In what part of town do you live?
How long have you lived in the area?
Two years. Before that, Brickell.
Have you been in Miami for a long time?
Born and raised.
Did you always think you would stay here?
Yes. I love it here. I’ve traveled the world and I’ve never met such beautiful people with intertwining cultures. And obviously the good food and great weather.
What keeps you busy during the week?
I invest in real estate.
How long have you been in real estate?
20 years. I started as a property manager and real estate agent. Then, I moved up little by little and then back in 2014, I started investing.
What was your first project?
It was a seven-unit apartment building in Little Havana.
Was it a deal that you went in alone or did you find partners?
I had partners. I had been in the business for so long and I’ve dealt with so many different properties that I was able to get a good price on this specific one. I knew that we had to put in money into it, but I was willing to take that on. I found some partners and we went in and we were able to get a good return. It was a success. I still own it to this day.
How have your deals changed over the years?
Since the pandemic, we went outside of Florida and we found opportunities in Arizona and we’ve grown from that seven-unit property to the last one which was a 244-unit deal, also with partners.
What lessons have you learned about finding good partners?
Most people think it’s just a brick-and-mortar business, but it’s definitely a people business. It’s all about who you know and how you’re able to work with them and build trust. And, do your due diligence on everyone that you meet with.
Has it been tough to find good deals over the last two years?
Yes. It’s always very different. We’re doing commercial real estate and the market’s been really, really good. We’re more concerned about what’s going to happen in five years than what happened in the last five years. Last five years were actually pretty easy to make money. The next five years is what we are concerned about. What’s going to happen with interest rates and the economy? Rental prices have increased 15% year over year for the last five years. That’s unsustainable especially with everything that’s happening currently right now.
Are you still buying properties in this market or are you changing strategies?
No. Right now, it’s a wait and see game to see how much the interest rate will change. If it continues to increase, then obviously we will have to take into consideration the debt service. It can increase to a certain level and we’ll still be okay because of the rental increases, but can that be sustained? I think people will be willing to pay, but will their incomes increase enough to cover their rent?
What advice would you give someone interested in real estate investing?
Be patient. Educate yourself and definitely get into it because it’s the best way to create generational wealth.
What do you enjoy doing outside of real estate?
Scuba diving and boating
What do you enjoy about scuba diving?
Being down there. It’s so relaxing and meditative. You literally get away. It’s like being in another world.
How did you guys discover LNB Grovestand?
Our relative, Natalie, was working out next to where you guys have your stand and she recommended it. Coincidentally, we also took a course with Adena’s mom in Transcendental Meditation. We were talking about going to visit you at the same time that Natalie was telling us about these wonderful Rainbow Smoothies. That was two years ago.
Tell us a little bit about the experience of coming to our drive through?
It’s very friendly. We have a lot of fun. You always meet other people that are into health and it’s always been a good experience. Plus you have the best customer service.
What do you pick up when you come by?
I always get a Rainbow Smoothie. Obviously the Turmeric cookies, whenever they’re available. And then any other fruits that you might have. The honey’s good too. We always change it up a little bit. If we go on a Sunday, we’ll get the Turmeric Bagels.
What other places do you visit in the area that you might recommend?
Alaines Osteria for Italian. There’s 1111 Bistro in Palmetto Bay. We used to live in Brickell and we used to go to 1111 Brickell. We moved because of the pandemic and everything that was happening during that time and coincidentally so did 1111. We don’t know if they followed us or if we followed them. It’s very well run. It’s Peruvian with an Asian twist. You get really good service and really good food. Also, Pig Floyd for BBQ.
What’s Miami’s best kept secret?
La Minutera in Hialeah. It’s just wonderful seafood. We always get the whole fried fish. They load you up with French fries and their really well-done rice. It’s delicious.
What for you is a worthy splurge?
What community groups or community events do you guys participate in that you might like to promote or share?
We haven’t done it in a while, but we used to go a lot to the Rotary club in Brickell and Key Biscayne. It’s a really good organization. If you want do volunteer work, they always have something available that you can get involved with.
Is there a pitch about anything you’re working on that you would like to share?
My wife operates the brokerage that we have and I talk to people about investing. I don’t typically pitch, but if there was a pitch that would catch people’s attention, I would say if you’re looking for double digit returns with something less riskier than the stock market, contact me.
What size investments or types of investors do you look for?
My investors typically invest a hundred thousand dollars and up.
Each one can be a roller coaster. What have you learned about yourself by going through all these deals?
It’s funny that you say that. That’s exactly it. You have to have patience. I’ve learned to really keep balance and everything always works out.
What question, challenge or words of advice would you like to pose to the community?
Do something for the community. Having this conversation with you reminded me that I need to get back to doing some volunteer work. It really makes you feel good.
What question would you like to ask us?
(AD) When are you going to make the cookies every week?
(A+W) No plans right now. Making them only once a month keeps them a treat.