By Robert Vicci

When serving in the military, veterans are trained to adapt to any situation. But what about the battle they face at home to return to civilian life after service? Finding a career that utilizes the unique training and skills they’ve learned during their service is paramount to facilitating that transition. For many, that could be commercial property management.

Commercial property management requires skills such as adaptability, preparedness, attention to detail, leadership, and collaboration. Veterans are uniquely trained at quickly responding to changing environments and dynamics, and they can maintain a calm demeanor in any situation. There are myriad other ways that veterans are well-trained for a career in property management.

Adaptability and preparedness. Service men and women plan forward, backward, and sideways to analyze all potential outcomes, and they still have a backup plan – or three. Property managers must anticipate and provide a solution for potential problems. Building operations, like missions, can change quickly due to unforeseen equipment maintenance, construction issues or safety risks. Property managers need backup plans and excellent communication with team members and tenants.

Attention to detail. Operating an aircraft – or a building – requires absolute accuracy through diligently checking each step of the process and tracking any changes. Property managers apply this attention to equipment maintenance, financial reporting, and lease administration. They also use this skill in hindsight to learn from the past. After every mission, military units will hold a detailed debrief meeting on what went well, what was ineffective, and how they can improve on the next operation. By following a similar process and studying previous projects, property management teams can also continuously improve.

Leading and delegating. A military unit, just like a property management team, is only successful when individuals contribute complementary skills. Property management companies function at peak efficiency when they hire the best possible people and empower them to execute their jobs. In combat zones, veterans must have the utmost trust in each member of their unit. Part of being a good leader, in the military or building operations, is demonstrating confidence in team members. Similarly, a good leader instills confidence in their team members but also knows when to ask for help.

Working as a team. The military runs like a well-oiled machine, and that can be easily transferred to commercial property management. Limited resources in military units or on property teams can lead to creative problem solving. Property managers should encourage collaboration among their team members as well as with industry colleagues. A military unit moving as one can outmaneuver a larger enemy force on the field, just as a cohesive property management team can better execute building initiatives.

In a war zone, everyone is important, regardless of rank. Veterans need a purpose after their service to provide meaning in their life. They have unique experiences during their service, and that exposure can prepare them for a rewarding commercial real estate career. After all, heroes are everyday people doing their job with passion, focus, and sometimes fearlessness. Mostly, they are ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things.

About Author:  Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Robert Vicci leads Northeast property management services at Transwestern Commercial Services. He is a West Point Graduate who spent 34 years as an active-duty Army Aviator and Battalion Commander in the Army National Guard. He spent one tour as Senior Aviation Officer during Operation Iraqi Freedom 3, and he is the voluntary CEO of a nonprofit that works with veterans struggling with PTSD and their families. For more information and to see available positions, visit



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