Investor Stories: Geoff
We enjoy connecting with investors and learning about their unique stories, experiences, and strategies. EquityMultiple’s Investor Relations Team has spoken with countless investors across the United States. This is an interview with Geoff, an entrepreneur and EquityMultiple investor from Charlotte, North Carolina…
- Geoff has always taken an entrepreneurial approach to wealth creation, hence his self-directed approach to real estate investing.
- He likes the narrative side of commercial real estate investing, and the specific thesis of more niche asset classes.
- Given the events of 2020, Geoff is more drawn to debt investments in the near future.
Tell us a bit about yourself … outside of work, what do you like to do? What freedoms do you hope to attain through investing?
My favorite adventures are being outdoors with my wife and kids. Whether that’s hitting the local trails by foot or mountain bike and when we’re by the water, I really enjoy paddle boarding and soaking up all the wonderful things the ocean/beach has to offer. After a long day on the go there is nothing better than crashing at home and doing a little Netflix binging to restore the soul.
Tell us about your journey to “accredited investor”… how did your career progress such that you are now able to establish income streams through passive investments?
It really started when I received a full-athletic scholarship to play football at Colorado State. I was able to graduate without the burden of being buried under student loans.
When I graduated I sold real estate in South Florida and was fortunate enough to capitalize on a hot pre-construction market. My wife and I used our real estate earnings to open a small personal training studio during the recession.
Investing and training have many parallels: consistency and discipline are required in both to achieve your goals. I’ve always enjoyed the freedom of being self employed and investing has always been an integral part of the journey.
At what point did you first become interested in real estate investing, and why?
As a gym owner you meet all sorts of amazing people from all walks of life. The one thing my most financially successful clients have in common is that they all have acquired most of their wealth through real estate.
Conversations with these more established, successful investors led me to seek greater exposure to commercial real estate. I have always been a sponge and enjoyed learning from those that have been to the top of the mountain.
What specific kinds of real estate do you like investing in (property types, specific markets, types of business plan, or positions in the capital stack)
I’ve learned through my own experiences that diversifying your investments is your best insurance policy against systemic risks. I like to invest in both debt and equity offerings. Multifamily is my favorite asset class because it’s usually a little more neutral on the risk spectrum.
What has your experience with EquityMultiple been like? What does EquityMultiple add to your portfolio and how do our investments complement your overall investing strategy?
The customer service has been outstanding with EquityMultiple. Anytime I’ve had a question regarding any investment I’ve always received a response within 24 hours.
Investing with EquityMultiple during the pandemic has literally paid off. We had to close our gym for months and every little bit of income helped us out during a very tumultuous time.
So given that you have been pretty entrepreneurial in your own life (selling real estate, owning your own gym) is there an element of choosing which specific investments, and really curating your own portfolio, that you enjoy?
Yes, absolutely. When you’re a small fish, such as myself, in a large fish bowl of investors it is so refreshing to be able to participate in multiple offerings with minimum investment amounts. A few years ago opportunities to enter into deals like those that EquityMultiple offers were extremely rare and hard to find unless you knew a few commercial brokers spread out all over the country in a number of different sectors. You all have created a frictionless platform that I intend to use for a very long time.
You have invested in a number of interesting assets through EquityMultiple, including a car wash and an addiction treatment facility… What drew you to these specific investments?
My investment intentions were a mix of both personal and financial feelings. I’ve witnessed a ton of friends and family deal with addiction/alcoholism issues, this was the catalyst behind investing with the addiction treatment facilities.
I was drawn to investing in the car washes because one of my favorite clients in our gym owns numerous car washes. He has built an awesome business model and this was why I pulled the trigger on the car wash offerings. It’s nice because you’re taking on a small slice of the pie without all of the added risks and liabilities associated with the project if you were to do it on your own. Strength in numbers.
How has your investing strategy changed as a result of the present crisis? