Over the past few weeks, Crunkleton has had the pleasure of working with Ramann Nallamala as an office intern. Ramann recently completed his freshman year at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, where he is pursuing a degree in finance.
During his time at Crunkleton, he was able to participate in all areas of the commercial real estate business including leasing, brokerage, development, property management, accounting, and marketing.
We recently sat down with him to hear more about his experience first hand. From his greatest takeaways to favorite projects and future plans, Ramann was excited to share highlights from his internship with Crunkleton.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I currently attend Texas Christian University, but before that, I graduated from Westminster Christian Academy here in Huntsville.
When I was a junior and senior in high school, I was able to visit my sister who already lived in Texas. I quickly fell in love with the city, school, and the people there. I immediately knew I wanted to spend the next four years of my life in Fort Worth. It has exceeded my expectations so far.
I’ll start my sophomore year soon and I plan to declare my major in finance. At the moment, I’m still considered pre-business. Numbers and finance run our world. Choosing to major in finance opens the door to a broad spectrum of career choices and industries. Working with numbers has always come naturally to me.
What about commercial real estate interests you?
One of the reasons I sought an internship with Crunkleton is because the industry as a whole looked appealing to me. I know I want to be part of the business world, but I don’t want to be behind a desk all day, every day. Commercial real estate seemed like it would blend finance and working with people in an intriguing way.
Throughout the internship, I’ve come to realize that a career in the commercial real estate world requires much more hands-on work that I imagined. It’s not a sterile occupation where you take calls and work online all day. You have to communicate well, meet people, be active in projects, listen to clients’ needs, and be creative when problems arise. It has been an excellent learning experience for me.
What projects were you able to work on during your internship?
One of the best things about the internship was being able to work within each department at Crunkleton. I spent time with the brokers in order to learn what goes into leasing, buying, and selling space or land. Many times, I visited up-and-coming Huntsville developments, like Stovehouse or Times Plaza, and saw all of the decisions and hard work that go into developing a successful destination.
I even went to meetings with the property managers in order to understand more about working directly with tenants and meeting their day-to-day needs. Finally, I spent time looking over finances with the leasing administrator and took home some tips on marketing and website design. Still, there is so much more to learn about the industry. This was just the tip of the iceberg.
Are there any aspects of the business that you especially enjoyed working on?
From a consumer standpoint, I am most excited about Stovehouse. It’s such a unique concept and getting to see it from the real estate vantage point was very interesting.
One of the things that sets Crunkleton apart is its attention to specific types of business. Anusha and Zac specialize in retail, whereas Eric has expertise in office leasing and brokerage. While they are all fluent in their respective areas, watching them work together was my favorite part.
Stovehouse has both office and retail, and it was cool to see how different tenants affect one other in positive ways. The team was able to come together and discuss the property in detail to create the ideal tenant mix. So much thought and preparation go into each deal, and having team members who are experts in their given areas was a big advantage.
Times Plaza was also a fun property to work with. I was able to see development in a new light and watch the process of creating a modern retail destination. It’s a highly detailed process with daily hurdles to jump. You have to be sharp and ready to adapt when the need arises. Every decision is important.
What would you consider your greatest takeaways from your time at Crunkleton?
Through the experience, I have been able to meet a lot of new people and see places in the city that I’ve never been to before. I will be taking home a lot that I have learned about leases, negotiation, development, and investments. Not to mention, I now notice every real estate sign on the road out of habit. But I learned a lot more than the tools and trade of commercial real estate.
It has been wonderful to be surrounded by people who truly love their jobs. There are takeaways here for business, career goals, and life in general.
Now that you’ve completed the internship, what do you think are some qualities that are important for anyone who wants a career in commercial real estate?
First and foremost, you have to be a skilled communicator. Every interaction matters in this industry and being able to relate to others in order to come to a mutually beneficial outcome is crucial.
You also have to be comfortable with the fact that there is no “typical day”. In my experience, there was a new challenge around every corner—the flow is always changing. But personally, that’s something I always found very exciting. I like to stay on my toes.
And, obviously, you have to be savvy when it comes to business and negotiation. But that’s something you learn more and more of along the way.
What are your next steps for the future?
As I said, I plan to go back to Texas Christian University soon and complete my degree in finance. Commercial real estate is absolutely something that I am still interested in and plan to learn more about.
It’s experiences like this one that allows me to get out of my comfort zone and be better prepared for my future career. This internship has been important in helping me navigate my plans for the future.
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