Some little kids enjoy playing with diggers, bulldozers, and backhoes, but for Justin Smith it was a passion. As a boy, he knew he wanted to be a builder when he saw an acre of land transform into a developed community of row homes. The life-sized “Tonka” trucks and people in hard hats had him hooked and he set out to learn more about a career in construction. He started with developing smaller multifamily properties before moving on to larger apartments. Now, he has completed over $250 million in apartment projects and gives the dirty truth about multifamily construction.
Justin is the founding principal of Relequity, helping other commercial real estate professionals get real equity in projects. He partners with architects, engineers, and construction professionals to invest in multifamily apartments. With his background in construction, he focuses on the development and construction aspects of the business.
Justin shares the key process to manage construction projects from ground-up developments to renovating existing properties. He lists out three items that are critical to managing any project: scope, budget, and schedule. Justin points out key areas to monitor when managing construction and getting the most out of any deal. He also shares why he created Relequity and how he’s supporting others.
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Key Insights on Managing Construction and Getting Real Equity
From a childhood dream of building a city block to multifamily investor and developer of apartment communities
What challenges and solutions investors should look for when investing in construction and development projects
Key milestones to have in order before beginning a new development
The systems you need to review on a renovation project
The three most important aspects of development: scope, budget, and schedule
Tips on what to look for when analyzing a property
What to look for around the exterior and interior
Executing for the best ROI by understanding the scope, budget, and schedule of a real estate development project
The dog park analogy (dog parks are very popular in multifamily development these days!)
How to create a solid budget
Ensure your scope, budget and schedule are incorporated into your development contract
How to communicate with your contractor to avoid costly change-orders
The common error investors make when creating scopes
Relequity, giving construction and development artists the opportunity to invest in wealth building through real estate projects
Architects, engineers, and construction professionals are passionate about their work but do not get shares in their projects
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Apparent Failure: I acquired vacant land that I thought I could build 30 units on, but the city council only allowed 22. I learned how to work with government agencies.
Walking outside every morning.
The financial and lending environments
Wish I Knew When I Was Starting Out:
Start faster, scale bigger.
Best Place to Grab a Bite in Oakland, CA:
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