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Commercial Real Estate FAQ With Stephen Epstein On Real Estate Development & Investments

How Can An Investor Get Access To Better Real Estate Development Investment Opportunities?

The following Q&A was completed as part of our conversational Commercial Real Estate FAQ Interview Series, we hope you find it helpful.

The best way for an investor to get access to better real estate development investment opportunities is to simply look and ask around. Pick up local business journals to the area you’re privy to, and seek out developers who are well known, who have the accolades to back them up, and who are doing things in the markets you’re interested in. After finding those you’re interested in, make some calls and see who you may want to move forward in doing business with. 

How can an investor get access to better real estate development investment opportunities? You know if I was an investor looking for real estate investment opportunities, obviously I would get connected with someone like Richard who can point you in the right direction and connect you with the best in class developers, people that he has a relationship with, people who he knows or who he can refer, I mean that’s an obvious no-brainer. But let’s just say you’re out there in the world and you don’t have any connections and you don’t really know kind of who the players are, the best thing I would do is identify a market you know or believe would be very strong. Let’s say you really like Nashville, right? And you said I want to invest in multi-family projects in Nashville. Well it’d be very easy for you to get the Nashville Business Journal online and start to look through and see who’s getting a lot of press. Who are the developers that are making moves? Who are the ones that are getting nominated for the different awards and different accolades and recognition? For example Meg Epstein who runs CA South Development was nominated for entrepreneur of the year, she’s developer in charge in Nashville, woman of the year entrepreneur, all these different – you’re going to find people are going to recognize the talented developers in the marketplace. The media is going to, or different groups and awards will. 

Obviously you want to try to get connected up with somebody who’s maybe not ultra-established. You’re not going to go to Greystar, a publicly traded rete, and say “You know, I’m an investor, I want to give you guys money.” They’re going to laugh at you because they’re a publicly traded company. So you kind of have to look and start asking around but the best thing you can do I think is just identify the market first, figure out what product type you want, and then just start doing a lot of research and then start making some phone calls. Let’s say you called CA South and said “Hey, I’m an investor from Toledo, Ohio, I’m looking to place a couple hundred thousand dollars into real estate development project. I want to know if you guys had any opportunities.” We would turn you over to our investor relations department, they’d give you some information and all that. And there’s probably other developers that would do the same thing. Or if CA South wasn’t accepting any money at the time, you know, we might say “You know right now we aren’t accepting any money, but we know this group, this group, and this group are doing similar deals, or different deals in a different sub-market and you may want to talk to them.” So, again, I would start off by obviously doing your research, and once you’ve identified somebody that you potentially want to do business with, then obviously check for references, right? Obviously ask for “Hey can I speak to some of your former investors? I want to confirm that you got good returns for them, I want to ensure that you acted ethically, and responsibly, and were a good fiduciary with their money. So that’s how I would go about doing it. 

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Richard Wilson

Richard Wilson

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