Each month, Franklin Street features some of the firm’s top performers in our Driving Force series. For information on career opportunities at Franklin Street, visit https://franklinst.com/careers
Zach Ames was only two weeks past his college graduation when he joined Franklin Street as a financial analyst in 2011. The 22-year-old Ohio native had been eager to leave cold winters behind and move down to Tampa, Fla. He also sought a career with unlimited earning potential and the chance to get in on the ground floor of a rapidly growing company.
Ames never imagined that just eight years later he’d be an integral part of an investment sales team that closed multifamily property transactions valued at more than $1 billion. In 2017, he was named a Up and Comer (30 under 30 category) by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Ames has received Franklin Street’s Sales Achievement Award multiple times for outstanding sales. In addition, he has become a perennial corporate Rewards Trip qualifier to luxurious destinations, including Lake Tahoe, Napa Valley, Sedona and Atlantis Paradise Island.
But the road to success hasn’t been without some bumps along the way. Ames described the early challenges he faced of having to call upon new clients as the new commercial real estate firm struggled to create brand awareness in the marketplace.
“At first, many clients had no idea who Franklin Street was or what we did,” he said. “We now have strong brand recognition across all our business lines. The people I call know that our company does much more beyond just selling apartments.”
Early on in his career, Ames received valuable guidance from Franklin Street CEO Andrew Wright on how stepping out of your comfort zone is the key to success.
“He advised me to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” said Ames. “As a real estate broker, you’re going to be placed in plenty of uncomfortable situations such as cold calling. To be successful in this business, you need to get used to that reality.”
Ames started off selling 10-unit apartment assets before moving on to specialize in underwriting and marketing for properties above 100 units. He takes great pride in having met and surpassed his personal sales goals every year since joining the multifamily team. Ames credits Franklin Street’s unique collaborative platform as one of the biggest factors for his own professional development.
“Our organization-wide collaboration is a differentiating factor compared to other firms,” said Ames. “Many of our competitors say they collaborate, but it just seems to be a trendy buzzword for them to use. Whether it’s within the team or across business lines, we see ourselves as truly aligned teammates working together toward a common goal. Each of our divisions is led by senior agents who are highly successful in their own fields.”
Ames names company culture as another major of what makes Franklin Street a special workplace. He has developed several close friendships with coworkers and often spends time together with them on weekends. Ames even recruited his former college roommate to come join the firm’s capital advisory team, where that friend still serves as a director.
“Having such a positive work culture makes my job much more enjoyable,” said Ames. “I wake up every morning looking forward to get to work.”
Ames remains excited about his career advancement and future at Franklin Street. He is especially encouraged by the company’s continued revenue growth, investments in new technology, along with improved employee training and development programs.
“As a growing company, we are constantly changing and coming up with new, more efficient ways of doing business,” said Ames. “Especially today with technology advancing so rapidly, you must stay on the leading edge and always be open to new ideas.”
“I’m motivated by the fact that I can have a direct impact on my personal goals. If you work hard and do things the correct way, Franklin Street will give you the right tools and success becomes inevitable.”