Coe Juracek is a successful professional in the real estate industry with an impressive resume spanning over two decades. His career began in 1995 at the Trammell Crow Company, where he worked as a member of the real estate corporate services team. The following year, Coe transitioned into real estate asset management, acquisitions, and development as a Wellsford Residential Property Trust analyst.
After Equity Residential acquired Wellsford in 1997, Coe Juracek joined HomeGate Hospitality Inc. as an associate. There, he played a vital role in the company’s hotel development site selection and conducted feasibility analyses. The following year, again after an acquisition, he was appointed director of development at Prime Hospitality. He later transitioned to multifamily development at Benton Partners in North Texas.
Since 1999, Coe Juracek has been with Crow Holdings Capital in Dallas, a company whose history shows that it has played a pioneering role in the multifamily and industrial real estate sectors for over 75 years. As a senior managing director, Coe leads the department that handles capital formation, strategic initiative activities, and business development. He’s been with the company for over two decades and has held various positions, including helming the firm’s debt capital markets. Today, he sits on the CHC investment committee, a testament to his experience and expertise.
Coe Juracek is a graduate of Duke University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. He later received his MBA in finance from Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business. He’s significantly contributed to the real estate industry and is a respected member of the Pension Real Estate Association, where he serves as a voting member.
With Crow Holdings Capital maintaining $16 billion in assets under management, Juracek’s role in the organization is crucial. His commitment to excellence has enabled him to make substantial contributions to the industry, and his impressive career trajectory is a testament to his hard work and dedication.
What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?
I have two kinds of typical days because I’m on the road about half the time. So there’s a typical “road day”, which is almost just typical in its being atypical. There’s no regular pattern there. Just, whatever the flights dictate, you do. I have routines for travel related to getting ready for the airport, being ready for security and boarding, etc, but there is definitely no “regular schedule”. As any frequent traveler knows, staying productive can be quite difficult, so I try to use airplane time well. That typically means using plane wifi to answer and send emails, catch up on reading and the like. On the “in-office” days, my day revolves around being knowledgeable about the business, which requires that I stay plugged into the team. This is necessary as in the end, my team’s job is to be the contact point for the firm to the investor universe. I, therefore, spend a lot of time (probably too much) in meetings and then in conversations with members of the organization with whom I need to stay plugged in. Again, discipline in using all my time well is important.
What is one habit that helps you be productive?
The number one thing that helps me be productive is that I enjoy my work. I really, really enjoy the stimulation of meeting people around the world and interacting with truly different cultures. I mean, we’re all the same, but we are not the same. And learning what that means when I’m sitting in a meeting with a Korean, versus an Emirati, versus somebody in Santiago, Chile. They’re all people, but they do expect different interactions. Trying to learn those things and make connections is super fun. Finding work that you enjoy doing day in and day out is the best advice I can offer; it has made all the difference in my life. Of course, that isn’t a habit, maybe it’s luck. The most useful habit I have cultivated in work productivity is discipline. There are a lot of less-than-pleasant parts of any job, but they tend to be the ones that keep things moving. In my role, having the discipline to tackle the “blocking and tackling” is critically important.
What advice would you give your younger self?
In my younger days, I was trying to cram myself into a box that I thought I needed to cram into in order to achieve the success I always envisioned. And that was an investment banker-y, spreadsheet-y guy – which I can do, and even enjoy, but I’m self-aware enough to know I am never going to be top in my class in those skills. What I’ve found, now that I’ve been doing this role with Crow Holdings for about 10 years, is that it’s the one for me. I had a rather disjointed career path, getting here. My education doesn’t seem to really apply directly, I had a lot of different roles in different product types and early on, even in different firms – but every one of those steps, from doing debate in high school to becoming a history major at Duke to different stops along my career path, couldn’t have been better training for what I do today. So, to my younger self I would say, “Take it easy and keep following your own path. Everything will work out.”
Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you on?
I’m not sure this is really unique – I don’t think anyone believes anything that’s truly unique because it seems that there’s always somebody that’s as out there as another person but I’m definitely a nerd. And while I know I’m not alone in this, I do know that a number of friends and colleagues think I’m nuts when I say that I think humanity is destined to expand beyond Earth into the solar system… and beyond that. I just wish I could live long enough to see it!
