Humbling moments often come when you least expect them. In the case of Bill Cawley, one such experience happened a few months back. He was showing some office space to a Dallas tenant rep and, as introductions were being made, the youngish broker paused to think. “Cawley Partners,” he said. “Yeah … I think I’ve heard of you guys.”
It wasn’t the kind of reception Cawley was used to. At one time, the 58-year-old was big man on campus in Dallas real estate, with a thriving brokerage operation and millions of square feet of office developments.
The broker’s comments made Cawley realize just how low-profile he had become. His decision in the mid-2000s to “check out” of the business for a while had worked … a little too well. Today—sensing big opportunities in the market, and with his competitive nature reignited—he’s jumping back into the game. But in commercial real estate, it’s not just about who you know, but who knows you.
The good news is, it shouldn’t take long for people to get acquainted, or reacquainted, with the Cawley brand. The real estate exec is aggressively lining up office acquisitions, aiming to add 2 million square feet to the 1 million he already owns. Perhaps even more significant, Cawley has relaunched his leasing and management business.
“It just feels right to get going again,” he says. “The economy is taking off, and I have never felt more confident in my ability to gauge risk and see opportunity.”
Read the full D CEO profile here.