My passion for real estate started one summer on a family vacation. I sat on the side of a swimming pool with my dad and asked him, “why are there so many rooms in the hotel and all the people there?” My dad, with his limited knowledge, attempted to explain to his 8-year-old son how it worked. My father explained that families and travelers would stay in hotels like this one. These travelers would pay the owner of the hotel a fee for the time they spent there. That was all it took. At that point, I was hooked. I knew immediately I wanted to be the guy that collected all the money.
Over the years more questions arose; the answers only further drove my desire. What is the story that hooked you?
Over the years, I have observed major players in the private equity and real estate space. I was intrigued by the appearance and the simplicity of the model. I studied it over the years.
Companies like Inland Real Estate which was started by four high school teachers and has evolved into the largest office REIT in the world. Sam Zell’s company Equity Trust was started in the mobile home space 40 years ago. Real estate is not just a local business anymore. It is global. I wanted to be global as well.