Core Values Built on Decades of Friendship
40+ years of Trust, Hard Work, Resiliency, and Friendship
Jay Crotty and Ryan Clark, Co-Founders of SkyView Advisors, have a once-in-a-lifetime bond that serves as the foundation for one of the most dynamic commercial real estate businesses in the world. In a constantly evolving industry which has been lucrative, yet unforgiving, Ryan and Jay have developed a digital-first business model that is a step ahead of traditional firms in the industry.
At the core of their forward-thinking leadership approach is a fierce instinct to be different, to separate their own operation from a standardized brokerage model that has never changed. Their journeys and successes, along with their commitment to create a better business culture, are a direct result of a supportive friendship spanning across four decades.
Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Jay Crotty and Ryan Clark grew up in a tight-knit system full of supportive family and friends. The two Co-Founders have known each other since they were three months old. Throughout their childhood homes, there are nostalgic photos of them both, dating back to when they were infants.
Jay and Ryan developed a unique bond through simple childhood activities such as playing soccer, backyard football, and other timeless outdoor games that helped shape their interests and similarities. The foundation of their work ethic and values stem from a Midwest culture that embraces community. They grew up in a setting where socio-economic status was an afterthought.
“Growing up in the environment we did, nobody cared about how much money you made, what your background was, it didn’t matter. It’s fun to reflect on that, it was a simpler time. Even now, Ryan and I really try to gauge that mindset when things become busy in our day-to-day,” said Crotty.
Jay and Ryan went to separate schools growing up, but the bond between their families and local neighbors kept their relationship very strong throughout the years. Throughout grade school and high school, Ryan and Jay valued their friendship and never fell out of touch, despite being in different settings throughout their academic careers.
This mentality carries over to today, allowing them to operate one of the industry’s most successful remote businesses from anywhere in the country. Ryan is currently filling the role of Chief Revenue Officer, while Jay is operating as the CEO. They are over 1,000 miles apart from one another, while rapidly scaling the nation’s first, fully-digital commercial real estate giant.
“Our parents set the example for what true friendship is, our families are still very close today. It would’ve been very easy for Jay and me to drift apart if we didn’t have that influence, so we are very fortunate” Clark said.
Ryan and Jay were extremely active in their teenage years. They played together on soccer teams in their childhood years, and even played high school football against each other two years in a row. “I got him junior year, and he got me senior year. Our competitiveness was always something that kept us excited and motivated,” said Crotty. While their day-to-day may have taken place in different environments, Ryan and Jay continuously found ways to stay connected, whether it be through competitive activities and team sports, or simply unwinding with the close group of neighbors and family members that made a point to stay connected throughout the decades.
The trajectory of their futures continued to follow the path in which they grew up as kids; Ryan and Jay went to separate colleges and had individual experiences, but always found time to come back together, whether it was for a quick backyard summer gathering or a vacation across the country. Their ability to live totally separate lives and still maintain such a close level of friendship is extremely rare today. Jay and Ryan have channeled the unique strength of their relationship to build SkyView Advisors into the powerhouse it is today.
Jay and Ryan continued down separate professional paths immediately after college. Jay went right into brokerage after graduating, “my father and grandfather were both full-commission salespeople, and I knew it was a path I wanted to follow” explained Crotty, “he helped me purchase 2 or 3 business suits to get me started, and I was borrowing $1,500 a month to live off.” After starting as one of the first advisors in the Cleveland office of Marcus & Millichap, Jay began a new journey in 2003, moving from the Midwest to Florida to build on a promising sales career in the thriving growth market of Tampa.
Coming into a new market, he had to establish himself, and it came with challenges, but Jay was able to channel his hunger for success to break through in a new region. “Starting over in a new market was obviously challenging, I had to lock in and focus. Once my checking account started getting really low, I got nervous. That’s when I buckled down, made myself known within the region, and started to bring in serious business”, explained Crotty.
“As years went by, I became very successful, but I was getting tired of the traditional brokerage process and a flawed system, so my partner and I decided to go off on our own. However, our timing wasn’t so great because we left in 2007, right before the market crashed in 2008.”
