196 episodes

Getting started with Commercial Real Estate Investing, or an experienced investor? This is a weekly podcast on the steps that I take to make my Commercial Real Estate investments (Retail, Office, Self Storage, etc) including successes and lessons learned. We cover advanced techniques for purchasing, operating, and exiting your properties, from the best people in the industry. You will learn everything you need to know about real estate investing. We are based in San Francisco / Silicon Valley and also cover how technology affects Commercial Real Estate, and how you can stay ahead of the game. Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/best-commercial-retail-real-estate-investing-advice-ever/support

Commercial Real Estate Investing From A-Z Steffany Boldrini

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 141 Ratings

Getting started with Commercial Real Estate Investing, or an experienced investor? This is a weekly podcast on the steps that I take to make my Commercial Real Estate investments (Retail, Office, Self Storage, etc) including successes and lessons learned. We cover advanced techniques for purchasing, operating, and exiting your properties, from the best people in the industry. You will learn everything you need to know about real estate investing. We are based in San Francisco / Silicon Valley and also cover how technology affects Commercial Real Estate, and how you can stay ahead of the game. Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/best-commercial-retail-real-estate-investing-advice-ever/support

    How to Generate New Cash Flow at Your Properties?

    How to Generate New Cash Flow at Your Properties?

    What are some ways to increase income on a commercial property? Joseph Woodbury, CEO of Neighbor, shares his knowledge.
    Read this entire interview here: https://tinyurl.com/wewybvt5
    What kind of fees do you charge and how does it benefit the property owner?
    We only make money when our partners make money. We don't charge any upfront or recurring fee, free to use the service. Just like an Airbnb or other marketplace, will take whatever you decide to charge as a host and we'll charge the renter a service fee on top of that, and that's where our money comes from.
    It is a sliding scale take rate based on the size of the dollar amount of the rental. For smaller rentals, if it's $30 a month, we're going to take a high percentage take rate on top, to make the money that you need to, versus we have some spaces that rent out for 1000s of dollars a month, we're going to take a very low percentage take rate on top of that. It varies by the amount. But again, very similar to what you'd see on Airbnb, where it kind of slides based on the amount of the reservation.

    Have you scaled the operations to cater to your partners who are listing their spaces with you?
    It's very much scaling the technology. The value of the platform is the value of the tools that we provide. Every year we're trying to think how can we make this more of a passive income experience for our hosts because that is one of our differentiating factors. If you think of other marketplaces, to make money on Uber, there's labor involved, you have to go drive around, or Instacart or DoorDash, and you have to work for the income that you earn. Even Airbnb tends to have a decent amount of management and turnover and customers. Oftentimes, management companies are hired, Neighbor, on the other hand, is the first platform where we can bring you a renter, and you're going to get a payment from that renter every month without doing much of anything, it's very passive income.
    Further along in the business, we've gotten the bigger hosts and have started to use the platform to where today. We have hosts that may own a $30 billion real estate portfolio across the country, office or retail or multifamily and they're listing lots of space on our platform in 100 cities. The tools required to manage that amount of space are very different than the tools required to manage a driveway or a garage. And so, building more robust payment systems to work with any large enterprises, custom payment systems, or building tools, almost like SAS-type tools where you can see the layout of hundreds of spaces and assign renters to different spaces, we use this cool tool called a blueprint for large owners of the land...

    Can you share an example of a REIT or a larger investor that has onboarded some properties with Neighbor and how did that go?
    In the retail space, we work with a group called Federal Realty, one of the largest owners of retail space in the country both on the East Coast and the West Coast. We onboarded them, we work with them both the suites that struggled to rent then will rent those out for self-storage, and also the parking in a strip mall. There's always that parking in the back that nobody parks on, we've rolled out nationwide with them.
    On the multifamily side, an example of one of the many multifamily groups we work with is Equity Residential, one of the largest owners in the country. In some properties, they have 20 different vacant parking stalls while in some properties, they have five, but at every property, they have and it's all income, and those properties get leased up very fast. If I look at properties that are onboarded, they get up to 75-80% occupancy quickly. And then, when you add on the interior self-storage opportunity...

    • 15 min
    How to Invest in Boutique Hotels?

    How to Invest in Boutique Hotels?

    How to find, analyze, and convert small boutique hotels? What are the systems and tools to use and the processes for hiring top people? Blake Dailey, a real estate investor, owner of boutique hotels, and founder of BoutiqueHotelCon, shares his knowledge
    Read this entire interview here: https://tinyurl.com/yevhs2u3
    How long did it take you to surpass your W2 income after you started investing?
    It took 13 months from the time of purchase. Short-term rentals helped me achieve that goal more quickly.
    How do you find a small boutique hotel? How do you analyze it, including conversions, if you undertake them?
    Municipalities across the country are increasingly regulating short-term rentals in places like New York, Dallas, Atlanta, and Southern California. These regulations aim to protect the single-family housing market and the rental market. Hotels, classified as commercial properties, are designed for nightly rentals and thus aren't subjected to the same regulations. Authorities aren't shutting down major hotel chains like Marriott and Hilton due to the influence of hotel lobbyists. This lack of regulation provides an opportunity to invest in prime real estate in metropolitan areas or their suburbs.

