Accelerating career success and leadership in commercial real estate

Jul 29, 2021

I was absolutely honoured to be one of Allison S. Weiss' first guests (well, episode 11!) on her amazing new podcast for commercial real estate professionals called Growing Careers and Companies.

I had a total blast speaking to her about how to navigate a global career and the importance of leadership in our industry.

Allison is a fantastic interviewer and I ended up sharing some things that I didn't expect to divulge...

You can listen to the full episode right here: 

Here's how Allison described the interview in the show notes:

Darren Krakowiak is the founder of CRE Success.

We talk about Darren’s entrepreneurial journey and his experience moving from large corporate environments into launching his own business - CRE Success.

Darren shares great resources and tactical advice for success during this period some are calling the “great resignation.”

If you want some tips on getting your next promotion, navigating your career path, and taking your journey to the next level, this episode is for you!

We also discuss what leadership means in 2021 (and into the future).

“The person who puts in the most inputs doesn't necessarily get the most outputs. It's about working smarter, it's about doing the right things.”


Darren started his career in the commercial real estate industry in Melbourne, Australia. Over the last 19 years, he lived in multiple countries and gained tremendous experience within top-tier, international firms. He founded his company CRE Success in 2020, with the goal of providing relevant and modern resources for commercial real estate professionals to accelerate their success.

Darren sees a change in the CRE industry right now. It’s not just the “big dogs” or top producers in business who reach leadership positions anymore. It’s more about working smarter and being innovative. Emotional intelligence is getting more important - EQ is overtaking IQ as more relevant in today’s working world.

Darren’s advice for working smarter rather than harder is to focus on your strengths and hire people, or outsource the tasks you’re not good at. He also suggests building your brand, networking, and finding prospects on social media instead of relying solely on phone calls.

“If you don't do anything, nothing will change. So while it's easy to blame everyone else around you, you've got some responsibility to do something about that.“


Darren shares his insights on how to evaluate if you should leave your corporate job and start an entrepreneurial journey.

Think deeply about how going to work every day makes you feel.

If you don’t feel recognized or valued, try to talk to someone in your company and share your feelings.

If you decide to become an entrepreneur, surround yourself with like-minded people who can help and support you.

Being an entrepreneur requires a different set of skills and mindset. You have to be willing to put yourself out there and share your business with people.

Darren worked in Seoul, South Korea for 11 years, and admits it’s not for everyone. If you’re interested in an international role, you need to advocate for yourself - don’t be afraid to point out your goals and desires.

Darren’s company, CRE Success, is a membership platform that equips commercial real estate professionals with proven client attraction and retention systems so they can save time, earn more, and live the life they desire. You can learn more and take your first steps here.

The Final 3 Questions

What is the lesson that has taken you the longest to learn?

The importance of taking responsibility. It’s important to take responsibility because ultimately you’re the one who is responsible for your own life, not someone else. Also, moderation and balance, as he considers himself as an extreme person.

What are the 2 principles from the Growing Careers & Companies Framework that resonate the most with you?

Vision and Growth. In a business environment, vision is often an internal, not a client-facing statement, but it should be something that a client could be aware of as well. Vision should also be aligned with the company’s values and purpose.
Darren also encourages us to always think bigger when planning the future, as this will help your business grow faster and bigger.

What do you hope others take away from your story?

That sometimes you just have to do what you want to do.. despite what people around you tell you. Remember that support is available if you need it.



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