How to Move From Residential to Commercial Investing


Manage episode 320009995 series 2557320
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What are the top 3 ideas on how to make the transition from residential to commercial real estate investing? Amy Johnson, commercial real estate investor and principal at Y Street Capital shares her knowledge after being in residential for six years and moving to a successful career in the commercial space.

You can read this entire interview here:

How did you make the move from residential real estate investing and what made you think of moving to commercial real estate?
We started in residential and went through that journey of house hacking our way through. What made that transition was really a lack of time. We got comfortable in the real estate world and we realized that doing these single units was too difficult to really scale and make it bigger. We felt like we needed to open our world up into commercial opportunities and that's when we made that switch from residential to commercial.

What would be your top three lessons learned that you wish you knew before making the transition?
1. Shadowing a professional. Go in, don't expect to be the professional on your first deal. Partner, or work with, or shadow somebody that has already done it. They've already gone through that, they already found the life lesson of XYZ and I'm never going to do that again. Go off of their learning curve for that. The easiest way to do that is you can usually be part of a syndication or something like that, or I've had people come and say, Hey, can I shadow you, and we can I work with you there. I'm careful with my time, but if you bring the right amount of value, maybe you bring the deal to them. We've done that with other people, they've brought us a deal, they said, I have this piece of dirt or I have this opportunity, I don't know what to do with it, but can I be part of your deal and learn from you, if I bring this to you, that's always been a win win. That will probably be my top one, shadow a professional to start.

2. Selecting individuals that have other strengths than you. We all have different strengths and different superpowers. You need to surround yourself with other people that have different skills than you. For example, I'm terrible at Excel, it sucks the life out of me, but I love having conversations, I love networking, I can do that part. So I try to align myself with other people that are really good at the other parts. And we make a really powerful team.

3. Try not to be a generalist, it's okay to have more than one type of asset that you're in. But if you're just chasing deals because you feel like it's a deal, and you're not mastering any of them. Maybe you're in flex industrial, then you go to storage, and then you go to retail and supermarkets or Dollar Generals, or you go to assisted living, or development. Those are all different things. They all have a very large learning curve in each of them. If somebody comes to me for retail, I'm sorry, I'm not a retail person. I don't do that. We try to stick to a bread and butter and keep to those specific things so that I'm not a generalist. We know those problems, so we know what to expect. It allows us to turn things over faster, and with less errors.

What are some horror stories that you went through and how did you overcame them?
The biggest one was not having the right amount of reserves. The second one was, everything takes longer than you expect it to happen. And that goes back to longer reserves. The third one is to not always rely on people's opinions of things, do your own research. The other one is that I'm never going to rely on $12-$14 an hour employees. That's probably the biggest horror story.

Amy Johnson

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