Best Real Estate Investing Advice Ever

Hemal Badiani spent two decades traveling between three continents as he provided management consulting services to several fortune 100 companies. Several years ago, he decided to hang up his traveling boots and join the financial world, which led him to real estate. 

Today, Hemal is the CEO and founder of Exponential Equity, which builds and buys large commercial assets in the Carolinas. He is a GP of 744 units and $60M of ongoing construction projects that include self-storage and build-to-rent communities. In this episode, Hemal discusses the strategies that helped him rapidly scale his business over the last 16 months since leaving his W-2 job. 

1. Be clear about what you do well — and what you don’t.

When Hemal was new to the business and looking to educate himself, he insisted on being authentic about what he did and didn’t know. His specialty is in helping others improve their businesses, backed by two decades of corporate experience. However, he makes it clear that construction isn’t his forte. “People are attracted to that authenticity and the competency that I bring to the table,” he says.

2. Focus on what works in your market.

One of the reasons Hemal says he has been able to scale successfully so quickly is that he stays disciplined when it comes to what works in his chosen market. He avoids attaching numbers to his goals — whether he does $100M or $10M, he is happy if he, his partners, and his employees can make a good living. 

“We just continue the momentum and expansion of business, and the way we’re building each project is more important to us than having a fancy target,” he says. “That philosophy has allowed us for the most part … to stay in a very disciplined lane in terms of what we’re trying to do.”

3. Manage your emotions.

Last year, Hemal and his team walked away from a $45M deal and lost $385K in due diligence money. The sellers said they did due diligence, and because Hemal trusted them, his team didn’t follow their typical process. They later found out that there was a misleading set of financial information once they got into the contract and the deposit had already been made. “The biggest lesson was … if you let your excitement let you diverge from that process, you can get knocked down pretty quickly,” he says. 

4. Hire people who genuinely subscribe to your vision.

A major fundamental that has helped Hemal to scale is finding the right people who have the right values, integrity, hunger, and drive that he carries. He determines who these people are through a genuine conversation about how they view success and what they truly want out of their careers. 

“Once I find the right person, I trust them so much they get uncomfortable sleeping at night,” he says. “I look at them and I’m like, ‘I know you got this.’ And they just do magic and they go above and beyond.”

5. Stay nimble. 

Because the market has been so dynamic over the last two years, Hemal and his team assess and alter their strategies each quarter. By refusing to stay married to any one idea for a long period of time, they are able to adapt to market changes as they continue to build out their business both horizontally and vertically. 

6. Ask the experts. 

When Hemal was just starting out, the most valuable education he received came from established operators. “We asked these owner-operators to basically open up the books on how they manage properties, how they do reporting, and how they do communication,” he says. After reviewing five other operators’ playbooks, he was able to distill down his own version and buy his first property in September 2020.

7. Take action. 

“When you’re trying to climb a mountain, if you’re thinking about what shoes you want to wear and what pack you want to bring and what kind of filtered water you want to bring, I’m telling you — folks like myself are going to go barefoot and be halfway there before you decide to take action,” Hemal says. Even if you make mistakes, he believes those experiences only help to build credibility and good judgment.

Hemal Badiani | Real Estate Background

  • CEO and founder of Exponential Equity, which builds and buys large commercial assets (mainly multifamily) in the Carolinas.
  • Previous episode: JF2418: Using Diverse Background and Personal Superpowers in Real Estate
  • Portfolio:
    • GP of:
      • 744 units
      • $60M of ongoing construction projects that include self-storage and build-to-rent communities
    • LP of:
      • 2,000 units
  • Based in: Charlotte, NC
  • Say hi to him at:
  • Greatest lesson: Do your best every day, but remember that your best is different on different days.

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Direct download: JF_2933_Hemal_Badiani_.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:33am EST