Real Estate Development with Darcy Marler


Real Estate Development with Darcy Marler


Guest: Darcy Marler is a seasoned real estate investor and developer with over two decades of experience in flipping houses, rental properties, land development, and new construction. From an MIT graduate to a successful real estate entrepreneur, Darcy’s journey has been marked by valuable lessons and insights. Passionate about transforming raw land into subdivided lots ready for construction, Darcy specializes in building and flipping houses, duplexes, and small multifamily properties.


Big Idea: In this episode, Darcy Marler delves into the transition from fixing and flipping houses to land development and new construction, stressing the need to align real estate strategies with personal preferences. He outlines risk mitigation and profit maximization strategies, emphasizing the substantial benefits of new construction, including higher returns, better tenants, and efficient management. Darcy highlights advantages such as ease of financing and incentives for developers addressing the housing crisis. He underscores opportunities for smaller investors in smaller-scale projects like multifamily units or residential development. Understanding market demand, leveraging financing, and exploring exit strategies are key takeaways for maximizing returns in real estate development.




Dan Breslin: Yeah, absolutely. I was excited by the topic. I think our listeners will be equally as excited. Most of us listening are probably fixing flipping houses. We are interested in buying and selling real estate. We would improve said real estate to get to that profit. And I think that our discussion today around land and development and making that transition will be a very much well-received topic by the audience and by myself today. So Darcy, would you mind giving us the background and the career evolution to getting where you’re at today?

Darcy Marler: Well, a lot of people, I was an actual IT guy way back in the day, about 23 years ago, I got tired of that. So I wanted to get into real estate and I started flipping and doing long term rentals and that led to some land development and construction. The bird, I’ve done all the strategies I’ve owned, had close to a thousand tenants and 240 renovated units, written a couple of books and then yeah. So now I’m doing a bit of everything, but I keep coming back to new. I like new, I like being creative. I like knocking stuff down instead of fixing it up now. [inaudible].

Dan Breslin: So why don’t we start with an example then this could be your first development deal, or you can not do that one. If that one’s not maybe the biggest lesson and maybe you could pick one that came with a really big lesson that helps us expand our vision from single-family fix and flip or buying duplexes that exist to ground up new construction?

Darcy Marler: Yeah, so actually the first one is a perfect one. So I had this 1950s bungalow. I was just going to flip it. The person next to me passed away, so I bought that as well. I said, ” You know what, I’ve always wanted to build. So what does that look like?” Actually I moved both of the old houses off. I didn’t even demolish them. I actually sold them. They got moved off. I split those two lots into four. I made sure all four lots were serviced and then I built four new homes and I loved it. It was exactly what I wanted. So the big thing that I’m all about too is, is not your personality to your strategy. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, what’s a better fit. And I love creativity. I love the pride of watching the stuff come out of the ground. I think it’s awesome.


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Darcy Marler & I Discuss Real Estate Development:

  • Budgeting and Risk Management in New Construction (3:31)
  • Philosophies on Holding vs. Selling Properties (10:02)
  • Pre-Selling Land vs. Building Spec Homes (15:54)
  • Identifying Potential Land for Development & Subdividing (18:21)
  • Evaluating Opportunities in Aging Neighborhoods (23:16)
  • Benefits of new construction for rental properties (36:38)
  • Importance of demographics and location in real estate investment (45:36)
  • The significance of partnerships and operational support in real estate ventures (49:48)



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The transcript of this episode can be found here.
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