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Beyond The Bio: 16 Questions With Cushman & Wakefield Logistics And Industrial Lead Tray Anderson

This series profiles men and women in commercial real estate who have profoundly transformed our neighborhoods and reshaped our cities, businesses and lifestyles.

Tray Anderson deals in distribution centers and shipping lines, sectors typically not known for their beauty, but the father of two daughters keeps his love of the arts alive through a vinyl collection and a photography habit.

Anderson joined Cushman & Wakefield after its IPO last year to lead its logistics and industrial practice for the Americas. He oversees more than 840 industrial brokers and eight industrial advisory groups in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and South America.

He has more than 20 years of experience in industrial real estate, transportation and supply chain modeling, and third-party logistics and distribution operations, including stints at Newmark Knight Frank, Home Depot and Menlo Logistics.

Though he hasn't always been in commercial real estate, he has always been intrigued by it, and he has no intention of giving it up.

Cushman & Wakefield's Tray Anderson

Bisnow: What is your favorite part of your job?

Anderson: I really enjoy the challenge, and every day is different. I like interacting with a diverse group of clients, analyzing a client’s entire business case, and working with them to articulate their problems and identify the opportunities and solutions to create a sustainable business edge.

Bisnow: What is the worst job you ever had?

Anderson: I wouldn’t call it the “worst” job, but definitely a challenge — in my small South Carolina hometown, I spent my high school summers working at a funeral home. It was certainly not what all my friends were doing, but the experience was surprisingly motivating, pushing me to work harder than I would have otherwise to build a meaningful career.

Bisnow: If you weren’t in commercial real estate, what would you do?

Anderson: To be completely honest, I have always been intrigued by commercial real estate, and that’s why I’m where I am today. I’m passionate about this industry, and if I wasn’t working in CRE at Cushman & Wakefield, I would be in a consulting position that would still work with CRE.

Bisnow: What deal are you proudest of?

Anderson: I started a department that executed gain-share (the more we save, the higher percentage we earn) with clients. We guaranteed clients that we would save them a certain amount of money, and if we didn’t meet that number, we would pay the client the amount we were short. If we exceeded our goal, the client would then pay us. The challenge was invigorating and pushed me to think thoughtfully, creatively and holistically. My team ultimately exceeded our goal, saving the company over $65M in annual operating expense savings across their global operations.

Bisnow: What deal do you consider to be your biggest failure?

Anderson: Being in operations has provided many opportunities for both learning and failure. While there is not one particular instance that stands out, learning how to balance financials, human capital, growth and other aspects of the business has allowed me to better connect with people and make thoughtful decisions informed by more than 20 years of experience in this field. I have learned that having hard conversations is much more important than telling people what they want to hear.

Cushman & Wakefield's Tray Anderson

Bisnow: What is your biggest pet peeve?

Anderson: My biggest pet peeve is not being respectful of people’s time. Time is valuable, and I try to be considerate of the time others have. I’m always grateful when others are respectful of the time I have.

Bisnow: What is your greatest extravagance?

Anderson: Based on my response to the previous question, this may not come as a surprise, but watches are my greatest extravagance.

Bisnow: What motivates you?

Anderson: I am motivated by doing solid work and improving outcomes. I like seeing real impact on people’s lives and knowing that I played a part in making that happen.

Bisnow: What advice do you wish you got when you started in CRE?

Anderson: Fundamentals come first. At the end of the day, doing the fundamentals right is what matters most for long-term success. Ultimately, it’s more important to get things right than to be right.

Cushman & Wakefield'd Tray Anderson hiking with his daughters.

Bisnow: What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?

Anderson: I have taken many risks throughout my career. I have never let myself get comfortable. I continuously challenge myself to never be content with where I am, whether that means taking on new projects or changing roles.

Bisnow: What keeps you up at night?

Anderson: My daughters. I just hope that the world is not passing them or me by and that we are enjoying every minute we have together.

Bisnow: What is your favorite place to visit?

Anderson: My two favorite places are Edinburgh, Scotland, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Bisnow: Outside of work, what are you most passionate about?

Anderson: I have a lot of pride in being a father to my two daughters. Being a parent has been the most rewarding experience of my life and has also taught me a lot.

Cushman & Wakefield's Tray Anderson with his daughters.

Bisnow: What CRE trend do you think will have the most impact over the next few years?

Anderson: I think it will be important for companies to look at the total business case instead of making decisions independently of one another. We live in an exciting and dynamic time, and a holistic approach provides the necessary clarity to a business trying to position itself for the future.

Bisnow: What would people be surprised to learn about you?

Anderson: Since my childhood, I have enjoyed photography and music. I like finding unique landscapes and architecture to photograph. I also have a wide collection of vinyl that I have built upon since my youth.

Bisnow: What do you want your legacy to be?

Anderson: I’d like to leave things better than I found them.