There is No Substitute for Experience
Published on September 22, 2017
in PECO Culture and Leadership & Development
In January of this year, I started as a leasing co-op at the Cincinnati office for Phillips Edison (“PECO”) and have been working here since. I am a third year real estate and marketing double major at the University of Cincinnati. I started with two other co-ops, and we split the work up by the four regions Phillips Edison covers across the U.S. I was assigned to assist the leasing agents in the north and west regions. I do a variety of things to assist the leasing agents such as: compiling and updating broker lists, organizing market research, making cold calls to prospective tenants, and creating/maintaining property binders. I help the agents by providing them with more tools and information while freeing them up from routine tasks so they can spend more time talking with prospects. Since the start of my internship, I have been working on a project for one of our leasing agents in Colorado, Marissa Visconsi. I did a lot of market research on the Colorado properties which involved gathering information and preparing a list of prospects to call about available spaces. I found it difficult to answer specific questions about the area, since I had never seen these properties. I ran the idea by Marissa about visiting Colorado to work so I could learn from her. She liked the idea and told me to propose it to Ron Meyers, the Senior VP of Leasing. I was slightly nervous to ask because I didn’t think there was much of a chance that he would say yes, especially because I’m just an intern. When I approached him about the idea, he thought it was great and wanted me to come up with an agenda for each day with Marissa detailing the schedule, properties we would see, and so on. Soon enough, I was booking a flight to Colorado for the week of August 6th.
This trip was amazing. I can’t begin to describe how valuable it was to see these properties and their surroundings in person. Even though I was there for a short period of time, I learned so much. Being able to see Marissa work day-to-day gave me a great perspective of what it’s like to be a leasing agent. I picked up on a lot of key skills that make you a successful agent such as organization, persistence and being self-driven. At the end of the week, I ended up seeing six properties in Colorado. Outside of work, I got to see Red Rocks and hike in Estes Park with my cousins who live in Colorado. It was absolutely beautiful and I’m looking forward to taking another trip there.
Spending time in the area and driving around the six different markets helped me learn more about the demographics and the layout of our shopping centers. I could immediately tell which centers were more successful than others just by seeing the foot traffic in the middle of the week. While we were driving around, I was able to point out certain prospects I had actually called which was really cool to see my efforts in action. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to have visited Colorado and work directly with one of our leasing agents. I took so much over a short amount of time. I can now talk to these prospects with confidence and do a better job attracting them to lease our space. There is no substitute for experience, which is invaluable when you are an intern.