St. Pete is rising - literally. And there are few who know the intricacies of the city better than Bob Glaser. He's had a hand in buying, selling, or building much of St. Pete and Tampa, since his bootstrapping start in real estate in his early 20s under the legendary Dorothy Yates. Since that time, Glaser has developed into one of Tampa Bay's best known investors and entrepreneurs, but his passions also lie in the arts and nonprofit community. Glaser is deeply involved in the boards of Morean Arts Center and thestudio@620.
Years in St. Pete
Organizations involved in
Smith & Associates Real Estate, CEO. Morean Arts Center, thestudio@620.
What gets you out of bed every day?
Generally, the thought of how we might sell another home to a soul that's interested in living somewhere around Tampa Bay.
Why St. Pete?
Because coming home and being here, it feels a little bit closer to the water. When you walk to the park, you can be by that water, and it's quiet. I get some quieter moments that I can't find elsewhere. The city holds that.
What is one habit that you keep?
Watching the sun rise.
who are some people that influence you?
Initially, one of my big influencers was Stan Newman, not in real estate, but he owned a Tampa Cigar Factory, Newman Cigars. He stated, "Bob, when I was 70, after all these years in the industry, I thought I hadn't quite figured it out." He said, "It wasn't until age 80 I felt like I really made it in the business," which brought light to the fact that we always got time to grow in the business we have. For him, that was probably at least 50 years, and for me it's about 30 years, so I look forward to what that growth might be. Another early leader was Dorothy Yates, who just recently died at 102. She brought me into the industry and taught me the power of ethics, and how doing right will cause you to always have an earning.
What is one piece of insight - a book, methodology, practice - that you would share with our readers?
No recent book, but methodology for me really is about thinking about what goals you want to set that realistically you can try to accomplish yearly and then look at them quarterly. Always writing them down, and looking back at it, and seeing, "Did you achieve it?" If you didn't, think about what you might do differently moving forward on a daily basis.
What is one thing you wish you knew about your work 3 years ago?
If it was pre- the fall-out in the market, I wish I knew the market was going to fall out. I wouldn't have taken a bigger loan. But otherwise, generally three years is not too far ahead to know what the markets might do. But the big fall caught all of us by surprise.
What's next is sort of fun. I'm operating a company now in its 50th year. We can look back and say what we did, see the change, enjoy the experience. And now it's called moving forward into 2019. We're in the midst of managing about 3 billion in what may be new developments, and a team of people selling housing throughout Tampa Bay. So the "what next" is a challenge that will certainly not keep us scratching our head, but know that we've got to be very creative in order to deliver what we say we're about to deliver.