What 20 Successful Real Estate Operators Wish They Knew When Starting Their Firm.

Learn how to avoid the pitfalls that derail most aspiring real estate entrepreneurs and get your first deal done!

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We Get Into This Business to be Owners

Real Estate professionals are above all else, entrepreneurs.

Real estate is an entrepreneurial business where almost everyone aspires to do their own deals. This makes for an interesting work environment because, while everyone is doing their job, they’re also building the skillset and network needed to launch their own company. However, when’s the right time to do your own thing? Most young professionals who think they’re ready to do their own deals aren’t and some real estate professionals aren’t cut out to be real estate entrepreneurs at all.

I too have entrepreneurial aspirations and I’ve been lucky to be a part of a team that has grown from a couple guys working out of an apartment to a company that has executed 45 deals, representing $700M AUM in just 6 years.


Here are some of my first-hand insights on what it takes to successfully start and grow an entrepreneurial real estate investment firm.

Starting Out

Real Estate professionals are above all else, entrepreneurs.

Starting a real estate company is hard, especially during a hot market, and the challenges extend well beyond raising capital or doing your first deal.

Here are 68 Challenges of Starting and Growing a Real Estate Investment Firm and here are 10 things to do before doing your first deal.

Many lessons can be learned from other entrepreneurs in the midst of growing their company. Here’s what we’ve learned over 4 years of running Atlas Real Estate Partners.

Deal Sourcing / Underwriting

So you decided do go off on your own? Now how do you source deals? Luckily, I’ve got the secret to sourcing deals. Additionally, here’s how entrepreneurial operators efficiently source and screen deals and here are 3 real-world examples of deals that I’ve sourced.

One of the skills any good real estate investor possesses is the ability to quickly determine which deals and worth exploring and which are a waste of time. Here’s a 5-minute deal screening checklist that I use when evaluating new deals.

Raising Money / Investor Relations

Assuming you don’t have access to unlimited family capital that is happy sitting on a deal for 30+ years, you’re likely going to be raising capital from friends and family and organically growing a network of HNW investors over time.

Here’s how you can organically attract potential investors, build trust with your investors, and efficiently raise capital for private deals. You can also learn best practices from other groups such as Origin Investments who have raised over $4M in a single week directly from HNW investors online.

It’s important to remember that real estate is an emotional investment and investors are investing in you above all else.

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Growing Your Company

You took the leap, started your own firm, raised some capital, and got your first few deals under your belt. Now what? Here are a series of posts resulting from what I learned growing Atlas over the past 5 years.

  1. The Value of a Lean Team
  2. How to Take Advantage of the Evolving Real Estate Business
  3. The Psychology Behind Selling Real Estate
  4. Real Estate is About Story Telling and Brands
  5. The Top 100 Commercial Real Estate Company Websites
  6. Technology is Disrupting the Real Estate Business

Investor Spotlights

I love sharing the stories of real estate entrepreneurs. Their passion and determination is inspirational and I’m lucky to be able to provide a forum for them to tell their stories. See all investor spotlights here.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Park Street Partners: Finding Opportunity in Unsexy Assets
  2. MM Partners: Revitalizing Historic Brewery Town
  3. Cardinal Group: Embracing Creativity and Passion
  4. Arx Urban: A New Generation of Real Estate