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.
Among the first things on his to-do list: getting everyone under one roof. That happened in December 2016, when Cushman & Wakefield consolidated its offices in Preston Center and Rosewood Court to the new McKinney & Olive building in Uptown.
Looking ahead, Holman’s focus is on “completing the platform.” That means filling in some gaps in institutional office brokerage sales and multifamily sales, continuing to expand retail services, and, when the opportunity is right, forming a land division. His goal? For Cushman & Wakefield to be No. 1 or No. 2 in the market in every discipline.
“And, if we’re No. 2, we want to have a plan to be No. 1,” he says.
Holman is stepping into his role as 2018 chairman of The Real Estate Council, with which he has long been involved.
TREC touches many things that are important to him, he says: “It creates an environment for all, but particularly youth in our industry to unite around a great purpose and build lifelong friendships. It uses the power of its constituency to generate incredible resources that go to improving our city. And it’s a place where I can connect with other leaders who share the same values. It’s just a win all the way around.”