Each week for the Best Ever Round Table, the three Best Ever Show hosts — Ash Patel, Slocomb Reed, and Travis Watts — come together for a deep dive into a commercial real estate investing topic.
Have you recently dipped your toe into commercial real estate? Maybe you’ve done a deal or two, or maybe you’re considering putting some more CRE in your portfolio. If you’re just getting started, this episode is for you. Ash, Slocomb, and Travis discuss what originally attracted them to commercial real estate and how you can decide if it’s the right path for you.
1. Why Commercial Real Estate?
Ash, Slocomb, and Travis each had different circumstances that led them to consider investing in real estate.
Ash was seeking a way to offset taxes. “I found real estate by accident,” he says. Every year, he would ask his CPA how to offset his taxes as a W-2 earner, but never received a useful answer. “I always heard that real estate was a great way to offset taxes,” he continues. “I didn’t understand what that meant, but I thought I should buy some real estate.”
Slocomb was looking for a side hustle. Before becoming an apartment owner/operator, he worked as a youth minister. “I was just looking to bridge the gap with a part-time job, be contributing equally to our family as my wife was, and I finally picked up Rich Dad Poor Dad,” he says. Soon after, he embarked on his first house hack and fell in love with real estate.
Travis was following his dream of entrepreneurship. “I just didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do for a business,” he says. “So it took many years to go full-time with real estate, and that was about a seven-year journey.”
2. Top Lessons Learned in Their CRE Careers
If you want to go far, go together. “If you’re full-time in real estate and your goal is to scale, you have to start looking at partners, joint ventures, and other people to work with,” Ash says. He also advises carefully selecting your partners and clearly communicating your expectations beforehand.
You always have the ability to adapt. When Slocomb realized he was pulling most of the weight in a partnership, he decided to do something about it. “I formed a property management company through that experience so that my partnership could pay me management fees for doing all of the work,” he explains. That management company has allowed him to take down additional deals, scale through hiring, and scale through new partnerships. “It was my ability to adapt to changing circumstances that those things happened.”
You don’t have to start small. “I would say to anybody listening, whether you are or want to be a GP, an LP, do a JV, individual purchasing — you really can start with multifamily or commercial, or something above that,” Travis says. He didn’t realize this for a long time, and like many CRE investors, now believes he could have gone bigger faster when he started out.
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