Mile High Climber: Ryan Link, Senior Vice President with CBRE

Mile High CRE is excited to announce that July’s Mile High Climber is Ryan Link, senior vice president with CBRE’s Occupier Advisory & Transaction Services group in Denver. Mile High Climbers are industry professionals who are new to their field or are in the early years of the profession. They innovate, inspire, collaborate and take risks. They are future leaders and change makers, and they all have one thing in common: they deserve to be celebrated.

Ryan is currently the youngest producer in CBRE Colorado to hold the title senior vice president. Ryan and his team specialize in office tenant representation in downtown and Southeast Denver. Since joining CBRE Ryan has executed in excess of 5 million square feet of lease and sale transactions. In just a short time, Ryan has established himself as one of the preeminent tenant advisors in Colorado and has worked on some of the largest transactions on behalf of occupiers, both locally and nationally.

1. How did you start your career in the CRE industry?

My dad (and now business partner at CBRE) has been in the business for over 30 years, so I have had the fortune to be around commercial real estate my whole life. My personal interest in the business started after my junior year at Penn State, when I interned at Studley in Denver. I attended client tours, new business meetings, and networking events. I was given a number of projects to work on and played the occasional round of business golf. All of these experiences confirmed it was a business I was keen on getting into after graduation.

2. How many years have you been in the industry?

I began working at CBRE in June of 2013, so I just hit my eight year mark.

3. What have been some of your favorite/proudest projects or career accomplishments?

I have been blessed to work on a number of notable transactions but there are a few that come to mind right away:

  • Vertafore’s 165,000 SF headquarter relocation to downtown Denver.
  • An undisclosed bank’s 250,000 SF restack in downtown Denver.
  • Marketo’s 75,000 SF new office in downtown Denver.
  • Yes! Communities 30,000 SF relocation out of downtown to the Tech Center.
  • NGL’s 50,000 SF headquarter relocation to 9th & Colorado.
  • Delta Dental’s 50,000 SF headquarter relocation in the Tech Center.
  • Datadog’s 25,000 SF expansion/new office in downtown Denver.

4. What have been some of the biggest challenges in your career and how did you overcome them?

This is an amazing, but stressful business to be in. Having a long-term mindset is critical, and not taking things too personally when they don’t go as planned. Early on in my career I would expect things to click much faster than they actually did. Whether it was my competitiveness, stubbornness or just being naïve, I had to constantly tell myself it’s a marathon and not a sprint – something I still have to do on a regular basis today.

5. What advice do you have for an emerging AEC/CRE professional?

Be willing to do the little things early on in your career, even if they might not be the most glamorous tasks. Be a sponge and absorb everything you can. I always tell younger folks looking at getting into this business, there is no playbook on how to be a successful real estate advisor. Get on a team that is willing to teach you and take you under their wing. Having a mentor and co-workers you can go to with questions is an absolute must.

Additionally, it’s a relationship business so when you start off in your career, naturally you have less relationships than most of your colleagues. It takes sincerity and time to build long-standing trusted relationships. Be willing to put in the work and do it with genuineness and things will start to happen. Bottom line: do what you say you are going to do and just be the person clients are excited/want to work with.

6. What are some of your goals for the future?

Taking a quote from my college head coach, Jeff Tambroni, my goal is and will always be to “get better each day.” This is a business where the learning never ends and you can always be refining your skills. As the business continues to evolve and become more sophisticated, there are so many areas where you can provide clients with significant value and I want to be seen and known as the go-to trusted advisor by every client of mine for all things. From a personal perspective, my wife and I just welcomed a baby girl into the world so being the best #Girldad I can be is priority number one. This business takes a lot of time away from home and I want to be sure I am present and focused on my family.

7. What trade associations or non-profits have you actively been involved with throughout your career?

Proud member of the UpLift Ambassadors Board, an organization built to help support urban youth. I am also on the Young Professionals Board of Denver City Lax, an organization aimed to help the great sport of lacrosse be more accessible to the urban youth, while also creating educational and enrichment opportunities for them. I was a member of the fall 2016 class of Impact Denver, which was an amazing experience to give back to the community and working alongside peers passionate about making a difference. I am also very active in all things Penn State Lacrosse (I miss playing!!) as both a member of Teammates for Life and as a mentor in their mentor/mentee program. From a trade association perspective, I am very active in the Association of Legal Administrators (“ALA”).

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