ULI New York Blog

Recap: YLG Secrets of Success ft. Richard Saltzman

By: Jean C. Lema

On January 10th, 2018, the Urban Land Institute New York’s Young Leaders Group had its first Young Leaders Group Secrets of Success event of the year. Richard Saltzman, CEO and President of Colony NorthStar, Inc., shared his industry insights and discussed what values young professionals need to develop to excel in real estate and beyond.

Mr. Saltzman strongly believes integrity is the one fundamental value every person must possess. Young professionals should establish a set of standards that promotes honesty and equal treatment, especially in a dynamic and ever-changing “people” industry like real estate. Demonstrating ethical principles in the industry will help an individual’s reputation and career in the long run. Mr. Saltzman spent 24 years in real estate investment banking at Merrill Lynch and he attributes much of his success to his high-level of integrity, and desire to continue learning.

Becoming a real estate expert requires patience and time. Mr. Saltzman encourages young professionals to never stop learning in order to “know enough to be dangerous.” Continuously learning will ensure that when an investment or professional opportunity arises, real estate professionals are comfortable to experiment and take calculated risks. Mr. Saltzman states finding success is more difficult if risks are not taken. Much of life is about being at the right place at the right time. It is important to be prepared for that moment. The advancement of technology, an example of Mr. Saltzman’s, will present an opportunity for young professionals who both understand it and can find ways to incorporate it into a job.

Finally, to be successful in real estate, it is critical to listen, observe, soak information, and read often.  Taking in as much information as possible will help develop good judgment in order to determine what to keep and discard.  Understanding the contrary opinion is essential to anticipate the next move, whether in a deal or a professional opportunity.

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