JLL internship
leads to promising
career for rising 
Brokerage Associate

Brandon McCalla finds his passion for commercial real estate

In early summer of 2018, Brandon McCalla joined JLL’s summer internship program in the Retail Advisory Services group at our Orlando, Florida office. That fall, he was entering his senior year at the University of Central Florida to finalize his Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate. It was after those four summer months where he got his first taste of life at JLL, Brandon knew where he wanted to be post-graduation.

He was able to continue as a part-time intern at JLL through his senior year and as a result of his hard work, ethics and enthusiasm, he was offered a full-time Retail Brokerage Analyst position.

After being promoted to a Retail Associate in early 2020, Brandon now works with both landlords and tenants on their real estate portfolio strategies and says he’s aiming to make a big impact in the commercial real estate industry.

“Long term, I want to be an expert in my field. I want to be top of mind for anyone that thinks about retail brokerage, specifically in Florida. I also want to make an impact not only on the JLL culture but the culture of the business in general.”

As a member ofJLL's Empower Black Professionals Network out of the Orlando office, Brandon also knows the importance of being a mentor to others. We sat down with him to discuss his love of real estate, how he’s using creative social media strategies to sell his portfolio, and his advice for other rising leaders in the industry.

What do you do at JLL?

I am a Retail Associate on the Orlando Retail Advisory Services team. I work with landlords to develop and execute tailored leasing strategies as well as create a healthy tenant mix. I also work closely with tenants expanding throughout Central Florida and help them to identify and secure the right locations for their business.

What drew you to a real estate major at the University of Central Florida?

Before I reached my twenties, I had developed a strong competitive spirit by playing baseball at a high level. I wanted to transfer my energy into something that I could still be competitive with and have the feeling of winning. So, I thought real estate would be a great way to express that.

What do you enjoy most about working at JLL?

I have been at JLL since I was an intern, and the one thing that I enjoy the most about working in this industry is the leading culture that facilitates innovation, creativity and success. JLL encourages you to truly achieve your ambitions and provides a platform for you to build upon to always become the best version of yourself.

How did your internship with JLL prepare you for your full-time role?

It gave me real-world tasks and experiences. The clients I got to work with during my internship are clients we still have and are doing business with today. The tools and software I learned to use during my internship are being used daily by the entire brokerage community. The relationships that I started during my internship are relationships I still have today. Also, it provided outstanding mentorship so I could navigate my career path more effectively.

What skills do you think are needed to be a successful broker?

Grit, heart, and drive. I believe these will get you through the tough times. I’ve learned that the good times in this business are so rewarding that they really do outweigh the obstacles you had to overcome to get there.

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Tell us how you’re using social media and videos to connect with potential clients?

I use social media as an extension of our current marketing efforts. I don’t see social media replacing anything we have in place at JLL. Where social media currently is most effective, is being the cherry on top of an extensive and powerful marketing capability. I use videos that are no more than 60 seconds to reach thousands of people in various parts of the world. It adds tremendous awareness to the opportunities we have in our portfolio. And I can be as creative as possible!

Who inspires you, whether in your community, professionally, or personally?

What inspires me is knowing that there is a generation of younger people behind me that may look to me for guidance and see me as an example to maximize their potential and go further.

What are your long-term career goals?

Long term, I want to be an expert in my field. I want to be top of mind for anyone that thinks about retail brokerage, specifically in Florida. I also want to make an impact not only on the JLL culture but the culture of the business in general. 

What advice do you have for up and coming professionals in the industry?

Try to connect with as many people in your brokerage community as possible and build relationships. It doesn’t matter what city or state. Relationships are essential in this business, and it will pay dividends down the road if you can develop these relationships early.

Interested in learning how JLL can help you achieve your career ambitions?