Patrick Carroll


As founder and CEO of CARROLL, Patrick Carroll is recognized nationwide as a leader in the real estate industry. In his role as CEO, he works to define and implement plans for the overall portfolio CARROLL provides. Expanding the various facets of that portfolio is one of the ways he remains at the top of his industry. Patrick Carroll is also highly disciplined in investing and works to balance dispositions and acquisitions. That has led to over 88 properties successfully exiting the portfolio and resulted in sales of $4.2 billion in proceeds.

Patrick Carroll is also focused on philanthropy. He serves on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Tampa Bay and the Jesuit High School Foundation. He is also a member of several industry affiliates and donates to charities all around the world. Currently, Patrick Carroll focuses his donations on over 50 charities that are committed to the continued development of health, wellness, and development in early childhood.

Showing the younger generations that several roads lead to success is one of the most important points Patrick Carroll can convey. His goal to inspire young entrepreneurs has become a personal mission. He encourages these young people to pursue their dreams but also to focus on health and wellness as a lifestyle that will take them far.

Where did the idea for CARROLL come from?

The a-ha moment that led me to my current company was inspired by one of my biggest accounts when I was in the clothing business. I was always picking his brain, asking him for advice. One of the things I was struggling with was leaving the clothing business to get into real estate.

I was literally getting ready to ask him what his thoughts were about potentially making the jump, and he stopped me halfway through and said, “Listen, Patrick, if you don’t get into the real estate business, you’re an idiot.” So, it made the decision a little bit easier. A guy whom I respected a lot gave me advice: “Go for it; you’re young.” I was about 23 at the time, so it was, in hindsight, a low-risk proposition. When you’re young, you can take swings. If you don’t hit every pitch, it’s not the end of the world.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

While every day is different, and there are certainly always unexpected “fires” to put out, I try to remain proactively organized, and think of every task as an important building block for tomorrow’s successes. Though I’m often faced with the need to multitask, I try to focus wholeheartedly on every task at hand, giving each task proper attention, rather than flying through the never-ending to-do list. The company culture at CARROLL is highly collaborative, and as a result, I dedicate ample time throughout each day to ensure that my teams are supported and that everything is moving forward.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I establish trust, credibility, and authority in my industry, which is essential today because the world is extremely competitive, more so than ever.

To build credibility and authority, you have to toot your own horn a little bit. You have to be conscious of building a brand, building a reputation. As far as building trust, it has to develop over time. Without trust, you have no business. If you think about it, everyone who does business with you is in one way or another trusting you. So, if you blow that trust, it’s a death blow to your business. It’s very, very important. And I think it takes having a core fundamental belief in doing the right thing, being trustworthy. I believe that if you do the right thing over and over, good things happen to you.

What’s one trend that excites you?

One trend is the increased use of technology during COVID and the future changes we anticipate. Employees of all types will rely more on technology to complete their work and blend their professional and personal lives, which will grow more intertwined. For businesses, that means an ever-increasing reliance on technology. You have to know the technology business. You have to have technical skills, or you’d better surround yourself with a lot of people who do because that’s the way the world’s going.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

The dedication I have to salesmanship has been most instrumental in my success. Many people have good ideas and good plans, but if you can’t convince other people to follow you, invest in you, partner with you, and if you can’t articulate your plan, you’re not going to be very successful.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell myself to follow my gut. I have questioned myself in the past and I always look back and think I should have followed my intuition. An example is hiring somebody who looks great on paper and who comes highly recommended, but then you meet with the person, and something about it doesn’t click.

Conversely, something in you tells you that that’s not the right decision to make, but you talk yourself into it and do it anyway. That has never ended well for me and is not something I would recommend. It’s always listening to your gut, listen to your intuition, ask for opinions – the trust but verify-type model.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Post-COVID, I believe retail is one industry that is likely to continue its decline. The hospitality industry, including hotels and airlines, is also likely to face continued trouble. Many individuals think these industries will bounce back, but I have a different perspective. With this downturn will come major opportunities. Whoever figures out what to do with all these hotels and shopping centers will make a lot of money.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I focus on fostering relationships with not only institutional investors, lenders, and brokers but also on-site teams around the country. I believe this allows me to attract the highest quality talent, opening boundless opportunities and contributing to the company’s continued growth.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I’ve always tried to set up my business by hiring self-starters and then encouraging them to take breaks, take vacations, take care of themselves, to work out, and have a healthy lifestyle. This has allowed us to develop an effective work culture that has directly enabled the business to grow. We want our people to recharge their batteries and avoid burnout.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I have made similar failures as other entrepreneurs. I cannot select just one, but I can share one of the most common mistakes we see in today’s world. The most common mistake occurs when an entrepreneur is trying to move too fast, or when they take on a partner when it is not necessary.

Sometimes I see great ideas with these CEOs, these founders, and they have multiple co-founders and all those things. I look at that and say gosh, I hope that founder or co-founder brings a lot to the table because they’ve just reduced their equity by 50% or more. Sometimes I look at that, and I think people take comfort in having a co-founder or partner. And sometimes that’s a very, very expensive proposition to make. So, what can be done to avoid that issue is to surround yourself with people whom you trust, incentivize them but don’t be afraid to go it alone. Don’t be afraid to be a founder. Don’t be afraid to make the tough decisions. That’s the best way to do it.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I believe that the pandemic has brought and will continue to bring a heightened focus on healthcare and that there are opportunities in this field. I think the way people see healthcare has to change after this. I mean, COVID-19 coming on out of nowhere shocked me. I’ve had to rethink the fact that I travel all the time, the fact that I’m around a lot of people all the time. How do I protect myself? How do I stay healthy?”

With that, there will be the need for more apps, products, and services that allow for taking better care of ourselves and monitoring our health conditions.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I believe in investing in yourself and your business – that’s the best way you can spend your money. If you’re not investing in yourself, I think that giving back to your community is extremely important.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

In today’s time, the software that allows me and my team to work remotely is important. The technologies that have come to the forefront of the industry have permitted us to continue to accelerate our business even during a time of crisis – they are the software applications that have helped me remain productive.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Born to Win: Find Your Success” by Zig Ziglar is a fantastic roadmap to finding your untapped greatness, and relying on only yourself to find success. The book covers all of the soft skills needed to thrive in the professional world, but the lessons can also be applied to just about any facet of life that you want to improve upon.

What is your favorite quote?

“Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell and advertise.” — Ted Turner

Key Learnings:

  • Building a successful business today is about establishing an effective work environment that encourages and supports your employees.
  • Technology will shape the future of industries.
  • Establishing trust, credibility, and authority are essential to thriving in today’s industries.