    To find these opportunities, I seek out tired hospitality assets typically owned by Mom-and-Pop operators who often reside on-site and handle all management tasks themselves. The inefficiencies of managing a business where you both live and work can be substantial. Many of these operators are slow to adopt technology, neglect online travel agencies (OTAs), and fail to engage in marketing efforts beyond word-of-mouth referrals or basic direct booking websites. By acquiring these properties, refreshing and renovating them, and listing them on OTAs such as Airbnb, booking.com, and Expedia hotels.com, we can attract a wider range of guests. We also focus on collecting guest emails and contact information to facilitate direct marketing efforts, which can significantly increase margins by avoiding OTA fees.

    We target markets such as destination markets, ski towns, and beach towns. For instance, Panama City Beach attracts 17 million visitors annually. However, similar opportunities exist in various markets nationwide, including metropolitan areas. I've found success in acquiring outdated properties owned by owner-operators, improving their efficiency, updating their design, and consequently increasing their average daily rates (ADRs). Since commercial properties are valued based on net operating incomes, these improvements can significantly boost property values.

    Can you discuss your systems, processes, and approaches to hiring and developing your team?
    Investing in this asset class requires a team effort. I couldn't manage all my hotels alone, although I did gain experience managing all my short-term rentals while still involved in residential properties. I outsourced administrative tasks and guest communications to cope with increased demand. Boutique hotels generate revenue from the outset, enabling us to hire and outsource roles early on. For instance, with a property generating hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, we can afford a full property-level team, including a director of operations, operations manager, revenue manager, and guest relations team. Regarding guest check-in processes, we employ self-check-in systems for smaller properties, while larger properties with higher revenue may warrant on-site staff


    Blake Dailey
    www.instagram.com/blakejdailey
    www.botiquehotelcon.com

    • 22 min
    Top Lessons Learned From 4 Decades of Investing + State of Investing Today

    Top Lessons Learned From 4 Decades of Investing + State of Investing Today

    What are the top lessons learned over a four-decade real estate investing career? What are his thoughts on the current real estate investing market compared to other difficult markets that he has been through in the past? Is there such a thing as work-life balance? We are chatting with Stephen Bittel, Chairman and founder of Terranova Corporation, he manages their sizeable portfolio of properties in several asset classes such as retail, multi-family and office.
    Read this entire episode here: https://tinyurl.com/2s3u5u3y
    What is like investing today compared to the past?
    This is the hardest investment market we have ever participated in. There's staggering uncertainty about the future, with half of the pundits predicting a recession and others foreseeing a soft landing. People simply don't know what's coming, and this uncertainty freezes both debt and equity capital.
    Part of the challenge today is that most of the people making investment decisions have only experienced an era of continually declining interest rates and cap rates, where you didn't have to be particularly skilled to make money. However, the current situation is different. While there was a brief interruption in the last quarter of 2008 and 2009, the past 15 years, and even longer for those under 50, have been relatively stable. Positive leverage, which used to be a hallmark of real estate investing, is now extremely difficult to achieve. In the past, we could finance properties at lower rates than their initial yield, resulting in immediate profitability. However, achieving such positive leverage today is nearly impossible. Despite this, we continue to invest in properties with tighter yields if we see opportunities to increase income.

    What are some of the toughest lessons learned, and what advice would you give without someone having to experience it themselves?

    Managing cash flow is crucial both corporately and at the property level. We've always prioritized managing our balance sheet, promptly paying down debt after liquidity events. The key lessons are:
    Invest in projects with potential for revenue growth, especially in areas experiencing positive population growth.Establish strong capital partnerships, as demonstrating the ability to close deals is vital. Seller financing can be advantageous for both parties.Consider being a nonrecourse borrower to protect against personal liability in challenging times.Honor loan covenants, and prioritize maintaining a clean balance sheet.
    Regarding nonrecourse loans, although they may incur slightly higher costs, the benefits of a clean balance sheet outweigh the expense. While our model may not be replicable for everyone, I would advise paying the premium for nonrecourse loans if given the choice.

    Commercial real estate is a fantastic industry with long-term wealth-building potential. While it's not without challenges, such as the current uncertainty in the market, it offers numerous advantages, including tax benefits and opportunities for cash-out financing. It's essential to treat real estate investment as a full-time commitment and to prioritize understanding the details of every transaction. Ultimately, success in this industry requires dedication, hard work, and a deep understanding of market dynamics.