He eventually split up with his partner at time due to the market crash and started working on his own, and this was an incredibly humbling time for Jay, as it certainly was for so many others in the industry.
Jay eventually stepped away from commercial real estate and shifted to a new business venture. He bought into an electronic component and aerospace hardware distribution business. This is where Jay’s skillset as a CEO and business owner began to develop, and he had no choice but to adapt very quickly.
“When I bought the company, I quickly got my real-life Harvard MBA. I became the controlling shareholder in the business, and I knew nothing about it or the market. I did my due diligence, but I was totally overwhelmed and had to learn fast.”
However, this was a critical time that forced Jay to look at the big picture, and he was able to shift his mindset to a process-oriented outlook. Instead of focusing on the fine details of the electronic component business, he realized that focusing on higher-level initiatives could drive the business forward, despite being completely new to the industry.
“I quickly reenergized my focus on learning to grow a company, and I stopped worrying as much about the business itself.” It was a total mindset shift, Jay began focusing on high-level operation fundamentals, while eradicating the traditional salesmen mindset completely.
It was a powerful breakthrough, and because of this, his business eventually ended up on the 2012 Fast 50 List as one of the top 3 fastest growing companies in the Tampa Bay Area. “It was at that time that I knew I wanted to grow a business I was passionate about, but I wasn’t passionate about that industry. I needed to get back into commercial real estate. I knew it was in my blood.” Jay ended up selling the business. It was the right time, and he knew that he had gained invaluable knowledge, and it was time to get back into the industry he was passionate about.
With a completely new outlook and a hunger for change, Jay didn’t just get back into commercial real estate, he created a total disruptor that is still taking the industry by storm today, and he certainly didn’t do it alone.
“Whose been on the phone with Tampa for an hour and fifteen minutes?! An hour and fifteen minutes?!?” said Ryan Clark’s boss on a casual weekday afternoon. Ryan had frequently been talking to Jay about business ideas they were truly passionate about, and it was essentially a foreshadowing of what was to come.
He was practicing law when Jay was selling his business and looking to jump back into commercial real estate, and it ended up being the perfect time for both Ryan and Jay to evaluate their futures after the recession. “Honestly, I’m not good at being told what to do. It’s the reason I’ve always been intrigued by entrepreneurship”, said Clark.
Ryan spent time in Washington state after college, working for a national park and enjoying backcountry activities, and truly engaging in some of his passions. There was certainly a point in his early twenties where he believed he would never leave.
“When I left the Pacific Northwest and came back home, I questioned whether or not that was really the correct decision” he explained. “Ultimately it was the right call, but at the moment I truly wasn’t sure.”
There was a period after this experience where Ryan reflected on what he wanted to pursue in his career. “Just as Jay wished he had gone back into real estate earlier, I subsequently wished I had a clearer vision on my future, and if I could go back, I probably would’ve been more honest with myself.” Facing a challenge that many individuals tackle in their twenties, Ryan felt pressure to get on a traditional path. He went to law school, did extremely well and joined a small law firm after passing the bar exam. Ultimately, Ryan had trouble finding purpose in his role as a lawyer. He was in a comfortable position, but financial upside was still limited in many ways. More importantly, the day-to-day of representing insurance companies in litigation simply did not align with Ryan’s core values.
His entrepreneurial spirit was evident at this same time, however. He invested in a restaurant in Ohio, under a prominent hospitality group. Shortly after he had put his life savings into this venture, the 2008 market crash hit, and the business subsequently went down with the economy.
“It blew up after the market crash, I put all my life savings into it, and then it was gone. But just as Jay’s real-life Harvard MBA came in the electronic components business, mine came in the restaurant business.”
After going through this experience, while simultaneously working at his law firm, Ryan continued to internally evaluate his future path.
Like Jay, Ryan found himself in a position to take a chance on a new business after the 2008 recession, “it was truly a time where no one had anything to lose, the economy had already crashed, and it was at that point I got involved in an educational software start-up business. It was a great experience, but it wasn’t a long-term venture. At the time, it was very difficult to become profitable in that arena.
