Advance Your CRE Career

March 21 4 min read

Want to Advance Your Commercial Real Estate Career? 
What to look for before making a change. 
If you are asking yourself: what’s next for my career? you are not alone.
Here, some of Stream’s newest and most successful professionals share their insights on making a move—and offer advice designed to help you advance your career in commercial real estate (CRE).  
Insights and Advice from CRE Professionals 

Changing firms, motivations, advice, and priorities. 

Stream has hired 347 real estate professionals over the last 12 months. Here we talk to five recent recruits who share their experience about changing CRE firms and provide advice to other professionals considering a change.  

Ben Cleveland, Executive Vice President in Stream’s Chicago office, pursued a new role because he wanted to grow his career laterally as opposed to vertically (as is the case in most roles). In an industry where specialization is important, a wise man once told him to “be careful of having the same year of experience 30 years in a row.” 

Ben is motivated to help those around him grow and prosper. This is part of Stream’s culture and a major factor in our collective success. Working alongside people you genuinely care about is key. Following a challenging period for the industry magnifies the importance of those genuine relationships.   

Ben’s advice: Make it a priority to join a company with a culture that doesn’t take itself too seriously—have fun in the daily pursuit of success! On average we spend 1/3 of our lives working. The enjoyment and fulfillment of your life is heavily contingent upon your work. 


David Kollar, Vice President—Construction & Development in Phoenix, was approached by Stream to join its new Phoenix office and was impressed by the firm’s growth strategy. As a seasoned commercial real estate professional, David has developed a strong reputation and good network in the design and construction industry. Being goal-oriented and always looking forward one week, one year, one decade, David plans what he wants to accomplish both personally and professionally and felt he would have success at Stream. 

David’s Career Advice: Do your research and align your skills (transferable and technical) with positions and firms you’re interested in joining.  

Chris Doggett, Executive Vice President, Fort Worth, invested considerable time to truly understand the culture at Stream—with a focus on the leadership as companies often take on the personality of their leaders. Chris recommends engaging with existing employees, asking direct questions about their work life. Are they truly fulfilled in their role? Why did they make the move? Is there anything that they wish they knew before they got there?  

Chris sought to be surrounded by like-minded people who share the desire to succeed, and truly want the best for their fellow teammates—personally and professionally. And, he absolutely found that at Stream. He believes strongly in training and advancing young talent, then watching the fruit that comes from that investment of time.  


Patrick Daugherty, Vice President, National Program Management – Distribution in Atlanta, is motivated by the empowerment and authority afforded by Stream’s leadership, to succeed in his role. Patrick sought a firm that aligned with his priorities:  

  1. A good work-life balance with flexibility  
  2. A dedicated, smart team to work with 
  3. Opportunities to continually learn, grow, and be challenged  

Patrick’s Advice: Though money is always a motivator, make sure you are getting the whole package, think about team, culture, and opportunities—your happiness will depend on it. 


Marissa Parkin, Senior Associate in Dallas, was already thinking about switching shops when she was recruited by Stream. What started as a casual conversation to learn more about the firm, quickly transitioned into meeting the team, and an offer to jump on board and be a part of all that makes Stream, Stream. 

Marissa was motivated to join Stream because of the work environment, knowing that officing in an open floorplan surrounded by an incredible group of smart, energetic, and driven brokers would be inspiring. Being part of a company that is making a name for itself doing big things nationally, and across multiple real estate service lines, motivates her to keep pushing herself to grow with the company.  

Marissa’s Advice: Say yes to every opportunity to meet someone and don’t be afraid to reach out to ask for that opportunity no matter what your tenure or theirs is in the industry. You never know where one conversation can lead you and, in this industry, you need the right people in your network. Once you do connect, follow-up and continue to find touch points to maintain contact. Persistence is admirable, not an annoyance. 

When Making a Change—Be Intentional  

Collectively, our professionals voiced being intentional when considering a change as their number one piece of advice when considering a CRE firm—being intentional about what you want as a next step, your earning potential, the work environment and culture, and the skills you can bring to find out what’s next for you.   


Stream is continually seeking the best and brightest talent. Check out our open positions and contact us to learn more about Stream. 

Media Contact

Brian Medricka

Related Stream Expert

Staff Writer