Real estate professionals don’t get into the business because they want to be lifelong employees, they want to be entrepreneurs.
Over the past few months I’ve shared the stories of various real estate entrepreneurs including David Waxman of MM Partners and Brad Johnson of Park Street Partners. David and Brad each carved out a specialized niche where they had competitive advantages. David specialized by location while Brad focused on a specific product type.
Today, I want to share the story of Mark Mascia, founder and CEO of Mascia Development. Mark applies his entrepreneurial mindset and social mission to value investing across a variety of asset classes at sizes that generally fall below the institutional threshold.
Tell us a little about the Mascia Development story?
Mascia Development LLC was founded in 2006 as a real estate value investment company. We identify undervalued investments by analyzing out of favor assets and locations, mispriced asset risk, and/or a value-add strategy. Mascia has a nationwide investment platform with a focus on retail, medical office, industrial, and multifamily. We work with private wealth families, individual investors, and real estate funds to make long term capital allocations.
Mascia Development is active on social media (Twitter). What’s your general approach/strategy to these networks?
Our plan is to use multiple outlets to spread the word about what our company is up to. We love hearing feedback from our investors and colleagues and we have found social media to be a good mechanism to solicit this engagement. As we keep growing, we hope to invest more resources in these social outlets in order to develop more effective connection with our investors.
You teach classes at NYU Schack. In your opinion, what’s the best way for students and young professionals to learn the real estate business?
I am very fortunate to be able to give back to the schools that gave me so much through my teaching. I owe a huge amount of my success to what I learned at New York University and the George Washington University. Both programs helped me take my skills to a higher level. I think having experience subsequently reinforced with a real estate specific educational program is a powerful combination. I would encourage anyone to make sure they learn more than one facet of real estate. Especially when you are starting your own company, having a broad knowledge base is valuable. In addition to what you learn in the classroom, the connections you make will amplify your career’s trajectory.
Technology is disrupting many aspects of the real estate business. Is there aspect of the business or one real estate tech start-up you’re really excited about?
There are so many, but to choose one, I think a national multiple listing service (MLS). The fiefdoms of the local market MLS monopolies will eventually fall. This unprecedented market transparency will change the game for everyone. Those who think this is bad for brokers are sorely mistaken. Like all other industries, people are still needed after technology is applied, but the people are needed for the higher skilled services not time wasting search functions.
What aspect of running your own real estate firm has been the most challenging?
Being patient! When I started, all aspects of the business took much longer than I projected. I can’t explain how frustrating and scary this delay was being on a fixed amount of savings to start. As we grow we continue to rely on patience to avoid emotionally driven investment mistakes. We have had to leave behind entire markets because we believe the property values are out of line. We know long term we will be back in many of these markets but we have to wait out some of the irrational exuberance in the investment community.
I want to thank Mark for taking the time to share his story. I can relate to Mark’s value-investing approach with a focus not just on buying good things, but buying good things well.
Check out http://masciadev.com/ to learn more about Mascia Development.
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