But the lessons I learned from that entrepreneurial experience are invaluable to me.” As Ryan and Jay started to reconnect more often after the recession, the stars began to align as they knew there was potential to create something special.
Jay and Ryan were both at breaking points in their respective career paths. Jay was not passionate about the electronic components business, while Ryan simply wasn’t satisfied with the environment he was in as a practicing attorney.
During times of trials and tribulations, there is often a silver lining, or foreshadowing for better days to come. The following years after the 2008 recession allowed Ryan and Jay to reconnect much more often as the economy came to a screeching halt. They began spending a lot of time talking about business and entrepreneurship. It shaped the foundation of their vision, and it was a breakthrough period for the dynamic duo. While they discussed several avenues to begin a successful working relationship, this initial time allowed Jay and Ryan to form a true vision for a joint venture, which has led them to the success they enjoy today.
It was on a ski trip in Utah that Jay really started pushing the commercial real estate industry, it was his passion and Ryan could see how excited Jay was to get back into the sector.
“I would talk to Ryan about all these brokers at traditional firms that were starting to make large, six-figure incomes. Many of them were taking home $500,000-$700,000 per year. Ryan didn’t even believe me at first. However, at the end of the day, we knew that a well-structured business could succeed financially and provide clients with a new level of service and expertise.”
As Jay was in a nomadic stage and getting back into the industry, he brought Ryan into the fold, and he quickly began to pick up the core fundamentals of the business. “Honestly, I wasn’t surprised, but I was still in awe. He was learning the business rapidly; I knew we had to take this thing to the next level” stated Crotty. Once Ryan started mastering the business and exceeding expectations, Jay and Ryan knew it was time to scale the business. But it wasn’t just about scaling beyond themselves, it was about creating a business model and a better culture that is distinctly unique compared to the traditional brokerage process, a process which has never evolved.
“As a founder, the perspective that Ryan brought to the table was something that I lacked at times, and that was preparedness” explained Crotty. “Where Ryan came from, you always had to be prepared, otherwise you would get booted out of the courtroom. Preparedness is something that is lacking throughout commercial real estate, and Ryan made sure that would not be the case with SkyView Advisors.”
Additionally, Ryan and Jay spent countless hours examining the flaws in the system. Jay always shed light on the shortcomings of the traditional firms in the industry, and Ryan quickly aligned with him. They weren’t just going to scale their business; they were ready to run the other way entirely. They’ve committed to creating processes for every aspect of their business with surgical-like precision, and they’ve focused on prioritizing technology on a fully digital platform.
Aside from the processes and differentiators that would eventually become huge factors of the business, Ryan and Jay embarked on this journey to create change. Through a new business model, focused on efficiency and innovation, Ryan and Jay have subsequently created an environment that is more impactful for their employees and their clients, “the impact that we have on the world, albeit small, has helped us efficiently change the lives of commercial real estate owners across the country, and this is something we are really proud of”, explained Clark.
Today, SkyView Advisors is cultivating a business centered around technology and talent development. Jay and Ryan have based the company’s fundamentals on a proprietary system centered around technology utilized by some of the most successful Fortune 500 companies on the planet, while simultaneously breaking the traditional mold and developing an expert staff with the most diverse professional background in commercial real estate.
They have channeled their own core values instilled in them since birth to create an avenue for change. Their passion for innovation has not only changed the way business is executed, but it has also changed the lives of their employees and clients across the country.
The career potential is backed up by the facts at SkyView Advisors; 90 percent of our sales team are millionaires by year three. This is accomplished by expert mentorship, and not indentured servitude, which is often the case at traditional brokerage firms.
SkyView Advisors is a true meritocracy with a crystal-clear path for professional and personal growth. Moreover, the firm’s current expansion into new asset classes without any geographic limitations further validates the unrivaled growth upside within the company.
100% of our firm’s time, effort, and energy are devoted to you and your goals as a seller. We guarantee that we will generate the highest price and best terms for your property that the market will bear at that moment in time.