On Veterans Day: Military careers perfect for commercial real estate profession, Krauss says

TAMPA, FL – The focus on ethical behavior, discipline, creativity, assertiveness, planning and the ability to execute and adapt to a changing environment are just some of the elements of military service that transfer to a successful career in commercial real estate.

That’s the Veterans Day 2016 observation of Ryan Lolkus, owner of leading commercial real estate firm The Krauss Organization, and two of his top brokers, Larry Brown and Bob Donnelly, who have made commercial real estate their post-military-service profession.
Lolkus recalls a list of veterans of almost all branches of service who have worked at The Krauss Organization in the past 30 years, and he’s seen ample evidence of a good fit personally and professionally.

“We are actively seeking retired military men and women who can get their real estate licenses and then apply the same characteristics that made them successful serving our country to achieving success in this profession,” said Lolkus. “Almost all of their military behaviors, personality traits and talents are completely transferrable, and I personally like the objective-driven work ethic and can-do attitudes they bring to Krauss. There’s also a sense of duty that I appreciate.”

Brown and Donnelly both served more than 20 years in the U.S. Army, retiring as Lieutenant Colonels before joining The Krauss Organization in 1995. Each has just over 20 years in their second career in commercial real estate.

Lolkus, Brown and Donnelly all agreed that income from a military retirement account supports success in the commission-only world of commercial real estate because commission payouts can be significant – but come in phases during the year.

Donnelly added that because his work at Krauss is commission only, key characteristics leading to success are a strong work ethic and a discipline to get things done – both of which are essential to advancement in the military. “You seek out responsibility, you seek out projects, to achieve and get results, and that’s what a good officer does in the military,” said Donnelly.

“In terms of selling skills, I learned early in my service career that I’d have to sell a good idea to a superior officer, and that means doing all of the due diligence, having all of the facts, the risks and rewards and the overall objective,” observed Brown. “Good military officers know how to sell their ideas, strategies and tactics. So, someone comes to me and wants to buy or sell commercial real estate, I need to know what their objectives are and work with them to develop solutions to meet those objectives. And, much like a military enterprise, the outcomes are measurable.”

Both Brown and Donnelly said they enjoy the independence and flexibility they have in their commercial real estate professions, a stark difference from the regimen of military life.


Founded in 1952, The Krauss Organization is a team of experienced, independent, relationship-oriented commercial real estate advisors. We have been trusted through numerous economic cycles for 65 years to guide clients through transactions with a personal commitment to win-win results. Local access to the decision maker at The Krauss Organization translates to greater value in commercial real estate transactions that are crafted promptly in win-win terms. The Krauss Organization leverages its combined 250 years of market knowledge to generate value for local, national and international clients. For a free consultation on all of your commercial real estate needs, please call 813-885-5656, or e-mail our company President, Ryan Lolkus, at *protected email*.