    Stephen Bittel
    stephen@terranovacorp.com
    www.terranovacorp.com
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    • 19 min
    The Richest Real Estate Investor in The World (Part 3 - Final Part!)

    The Richest Real Estate Investor in The World (Part 3 - Final Part!)

    We continue our education of the history of The Irvine Company, picking up where we left of  in the 1980's through 2013. Excerpts from the book: The Irvine Ranch: a Time for People" by Martin A. Brower.

    Read this entire episode here: https://tinyurl.com/y6s85em4
    About 4,000 residential ground leases made over a 15-year period were coming up for renewal. The new rent, set at 5, 6, or 7% of the fair market value of the land, had been written so that rent would remain flat for an original 20 or 25 years. At expiration, the Company could charge 5, 6, or 7% of the new fair market value, but few foresaw how steeply land values would rise during the two decades. The residents created a Committee of 4000 to ask the company to discard the leases they had signed and to obtain more favorable conditions. They secured extensive news media coverage, took advertisements, held mass rallies, and won favorable community support, and as a result, the Company’s credibility plummeted. The Company made the Committee of 4,000 a new offer. The leaseholders could buy their land at an average of 50% of its appraised market value, and because interest rates were high, the Company would permit homeowners to pay for the land over a 30-year period with a variable-rate loan beginning at 10% - an acceptable interest rate in the mid-1980s.
    Key takeaways:

    Donate land to create a university or anything that will attract a lot of people to live in the area, build around it.Donate a lot to the community to help your company have a good public image.There were many trials and tribulations, even when the city entitled something; some activists were able to reverse that.They went through all economic cycles. They very rarely, if ever, sell, which is something I fully believe and agree with.I heard from someone familiar with being a tenant that they are very strict landlords; you can’t have one thing out of place.I personally looked at some of their multifamily apartments, and they are very well run.He is very particular about how things look; he would remove trees that looked “old school” and put palm trees to make a certain area look better, and now I notice that every shopping center he owns has palm trees.He made his execs work very hard; I met someone here that knew one of his VPs, and when this VP was taking a vacation, Bren made him come back to work due to a problem, and it turned out that the problem wasn’t that big of a deal. To me, what that says is that the VPs were highly paid, and also that we all need to resolve an issue very quickly when it arises at that level, or at any level, in my opinion. Don’t ever let things linger.Nothing lasts forever; if you made a mistake on one thing here, you fix it for the next one.

    Key takeaways on purchasing The Irvine Company:

    Be where the people are, go to the events that they go to, be in front of them. One of the partners that Bren had was at a horseshoe, and he ran into an Irvine Company family member, and that started the conversation of “has the ranch been sold yet,” which led to this person partnering up with multiple people, including Bren, to make the initial 50% purchase.Talk to the people who will get the deal done, in this case, they contacted the same lender. Bren always worked with the top people in the industry, whether they were CPAs, attorneys, lenders. Always go to the top for a significant opportunity.Get the seller what they want, in this case, one of the heiresses, Joann, to be a 10% stakeholder on that initial purchase.Corporations have a target number they will stop bidding at; this one was just under 20x of annual earnings, this one 3 million below the 20x annual earnings.
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    • 22 min
    The Richest Real Estate Investor in The World (Part 2)

    The Richest Real Estate Investor in The World (Part 2)

    We continue the introduction to the richest real estate investor in the globe, the owner of The Irvine Company, Donald Bren.
    Read the entire episode here: https://tinyurl.com/m2ehfys7
    1970's
    At that point, cities and the County were increasingly imposing costly demands on the developer. These demands included roads, flood control channels, parks, and schools — all of which were previously provided by the cities and the County. The James Irvine Foundation became serious about selling The Irvine Company to comply with the Tax Reform Act.

    When thinking of purchasing the company, Bren combined forces with Taubman, Allen, and the others. Understanding from Bren the need to have heiress Joan Irvine Smith on their side, Taubman and Bren had decided to allow Joan Irvine Smith to become an 11% partner of the consortium, allowing her to retain partial ownership of the Company she loved after the proposed purchase — which she relished.

    On May 18, 1977, Mobil bid $336.6 million. The next day, May 19, the consortium bid $337.4 million — more than one-third higher than Mobil's original offer. At noon the following day, May 20, 1977, Mobil announced that it would not attempt to outbid the consortium. The consortium was prepared to go higher. The court approved the price, declared Taubman-Allen-Irvine the winner, and the sale of The Irvine Company was completed. Therefore, 112 years after James Irvine acquired the Irvine Ranch, the company became a Michigan corporation.

