The Key to Multifamily Asset Management: Controlling Costs and Creatively Adding Value

Every so often I scan through the real estate forum on Wall Street Oasis and I recently came across an interesting thread titled ‘Contrarian Thesis: Acquisitions is the Least Interesting Job in Real Estate’.  The post argued that acquisitions is a repetitive job wrought with frustration and best-suited for young analysts who are hungry and proficient with the latest technology. Asset and portfolio management, on the other hand, tend to be the most valuable and interesting roles. The asset managers recognize the value-add upside, know what it cost to renovate, have intimate knowledge of...

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The Key to an Effective Value-Add Strategy: Hands-On Oversight

In my role at Atlas, I oversee our value-add multifamily strategy. We buy 1970’s – 1990’s class B value-add properties and seek assets that are priced below replacement cost and comparable sales, where we can add value at then property level, and that are in markets we like long-term. Adding value is hard. It requires a hands-on approach, local market knowledge, creative-thinking, and great management skills. At Atlas, we’re a lean team and hire 3rd parties to assist with property management, construction management, design and architecture, and marketing. As such, my role is largely...

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5 Things I learned in 2018 and 5 Goals for 2019

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you're able to unplug and enjoy quality time with family and friends. I find that time off, completely disconnected from the day-to-day grind of daily work is key to regaining focus and igniting the spark of creativity. 2018 was another productive year on ASotREG. I rolled out a site redesign (ASotREG 3.0), launched a new eBook on passive real estate investing, and published 14 new posts. I’m incredibly humbled and appreciative of everyone who has given me their attention. Your time is the most valuable asset you have, so it inspires me to do everything I...

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I Write to Discover What I Think: The Power of the Quarterly Investor Letter

“I write to discover what I think. After all, the bars aren't open that early.” This is a well-known quote from American historian Daniel Boorstin and it’s exactly why I write this blog. I write about topics I find interesting, and the writing process enables me to tighten up my thinking. Some of my favorite posts such as the future of urban living, the impact autonomous cars will have on the built environment, and how to be an entreployee within your firm were ideas that I was interested in and wanted to vet further. I have a deep passion for unique housing models, I’m fascinated by the...

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The One Book Every Student of the Real Estate Game Must Own

A key tenet of ‘A Student of the Real Estate Game’ is to never stop learning. In my day-to-day as a real estate professional, I spend a majority of my time in the weeds, acquiring and asset managing value-add multifamily real estate in a few specific markets. One day may be spent negotiating a Purchase and Sale Agreement for a new acquisition, the next may be spent working with our onsite GC to trouble-shoot renovation issues, and others may be spent on calls and meetings with brokers and property management staff.  While I enjoy every aspect of the job, this leaves little time for...

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Aspects of the Real Estate Acquisition Process I find Frustrating

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been deep in a new value-add multifamily transaction. Acquiring real estate is cumbersome, complex, and opaque, yet we continue to complacently accept this reality. Part of the issue is that acquiring real estate is very fragmented, with different players collecting disparate data, requiring 3rd parties, and all profiting from different elements of the process.  This complexity is exactly where opportunity lies. Based on my recent experience, here are a few of the aspects of the acquisition process I find most frustrating. Deal Sourcing The deal sourcing...

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How being an Expert Generalist will Help you Succeed in Real Estate

I spend a lot of time talking with college students interested in entering the real estate business. When they ask for advice, I try to steer them in the right direction by advising they work for a firm with access to a large volume of deal flow, focus on who you’ll be working with (not just the firm reputation), and become an expert modeler (every firm needs one, but few are willing to put in the work). However, the piece of advice I find most important is aspiring to be an ‘expert generalist’. This phrase, made popular by Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairmen Charlie Munger, refers to...

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5 Things I learned in 2017 and 5 Goals for 2018

Happy belated, New Year! I hope you enjoyed the time off with friends and family, and took a much-deserved break from the daily grind of work. I used the down time to reflect on the accomplishments from the past year and think about the year ahead. 2017 was another great year for the blog. Although the posts were less frequent, engagement and all key metrics improved. I’m incredibly humbled and appreciative of everyone who has given me their attention. It inspires me to do everything in my power to give you a great experience. The following posts were the 3 most...

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My Experience with Seth Godin’s altMBA: Trust the Process

This past May I participated in altMBA, an intensive, 4-week online workshop designed by Seth Godin for individuals from around the world who want to "level up and lead". The 4-week sprint, conducted entirely online through Slack, Wordpress, and Zoom, included 12 project prompts (3 each week) covering topics such as goal setting, business models, decision-making, empathy, change agents, leverage and constraints, opportunity costs, and boundaries. Each prompt built off the lessons learned in the previous one. It was the most challenging 30 days of my life. There was an overwhelming amount...

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Landing Your First Analyst Job in Commercial Real Estate

Having conversations with industry experts and talking as little about yourself as possible is the best way to learn. It's why I love the blog format so much - I get to engage with interesting people and invite them to share their experiences with all of you. I love being the less knowledgeable person in the conversation and asking the simple questions. In this post, Spencer Burton, a co-author of Adventures in CRE (A.CRE), shares his experiences and thoughts on landing your first analyst job in commercial real estate. Although this is a topic I've written about...

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Views expressed in “content” (including posts, podcasts, videos) linked on this website or posted in social media and other platforms (collectively, “content distribution outlets”) are my own and are not the views of Atlas Real Estate Partners, L.L.C. (“AREP”) or its respective affiliates. The content should not be construed as or relied upon in any manner as investment, legal, tax, or other advice. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax, and other related matters concerning any investment.