The following interview with TREC Chairman Ran Holman originally appeared in the winter 2018 edition of the DFW Real Estate Review. An excerpt has been reprinted below.
When it comes to commercial real estate, there’s not a lot that Ran Holman hasn’t done. His career has run the gamut from agency leasing and tenant representation to asset management, acquisitions and dispositions, and development. The experiences all come into play in his leadership post at Cushman & Wakefield, where he serves as managing principal in Dallas.
“I don’t think you have to have played football to be a good football coach, but I think it helps,” Holman says.
He grew up in the business, the son of a retail and multifamily developer. While attending the University of Texas at Dallas, where he studied business and psychology, he launched his own homebuilding business.
After school, Holman switched to the commercial sector, working in the “data bank” at what’s now CBRE. He segued into office brokerage, then investment sales and asset services. In 1995, just 10 years into his career, he was tapped to run the firm’s institutional services group in Dallas.
From there he was promoted to executive managing director, ultimately overseeing a five-state region.
“I learned how big organizations move and how to balance corporate demands with local market demands,” he says. “But at that time, I was in my early 30s and my skill set wasn’t complete.”
A yearning to get into development led him in 2000 to join Cawley-Wilcox as president and principal, overseeing multi-market brokerage and office development. There, Holman says, he learned the importance of speed: “This industry is so competitive; you have to be smart, and you have to be able to move quickly, and Founder Bill Cawley is both of those things. He’s also one of the most intuitive deal-makers in the business.”
Holman went on to run North Texas operations for developers Hines and Van Trust. Then, in April 2016, he was offered the chance to lead the Dallas operations of Cushman & Wakefield. The company was entering a period of reinvention, after being acquired by TPG and merging with DTZ and Cassidy Turley.
“The pillars of the amalgamated companies were so strong; there was so much upon which to build,” Holman says.
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