What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?
Find what you really love doing, and do that. Don’t waste your time doing something you hate. When you think about a career, if you hate going to work every day, life is way too short for that. If you hate the people you work with every day, life is way too short for that. You want to be someplace that you enjoy, and you want to work with people you enjoy being with because it’s a huge chunk of your life. And in a way, we’re kind of selling every day to our employer. You’re selling your time and your effort. They’re the most precious commodities that anyone could ever be given and they are completely finite – and you don’t know how much time you even have to price it well! In whatever currency makes sense to you – cash, karma, smiles.. it doesn’t matter so long as the reward is the right one for you. Just don’t waste this stuff.
It’s easy to get into the trap of just getting along, because “I’ve got bills”, or I don’t think there’s anything better, or I’m scared to take a risk. Which, hey, I’ve been there and missed opportunities because of those feelings – I get it. But I’ve also been lucky enough to get chances. I really like the company for which I work. I know, factually, that it’s run by honorable and good people. And I know, factually, that the team that we have is honorable, good people. And I enjoy the heck out of what I do. So I guess I’m lucky in that way but anyone can put themselves in those positions by not settling for mediocrity and not selling their finite time cheaply.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
I’m super goal-oriented, so it always helps me just to think about what my motivation is. That doesn’t mean that you don’t get down, or discouraged or whatever. For me, a lot of it is being able to step away and try to reset myself. Whether that’s to go out in the woods, or go grab a cup of coffee, or go for a walk, it depends on what you have time to do to smack that reset button. I find that hitting the reset is the number one best thing for me because it allows me to come at something from a different perspective or come to terms with it, or whatever I need to do to move forward. And I’m not saying it’s easy, always. It’s not. But over the longest part of my life, that’s been the approach that has worked best for me.
What is one failure in your career, how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?
I’ve definitely had setbacks and failures. I’ve been laid off. I’ve failed as a developer. In the end, though, number one is, every one of those setbacks put me here. So I definitely learned lessons and I’ll share them, but I wouldn’t trade them, even if I was sort of bummed out and miserable at the time. Because I think without them I wouldn’t be who I am, or where I am. And I’m pretty happy with where I am. I’m sure I’ll make more mistakes in the future, and have more setbacks, but the biggest thing that I’ve consistently learned is that when a door closes, it’s actually the sound of another one opening. It’s so cheesy, but God, is it true. It’s just unreal how often it’s true. Lessons learned – at times I have been too ambitious, and at others not ambitious enough. At times I have been too emotional in my decisions, or been reluctant to confront a situation head-on, or failed at managing a person. But again, each of those situations gave me specific history upon which to draw the next time and they all were steps on the path for me to get where I am. The biggest takeaway I have is the doors opening and closing analogy.
What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Maybe not productive but my favorite is Duolingo. If I’m stuck on a plane and I just can’t get the mental energy to read or answer emails or something, I do Duolingo because then I’m making my mind better. I’m trying to teach myself some useful skills, or refresh my skills, depending on the language I’m practicing. Plus, I do think it’s pretty effective. Am I going to get to fluency with it? Probably not without some extra help, but am I getting much, much, much better, where I can understand things? Yeah. It works. So I love that one. Pure productivity is probably my standard calendar app. I’d be lost without it.
Do you have a favorite book or podcast you’ve gotten a ton of value from and why?
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. My junior year of high school, my English teacher asked me to enter an essay contest for The Fountainhead, and it did have an effect for sure. I’m definitely into individualism and her objectivist philosophy resonated with me – though I found it a little too one-dimensional to be a sole code upon which to build a life! So, individualism and achievement are important but not at the expense of society. However a lot of the ideas she espoused – of rugged individualism, the almost monomaniacal pursuit of excellence and achievement – in this wrapper of architecture and building things and real estate all kind of connected. I sort of sat in that and it influenced both my thinking and my career choice. In a whole other direction, a second favorite book that always leaps to mind when I think of favorites is the book Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. I am fascinated by the natural world and studied the interaction of cultures in human history as a college student. This book helped me to think of a framework to understand a chunk of why the world is like it is for humans through a natural history lens. It really helped me to see the world in a new way after I read it.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.