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Alumni Portrait: Ruth Hofer, Skyloft Florida Inc.

Ruth Hofer

Ruth Hofer, MSc has completed both the certified program Real Estate Management and the MSc program Real Estate – Investment & Valuation. For several years, she has been the owner’s representative of an Austrian private foundation in Florida. As Vice President/Asset Manager at Skyloft Florida Inc., she oversees and optimizes the existing portfolio of commercial real estate and audits new investment projects. In today's Alumni Portrait, she explains the peculiarities of the US real estate market and why work-life balance is not a big issue for her.

You have been working in the real estate industry in Florida for several years now. What are the biggest differences compared to the Austrian market?
I have been working in the US, Florida since 2013. Besides the legal differences, the needs of customers in both the commercial and residential real estate market are sometimes very different to the Austrian market. Another big difference is certainly the transparency of the market. In Florida, all the properties offered on the market are listed in a regionally organized, central system, the MLS, to which all brokers have access. Therefore, there are a lot of shared deals. And unlike in Austria the realtor is paid by the seller/landlord.

What has been your biggest professional success so far?
The move to the USA and to act as the owner's representative of an Austrian private foundation.

You graduated from the certified program Real Estate Management as well as from the MSc program Real Estate – Investment & Valuation. How did the completion of these postgraduate programs contribute to achieving your career goals? From what did you benefit most?
The two university courses have given me a profound knowledge, which, although adapted to the American market, has helped me to implement my strategy changes here.

And what has been the biggest challenge in your professional life so far?
The first months here in the US: to properly assess and understand the market and build the network. Creating new structures, establishing a new marketing concept and optimizing and expanding the existing portfolio.

How did the qualifications acquired during your postgraduate education support you in dealing with these challenges?
The acquired professional knowledge in the two university courses gave me security in my decisions and helped to implement them professionally.

According to your opinion, what makes a good leader?
In addition to a high degree of professionalism and goal-orientation, a good leader should be able to identify and use the strengths and weaknesses of each team member. Good communication and motivation skills are also part of it. A good leader should be honest and committed with a positive attitude.

To which future-related topics should managers definitely pay attention?
I think the market is always on the move, maybe everything is going a little faster now through today's technology. But I believe that managers are always faced with the development and changes of the needs of their customers as well as their employees.

How do you manage to keep your work life and private life in balance?
If you are fortunate enough to live in Florida and have a job that you enjoy doing, then the balance comes naturally.

Which person would you like to meet? Why?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is a woman I admire and whom I love to hear when she talks about her life. A woman whose experiences are very important here right now in the US.

What kind of connection to TU Wien Continuing Education Center do you have today? Are you still in touch with fellow students or lecturers?
Even if the Atlantic divides us, I am happy to read the newsletters of the Continuing Education Center and follow on social media. During my student time, I met many very interesting and nice colleagues and I’m still in touch with a lot of them. A few have already visited me here in Florida.

Which (professional and/or private) goals do you want to achieve within the next ten years?
I would like to continue to develop and optimize more interesting and exciting Projects.