The case for work flexibility usually begins with the interests of talent, rightfully noting that a happier or healthier employee is also a more productive one.
But not only is that argument hard to quantify in the short-term (neutering it for many employers); it fails to take into account the fact that traditional industries won’t make a shift that’s in the interest of their employees due to an emotional appeal; they shift when leaders begin to see it in their own self-interest.
Real estate investment is one of the most conventional corners of the economy when it comes to human capital—and it’s also one of the best suited to reap immediate economic benefits from flexible talent.
On one end of the spectrum are small and nimble real estate developers, who invest the money of their friends and family, take on personal liability for their projects, and make do with an attorney, a general contractor, and a napkin sketched with numbers. They analyze on their feet without the benefit of sensitivity analyses, financial models, or many third parties, fearing unmanageable overhead.
At the other end of the scale, the largest investors carry costly generalist teams with impressive careers and strong track records–and task them with investment decisions in unfamiliar submarkets and niches, armed with limited information, off-the-shelf research, and due-diligence timeframes so brief that it would be impossible for them to understand the nuances of each deal to the best extent.
At StealthForce.co, our mission is to disrupt the inefficient process by which real estate investment decisions are traditionally made, by connecting investors both large and small with on-demand talent for consulting projects, enabling them to scale teams to match dealflow. Until we launched our platform, there was no such targeted alternative. And while of course we want our consultants to enjoy the benefits of flexible work, and the satisfaction of interesting projects, we do not mistake that for our sole mission.
Real estate is a deal-based business, with necessarily lumpy talent requirements. So the argument for flexibility in real estate investment talent begins with the interests of the investor.
Whether a wealthy private developer, or a pensioner whose fund allocates towards real estate, all investors understand that real estate is a local and specialized business. So when a developer discovers that he can access financial talent only when he needs it, he will take notice. And when the CFO of a multinational investment firm learns that they can hire a remote fund controller specifically for a small and specialized round, the numbers make the case for themselves. And when a real estate investment trust looking at a new market has the option to access an expert opinion just for that one deal, it’s a no-brainer.
That’s how you sell work flexibility.
Flexible and on-demand talent as a movement is a long term inevitability, because people no longer want (and can no longer sustain) the careers their parents and grandparents had. But that kind of change takes time, and with the right messaging we won’t have to wait quite as long. The human capital paradigm will shift much more rapidly when we start thinking about the needs of the consumer of that capital. If we focus on building models that address their needs first, we’ll all be surprised at how quickly the world will follow.
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