Stars to Watch 2014: Ryan Kratz

President, Colliers International, Tampa Bay Florida/Central Florida/Southwest Florida

Greatest Accomplishments: Kratz oversees a team of more than 65 brokers, 50 property management and client accounting personnel and others, along with corporate strategy for the office. Before joining Colliers, he was an assistant vice president at NorthMarq Real Estate Services, where he expanded the investment sales team into four new markets and built it into the capital markets division at NorthMarq Capital.

Best Advice Received: “Be principled. Do what’s right.” Though it may be hard in the short term, doing what you strongly believe is right usually leads to the best long-term results. “I’ve tried to practice this myself, but I’ve also noticed that principled people seem to sleep better, they have less anxiety. I think it’s just a good way of life in general.”

Secrets to Success: Leadership. “The whole commercial real estate industry is searching for the next generation of leaders who can mobilize and motivate the masses toward common goals.” Also, “be patient, listen, ask critical questions, and only then figure out where your path forward is going to be.  A lot of challenges are solved more easily when you spend more time listening than talking. Lastly, if you don’t have a sense of humor in this business, it’s tough to have staying power.”

Greatest Challenges: The difficult economy. “Florida got hit hard—there’s no secret to that; the markets have not been forgiving here. … Things are getting better, and pockets are getting better at faster paces, but there’s still a hangover from how bad it was at the depths of the real estate recession.”

Advice to Others: Learn as much as you can about all aspects of the business and industry. The most successful people in this business have depth and breadth. “You can’t just know your specialty. You have to continue learning the breadth of the business, and that will help you put all the pieces together on why clients need what they need.”

What Others Say About Him: “Ryan is a unique individual who is very poised and mature for his years,” said Lee Arnold, founder, chairman & CEO of the Arnold Cos., a consortium that includes Colliers International Tampa Bay. Arnold singled out Kratz’s extreme knowledge of the industry, ability to foster cross-company collaboration and superior hiring skills.

—Leah Etling

More details on the accomplishments of CPE’s 2014 Stars to Watch appeared in the January 2014 issue.