Advice for a successful career from top real estate executive recruiter

Jennifer Rademacher, the vice president and chief operating officer of real estate executive search firm The Maison Group, met with Mason real estate students last October for well-received one-on-one career advising sessions.


Rademacher has over 15 years of commercial real estate development experience working with real estate professionals from a wide variety of disciplines. Her real estate knowledge enhances her ability to identify the right skill sets and characteristics to achieve successful job placement results.  She provided the students with advice on how plan for a successful real estate career and stressed to them the value of their graduate real estate education.

“The Washington DC job market within the real estate sector is both broad and competitive.  An advanced degree in real estate provides a minimum of two things.  It shows that you have ambition to advance in your career and it provides you with a base of practical knowledge and financial skill set to hit the ground running.  That being said, this degree may help open doors for an entry level position, if you have little job experience, but is also valuable if you currently work within the real estate industry, to gain a promotion.  It helps open students eyes to the wide range of opportunity within the real estate industry,” Rademacher explained.

Rademacher encouraged students to take full advantage of their real estate studies.  “Really learn and understand the material you are being taught.  Make every effort while obtaining your degree to network, obtain internships, and participate in classes and groups that expose you to what is going on in your field of choice currently, and provide real world exercises,” said Rademacher.

She also counseled students to develop good personal skills. “Aside from a good knowledge base and understanding of whatever subfield in which employers are looking to fill a position, employers are seeking maturity, ability to interact well with people, and a good work ethic,” she said.

Rademacher emphasized that students and young professionals should devote time to think about their career path and plan strategies which will help them achieve their professional goals. ”Do your homework and make sure you understand the role or roles that you are interested in pursuing, research the companies that employ these types of people, and most importantly – network.  DC real estate is a relatively small world and meeting with and speaking to people currently in the field is the best way to open up opportunities,” she advised.

“Be organized and targeted in your job search.  Have a list of target companies and websites that will allow you to access the job opportunities. Underestimating the work and effort required to put into a job search and unrealistic views of what it takes to succeed in various roles are some of the common mistakes people make,” she added.

Rademacher’s firm, The Maison Group, was established in 2004 and is based in Bethesda, Maryland.  It is a well-established executive search firm focused exclusively within the real estate industry.  Maison works for property owners, developers, private equity and investment management firms, builders, management companies, brokerage, advisory and consulting firms, and commercial lenders to fill positions in development, construction, leasing, property management, asset management, acquisition and investment, sales and marketing, finance and accounting, and corporate operations.

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