Building Relationships That Span Careers

Pillar Commercial's Manny Ybarra built connections that have lasted decades.

Eleven years ago when Manny Ybarra founded Pillar Commercial, he was looking to fulfill a lifelong dream—starting his own business in the commercial real estate sector. He believed the previous five years at TPMC Realty had prepared him for this step. 

“In the course of that experience, it planted the seed to start my own company,” Ybarra says. “I always had the idea that I would own my own company at some point in the future.” 

Today, Pillar Commercial invests primarily in office buildings by identifying underperforming properties, implementing new leasing strategies, and improving tenant relations. 

His firm is “vertically integrated,” meaning it handles its own property management, leasing, and asset management.

Through his company, it’s obvious that the Dallas native and University of Texas at Dallas graduate is passionate about relationship-building. And that’s exactly what he got out of The Real Estate Council’s Associate Leadership Council in 1999-2000. 

“The program had only been in existence for about four years. It had been growing in popularity, and I knew if you were a young professional in the real estate business, it was a great way to network and to learn more about the industry and community,” he says. “It was also a great way to build lasting relationships with peers in our industry.”

And build he did. Ybarra can recall a lawyer from his leadership class with whom he has done lease negotiations, and another friend from the same class with whom he works out on a regular basis. 

“We go to the same church, we know each other’s families—it’s just a relationship that, to me, only deepened because of the ALC experience,” he says. “There’s an element of trust that exists with my ALC peers. It just makes the process easier.”