    The consortium purchased the company for $337.4 million. Key to the financing of the acquisition was the $100 million loan, which was assembled by a group of 9 banks. The timing of the acquisition could not have been better, as the nation came out of the 1973-74 recession, and the economy grew warm in 1976 and 1977.

    1980's
    In 1983, Bren made a startling move. He offered to buy out Taubman and his partners by launching his own leveraged buyout of The Irvine Company, for their 51 percent of the Company, for which they had contributed less than $100 million six years earlier, Bren offered the “Eastern” shareholders $516 million.

    Determining that they had made a sizeable profit and uncertain about the future resulting from the heated “greedy eastern carpetbagger” campaign and the residential leasehold crisis, the Taubman-led easterners agreed to accept Bren’s offer. Orange County newspaper reporters tried to uncover why these astute businessmen would sell a company which appeared to have an unlimited financial future, but Taubman would only comment “My father always told me you take some and you leave some.” To his hometown “Detroit Free Press” he boasted: “This was a better deal than the Louisiana Purchase.”

    But Joan Irvine Smith objected to the buyout price as being too low, and objected to Bren’s saddling the Company with a $560 million debt (the $516 million buyout plus interest due to five banks making the loan). This valued the company at just over $1B and her 11% shares at about $100M. She filed suit. With the buyout also came $560M of debt. Bren worked with First Boston Company on financing the buyout, and he worked closely with accountants Kenneth Leventhal & Company on how to make the payments. The lawsuit lasted quite a few years in the 80s and after endless months of discovery, depositions, the trial which was in Michigan (where the company was incorporated) resulted in the judge awarding her $256M including accumulated interest.

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    • 21 min
    The Richest Real Estate Investor in The World (Part 1)

    The Richest Real Estate Investor in The World (Part 1)

    A little background on the history of The Irvine Company.
    Read this entire episode here: http://tinyurl.com/55zadwbj
    In 1864, James Irvine and three partners bought a 101,000-acre ranch, for around $26k. Much of that is now a city called Irvine, in California. It was initially a ranch focused on agriculture and it also encompassed coastal land. In the early 1900’s they started developing some of the real estate, and in the 1950’s they started large scale planned community development, also known as master planned communities, which encompasses building everything from residential to commercial and industrial buildings. The city of Irvine became one of the largest planned communities in the US.

    I recently read the book The Irvine Ranch: A Time For People by Martin A. Brower, and I will be sharing what I highlighted from the book below for my own knowledge.
    50's
    Novices in such real estate transactions, The Irvine Company prepared lease and sale agreements which did not require development as proposed nor reversion of the land to the Company if not used by the lessee or purchaser.

    60's
    As they were expanding and continuously growing, one of their developments in the 60’s pioneered the “zero lot line” concept, in which a house is placed on its neighbor’s property line, resulting in one wide side yard rather than two small and useless side yards for each home. The unique plan placed groups of homes around a series of central green parks. Homes were priced from $27,000 to $32,000, a step below the prices in Turtle Rock Hills.As with all other Irvine Company village centers, included architecture consistent with its community, an attractive service station with pumps away from the streets, and with a supermarket and shops opening from a broad walkway rather than directly from the parking lot.Master planned to group buildings by size and use, the IIC was developed with strict covenants regulating land coverage, architectural design, landscaping and sound, odor and visual emissions. They were known for their innovative planning concepts.

    70’s
    The Company’s Residential Division had developed strict guidelines for each village which builders had to obey if they wanted to be invited to build homes on the Ranch. One of the homebuilders in Greentree — The Bren Company — was felt not to be cooperating. It was determined that Bren would never again be invited to build on the Irvine Ranch.When a citizen spokesman completed an attack one of of the Irvine company’s plan for a new project and the city stood with him, the president at the time Raymond Watson, applauded. “You’re not supposed to applaud,” chided Company director of public relations Martin Brower. “Sure I am, this is real democracy in action, with each of us respecting the other’s role”.

    We will continue this exploration on the next post as I will highlight how Donald Bren became a partial owner of The Irvine Company and how he then became the sole owner of The Irvine Company.

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    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
141 Ratings

141 Ratings

ZedYu ,

Car Wash

Love the podcasts. Regarding Stephany’s car wash facility I think I could arrange an SBA loan for it to fix it up and do better management and marketing about it before it could be sold for good returns. This loan may be for refinancing any existing loan plus improvements and working capital. Please call me at 678 215 1981 Thx. Zed.

DanishViking ,

Easy to understand information that is relevant

I listen to many audiobooks and podcasts about real estate investments. Sometimes it gets so boring and complex my mind starts to wondering off.
This podcast is easy to digest and relevant to want I am interested in. It keeps me captivated.

Multifamily University ,

Awecome!

I enjoyed listening to this podcast! Great insights and entertaining!

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