A rebounding real estate market has kept Stockman Bank busy in the Billings market, said Ryan Auer, residential real estate market manager for Stockman.
The Billings market has rebounded from the recession, with 409 new homes permitted during 2013. That’s the most residential building since the pre-recession year of 2007, when 427 new homes were permitted. But it wasn’t just residential real estate that showed growth. Five hotels broke ground, and 92 commercial projects were permitted by the city, compared to 72 in 2012.
“We finance a lot of new homes being built,” Auer said. “That program lends itself to my department providing permanent financing.”
Describe how you got where you are in your work today: I worked for more than 10 years in San Diego as manager of a commercial escrow department and 1031 tax-deferred exchange division for a large Fortune 500 company. I was born and raised in Billings and with the birth of my now 2-year-old daughter, my wife and I decided to move back to our hometown.
What’s the toughest challenge that you have faced in your business? Real estate is a tough business. The toughest challenge I have faced in my role as real estate manager, however, is navigating the complicated chess match of working with 17 personalities, attempting to maximize their varying potentials, and making our mortgage department run like a smooth-sailing ship.
What did you learn from that challenge? A manager must be firm but understanding, and occasionally take positions that may not be popular, but still benefit the entire team in the long run.
What’s the best business advice you have received? “Always treat people with kindness, be fair, and always be honest, and you will always succeed in business.”
Who gave you that advice? Sheri Auer, my mother, the best business person I know.
Here’s what I’d like to do to improve my community: I would love to put as much time and energy as I can offer to try and revitalize Laurel, where my family resides. I believe Laurel has a lot of potential to be an amazing little town, and with just the right amount of care, fundraising and community service efforts, I would love to spearhead a project to clean up the older “Main Street” area and bring some life back into the historical buildings that line the streets.
Aside from profit and loss, how do you measure success in your job? When my team is working well together, and leaving clients with the feeling that they have received the best customer-service experience of their lives, then I feel I have succeeded in my role as real estate manager.
Which living person do you most admire? Both my father and my mother (a dead-heat tie).
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Learning how to drive my first car with my father’s sage guidance.
I’m happiest when I’m… Surrounded by my family on a tropical vacation.