Depending on who you ask, millennials can have a bad rep for being spoiled and demanding, or they can be viewed as leaders of entrepreneurial and innovative ventures. Enter Sean Durkin, a YPM: young professional millennial. He is demanding; he demands the most from himself, and continually moves forward with a creative and engaged mindset. It seems that this has always been the case for Durkin. After all, how many people invest in their first industrial building at the age of 15 using money earned working construction? It was this initial investment, a mere 10th of a percent in a family friend’s project that Durkin describes as a “non-arms length participation in an investment opportunity”, that sparked his career in commercial real estate. Durkin just joined Lee & Associates as a partner and senior VP. In 2016 he completed 85 lease and sale transactions for over $32 million in gross consideration. Simultaneously, he is a an MSRE alumnus, and has a long list of ongoing commercial real estate community involvement. All this begs the question: how does Durkin do it all? Five years ago, Durkin went to Honduras with Bart Brynestad of Pannatoni, where he asked Brett Hartzell, CBRE, what made him successful. Hartzell shared that he wrote down his goals for theweek, and set goals for five, ten, 15, even 25 years down the line. Even though his goals would change, he had defined goals that he wanted to reach. Durkin, then only two years out of college, began doing the same, writing down daily and future goals, relishing the satisfaction of crossing items off of the list he carries with him at all times. These goals are not all career-oriented, however. Before he turns 30, Durkin aims to have skied on all seven continents, and will be knocking the remaining three continents (Africa, Australia and Antarctica) off of his list this year. He hasn’t missed a month of skiing in 64 consecutive months.
The level of daily ambition that exudes from Durkin is at once inspiring and, at times, unbelievable. In response, Durkin laughs, saying, “It’s not really that hard. I did finally learn how to say ‘no’. But I’ll just get up a little earlier, get some work done, ski, have lunch, get some more work done, and go ski again. I try to be as efficient as possible.” Efficiency is the key, and Durkin believes that using the right tools is of utmost importance. “Real estate as an industry is far behind in tech. George Rolfe put it best: ‘There are two auto manufacturers and three thousand developers, thereby everyone in development does things differently but data isn’t shared.’ There is a lot of bad data out there, and it seems like there should be a consolidation of information.” With this among many other opportunities in mind and endless energy to run on, Durkin will have many more goals to add and cross off of his list.