How to Become a Real Estate Developer with Adam Gilbert

 

Episode: How to Become a Real Estate Developer with Adam Gilbert

 

Guest: Adam Gilbert is the President of The Firm Commercial where he leads a team of agents specializing in commercial real estate sales, leasing, land acquisition, development, government relations, and value added entitlement development deals.

 

Big Idea: Any Real Estate Agent, Developer, or Investor Generates Consistent Income by Positioning themselves to Receive a Continuous Flow of Deals Crossing their Path.  Adam has a unique way of doing this in the realm of commercial real estate, as discussed during this episode.

 

 

    

Dan Breslin: Some of my best partners have come through listening this podcast. Maybe you’re the next. Today’s guest is Adam Gilbert, the president of The Firm Commercial, where he leads a team of agents specializing in commercial real estate sales, leasing, land acquisition, development, government relations, and value-added land entitlement development deals. Any real estate agent developer or investor will generate a consistent income through positioning themselves to receive a continuous flow of deals that are coming across their desk. Adam has a unique way of doing this in the realm of commercial real estate as discussed during this episode. And we also dive deep on how to become a real estate developer covering details of a few recent development deals and we also touch on the Palm Springs, California Real Estate market.

So, I was doing some research for our show here and I found that you’ve recently exited your vacation rental business. So, I’d like to begin right at that point if we could, and maybe you could touch on how you built the business, how it operated at scale, and then what was the ultimate reasoning that led you to selling and exiting.

Adam: Sure. So, quick background, I’m born and raised here in Palm Springs, and I left for school. I came back in about 2011, which was an interesting time in the market for a variety of reasons. But that summer, I had stayed in this new thing called an Airbnb in 2011, Washington, DC. We had spent the summer in New York and my wife was like, “We’re going to spend the night in someone’s room at their house? This is crazy.” I’m like, “We did it. This is the future, honey. This is going to be amazing.” And so, when I moved back to Palm Springs, there we have like a long history of vacation, rental properties for 50-60 years, but not on the platform of Airbnb. So, I was one of the ones who got just a couple of condos on the platform and they just started crushing. Absolutely amazing because this whole new marketplace of people were looking for properties on Airbnb. So, it kind of just grew organically. I was like, “Okay. Well, I’ve got a housekeeping service, I’ve got a handyman, I know how to do these reservations, and we just built this business.” By the time 2018 came around, I had 35 full-time properties. We had like, 50 around the time Coachella came. It was a great business. It’s a very labor-intensive business and it takes a lot of time, and it’s holidays and all that kind of stuff. So, at that point in my real estate investing career, it was just a little bit too much. And so, I made a deal with TurnKey, who’s a venture-backed vacation rental company out of Austin, Texas and they were acquiring small companies like mine at the time. I made an exit and focus my attention on other ventures.

Dan: Okay, so was it more of a freedom thing? Or was there some timing and pricing that also made it worthwhile?

Adam: There were a few factors in there. Just the perils of running a business, partners, all that kind of stuff. I think it was more timing. I had to decide. It was that point when I had 35 properties, I would have needed to invest in the business, in terms of employees. I did some calculations, I wasn’t going to make any money again until I got 75 properties, and I’m like, “Okay. Is this what I want to spend my time doing?” So, it’s kind of an 80/20 principle thing of “Where am I going to focus my time to have the best ROI?”

Dan: Got you. So, what’s been the focus of your career? Since 2018, you exited, you jettisoned the responsibilities, which was kind of what I was expecting an answer there. So, what’s been the focus since then?

Adam: Yeah. So, mostly since then, it’s been building of my real estate brokerage, both commercial and residential, here. It’s mostly commercial, but on the residential side, I do specialize in short-term vacation rentals, which the Palm Springs Market is well known for and has been absolutely blasting since COVID. Palm Springs has been a great market since that’s happened and then, I’m also working on my own deals and I have a little niche in value-add entitlement deals and zone changes. And so, I spent a lot of my time kind of doing that and entitlement work.

