Stars to Watch: Ryan Reid

Ryan Reid, 36, Executive Vice President & National Director of Student Housing, CBRE Capital Markets
It is not always the big-money deals that do the most good for a long-term relationship.

Ryan Reid, 36
Executive Vice President & National Director of Student Housing
CBRE Capital Markets

It is not always the big-money deals that do the most good for a long-term relationship. Ryan Reid remembers a relatively small transaction at Purdue University that closed in 2004. “We convinced an institutional capital source that student housing was a good investment,” he recalled. As recently as this past January, I heard from the ownership group that they’re still talking about it, still using it as an example.”

Reid brings a calm understanding to his approach to commercial real estate. He took a job with CBRE upon graduating as a finance major from the University of Texas at Austin and has spent his entire 13-year career there. Focused on student housing before other firms took it public, he began looking at the sector in the late ’90s, and in the early 2000s split his time between the local apartment market and student housing nationally, establishing a student housing group within three years of joining the company.

“He was the first broker to recognize developers needed to market assets in (student housing),” declared Bill Baxter, his retired mentor and former CBRE executive vice president, crediting one of Reid’s early deals as a contributor to student housing’s becoming an industry segment.

Under Reid’s leadership, the group has sold more than $2 billion worth of student-housing assets in over 100 cities across the United States. Following this success, he was appointed to lead the firm’s multi-housing practice in Texas.

Memorable Achievements: In 2007, Reid was named to the Colbert Coldwell Circle, showcasing the top performers throughout CBRE. He ranked in the top 100 companywide. In both 2010 and 2011, he ranked among the top 225 performers. His deals last year included sales of a 512- bed complex at the University of Southern California for $70 million, a 641-bed complex, the Grandmarc at the Corner, at the University of Virginia for $45.5 million and a 528- bed complex, Sterling Palms, at the University of California-Riverside for $43.5 million.

Goals: Be excited to go to work every day; be a mentor.

What Others Say About Him: Bill Baxter, a retired vice president with CBRE and his mentor, noted his “engaging, likable personality” and “ability to approach and strategically plan a course of action that will benefit all clients in a deal.”

Greatest Challenges: Working in an uncertain environment. “We can’t predict the future, but the challenge in a down market is that no matter how good you are, the market may move against you. In nine out of 10 situations, it comes down to communication. You have to tell the client on a daily basis that change is happening and what they should expect.”

Secrets to Success: “My team and I try to give our clients good information and to be their advisors. It’s not just the next deal we’re focused on; it’s the long term. We don’t just look at the transaction; we help our clients make decisions.”

Best Advice Received: Baxter, his mentor, told him that the market and the competition are constantly changing. “We have to constantly adjust plans and reinvent ourselves. You’re dead if you stay stagnant.”

Advice to Others: “It doesn’t matter what you do in the first year or two with regard to transactions in this industry. You need to be a sponge; you need to soak everything up. Learn the fundamentals; learn what drives investment decisions.” —Nicholas Ziegler