who just happen to be minorities to the commercial real estate industry.

2. Why do you feel the Commercial Real Estate Industry needs programs like Project REAP?

Same as any other industry—the necessity to tap into talent resources that are outside the normal conduits of procurement. A broadening of the search yielding more productive results.

  3. Has the program attained the desired results?  

Very qualified success. For students and companies willing to dig deeper, to make the connection, to truly explore the possibilities of a CRE careers, yes. In terms of creating a significant change in the workforce profile of CRE, no. That is a longer term effort that will eventually require a sea of change in  thinking within the industry.

4. When and where are your 2016 programs taking place?  

New York and Atlanta in the spring; Dallas-Ft. Worth, Washington and Chicago in the fall.

5. SVN has been a corporate partner with Project REAP, but what can SVN Advisors and other members of the commercial real estate community do to support Project REAP?  

Promotion—of both the entity and the cause.  Increased awareness through the efforts of our supporters/sponsors can go a long way in helping REAP gain more traction and accomplish greater things.

Click here to learn more about REAP on their website.

SVN Supports Project REAP for Minority CRE Professionals

At Sperry Van Ness International Corporation, we believe that diversity should be a priority. That hasn’t always been the case in the commercial real estate industry. As a proud sponsor and supporter of Project REAP, SVNIC aims to empower CRE professionals who are often underrepresented in the business.

Connecting Minority Professionals with the Commercial Real Estate Industry

The Real Estate Associate Program (REAP) is an industry-backed, market-driven initiative that connects talented minority professionals with commercial real estate companies. With only 1% of the nation’s commercial real estate management ranks made up of minority professionals, REAP provides a necessary push for inclusivity in an industry that can benefit from new ideas. Since its 1988 founding, REAP has increased this proportion of minority CRE professionals by 10%, highlighting the value of a previously unacknowledged talent pool.

REAP-DC-2014---Asset-Mgmt-Class_smallREAP’s highly selective recruiting process attracts credentialed, career-changing individuals from a variety of backgrounds, including law, sales, banking, engineering, and more. Applicants must go through a rigorous process of screening, interviewing, and testing in order to be considered for the program.  Each REAP class of 25-30 students benefits from networking opportunities and training sessions run by industry leaders. Several of these contributing CRE leaders are some of our own at SVNIC, including our Vice President of  Organizational Development Solomon Poretsky, Franchise Owner Michael Thanasouras, and Corporate Real Estate & Advisory Services Chair David Wilk.

REAP graduates go on to work at leading CRE firms across the country, largely as a result of the contacts made during the program. In fact, SVN | Gryphon Parker recently announced that they have added REAP graduate Maurice Hillman to their lineup of Advisors. SVN | Chicago Commercial has also hired REAP graduates in the past.

[bctt tweet=”Learn how @ProjectREAP is helping to bring more #diversity to the #CRE industry.”]

SVNIC and Project REAP, A Winning Combination

SVNIC is eager to help further REAP’s mission by granting Project REAP students and alumni complimentary access to several of our industry-leading training events throughout the year. We are awarding up to 2 grants for each of the following events.

  • SVN Broker Boot Camp – Portland, OR: September 29th – October 2nd, 2015
  • SVN Broker Boot Camp – San Diego, CA: December 1st – 4th, 2015
  • SVN National Conference – San Diego, CA: February 24th – 26th, 2016

Visit this page to apply for the grant.

To read more about the benefits of diversity in the commercial real estate industry, download our report here

SVN Women Minorities