 

Episode Sponsored by the Deal Machine:

Driving for Dollars Software to Build a Team of Drivers, Manage Routes, & Even Automate Marketing.  Free Access at  http://REIDealMachine.com/

Resources mentioned in this episode:

www.TheFirmCommercial.com

 

 

Adam & I Discuss Commercial Real Estate Syndication:

  • Government Relations During Land Development

  • Identifying Value in Underzoned Property

  • Palm Springs California Real Estate Market

  • The Group Any Commercial Real Estate Broker is Wise to Join


    

Relevant Episodes: (There are 191 Content Packed Interviews in Total)

 

The transcript of this episode can be found here.
Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

100+ Unit Apartment Syndication with Stephanie Walter

 

Episode: 100+ Unit Apartment Complex Syndication with Stephanie Walter

Guest: Stephanie Walter is the Founder & CEO of Erbe Wealth.  Stephanie began investing in single family homes in Colorado while owning & operating her insurance agency business.   She has since exited that business and sold all of her single family rentals to focus solely on larger commercial real estate syndication deals.

Big Idea:  Recognizing the Opportunity to Sell Appreciated, Low Cash Flowing Deals and Transitioning to Larger Apartment Syndication Deals. Stephanie and I discuss her decisions to exit both single family rentals AND her insurance agency business to focus solely on larger, less active-truly passive commercial real estate deals.

 

 

    

Dan Breslin: Today’s guest Stephanie Walter is the founder and CEO of Erbe wealth, Stephanie began investing in single-family homes in Colorado while owning and operating her insurance agency. She has since exited that insurance agency business and sold off all of her single-family rentals to focus solely on larger commercial real estate syndication deals. Today we are going to dive deep into those decisions, her investment selection process, and a few big recent wins, and of course, an upcoming deal. So let’s get started. So I did a little research on you and your background, and I figured that we could begin with your sale of the insurance agency, what led up to that what your thoughts were, how you emotionally changed chapters, let’s say, and then got on to the next place that you currently are.

Stephanie: Yeah, well, I’ve had my agency since 2006, so about 16 years. And before that, I was actually an insurance adjuster for eight years. So my whole working life, I’ve been involved in insurance in some way. And I do love it. But I also love real estate. So I used to buy and hold single-family homes and really, really loved doing that and actually became more curious. In 2016 I joined a group of people that do some education, great education, about kind of how to buy larger commercial properties through syndications. And that was in 2016. And from there, there was really no looking back I found a partner and group of people I like to work with and found that I really liked raising money. And from that just ended up working with a lot of really wealthy people and learned a lot from watching the way that they handled their finances and started changing the way that I was viewing my finances and 2018 started selling off my single-family rentals and investing that money into these syndicated deals where we were getting double-digit returns and that allowed me to replace my income in the matter of a little over two years. I sold my agency and December 2020 and so now I’m retired but I am still raising money occasionally once or twice a year for a deal and I like to talk to people about kind of changing their views on money because it was life-changing for me. Because I’ve been able to retire and now I can spend a lot more time with my family.

Dan: Congratulations on the sale. That’s pretty cool. I imagine that must have been… I don’t know. I mean, was it a decision brewing for a year, six months? Did you just wake up one day and say, “Hi, we got to get going here.” This is too much weight. Was it the daily responsibility of you running and managing a team? What was it that led up to the sale, I guess?

Stephanie: I like to work a lot. I’m a nerd that way. But so I really like what I was doing. But as I continue to invest in these deals, and the money came in, and eventually it replaced what I was making in my insurance agency, all of a sudden, I was like, well, it would be nice not to be having to work every day and not having and being able to take a vacation. I hadn’t taken like, over a week’s vacation since 2006. So then, my eyes were opened a little bit more. And it was a little bit emotional to sell it. But, this is the direction that I’m going. And I really love helping people get into these syndicated real estate deals. And but yeah, it definitely was emotional. Because you get very close to your clients over 16 years. And just kind of that’s your identity.

Episode Sponsored by the Deal Machine:

Driving for Dollars Software to Build a Team of Drivers, Manage Routes, & Even Automate Marketing.  Free Access at  http://REIDealMachine.com/

Resources mentioned in this episode:

www.ErbeInvestmentGroup.com

 

Stephanie & I Discuss Commercial Real Estate Syndication:

  • Owning, Operating, & Exiting 100 Unit+ Apartment Deals

  • Luxury Single Family Home Development

  • Exiting a Successful Insurance Business

  • Exiting Single Family Rentals for Larger Deals


    

Relevant Episodes: (There are 190 Content Packed Interviews in Total)

The transcript of this episode can be found here.
Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.