Developing Leaders Spotlight: Creatively Solving Complex Challenges

A career in commercial real estate presents ample opportunities for problem-solving and creative approaches to complex challenges – a natural fit for Sagar Rathie, managing director, commercial office/mixed-use, Crescent Communities, and recipient of the 2022 Developing Leaders Award. His colleagues note his “uncanny ability to problem-solve,” long-term strategic thinking, strong market knowledge, and talent for bringing out the best in others as examples of his professional strengths.

Sagar Rathie

Sagar Rathie joined Crescent Communities in 2016 and currently serves as managing director for the commercial division. He leads all aspects of the company’s office and mixed-use acquisitions and developments throughout the Southeast, with an active investment and pipeline development portfolio totaling 3.5 million square feet and representing $1.0 billion in capital deployed. He is responsible for sourcing, entitling, designing, financing, and executing on new and value-add commercial office and mixed-use developments across the Carolinas, Tennessee, Central Florida, Georgia, Texas and Arizona.

Rathie has extensive capital markets experience, having collectively raised nearly $3.0 billion in third-party equity and debt throughout his career. Previously, he was Crescent Communities’ director of corporate finance and investor relations, where he played an integral role in the company’s financial forecasting and planning efforts, assisted with the investment committee process, and led numerous strategic initiatives for the company. Prior to Crescent Communities, he was an investment banking senior associate with Piper Sandler and a manager at GlaxoSmithKline.

He received a master’s in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s in engineering from Duke University. He currently serves on the board of trustees for Discovery Place, sits on the Central Advisory Council for the Arts & Science Council, and is heavily involved with the community.

Rathie is an active member of NAIOP Charlotte and is engaged with the chapter’s legislative committee.

NAIOP followed up with this driven dynamo to learn more about his entry into the commercial real estate industry as well as his advice for young professionals just starting out in their careers.

NAIOP: What motivated you to get involved in commercial real estate?

Rathie: At my core, I’m innately a problem solver. I live for the excitement of figuring out how things work, and ultimately building something with what I’ve learned. Growing up, I was fortunate to have various touch points with commercial real estate, but it wasn’t until early in my career that I recognized how well this industry resonates with my problem-solving mentality. Every single day, we are faced with an ever-changing base of development, investment and relationship opportunities, all of which culminate in delivering exceptional places for our clients, employers and employees. That, combined with the ability to work with likeminded, compassionate, driven teammates who share the same “sense of urgency” is so incredibly motivating – a real distinction for commercial real estate.

NAIOP: What is your advice for Developing Leaders early in their careers?

Rathie: Don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how trivial. We’re wired to keep learning, and there’s no faster way than to learn from the experience of others. You will quickly find most people are willing to share their insights, so all it takes is to get out of your comfort zone and reach out. Just be sure to offer the same for others around you. 

NAIOP: What’s something that has surprised you about your chosen career path?

Rathie: I continue to be amazed by the creativity, thoughtfulness and emphasis on character that are brought to life in new developments being delivered across our industry today. Personally, I believe that’s largely in part due to the variety of unique experiences people in our field bring to the table.

NAIOP: What’s your favorite famous or inspirational quote?

Rathie: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda. Putting 110% effort into everything we do can make even the impossible seem possible. A little luck doesn’t hurt either.

Read more about the 2022 Developing Leader Award winners in Development magazine.

Marie Ruff headshot

Marie Ruff

Marie Ruff is Director of Marketing and Communications at NAIOP.

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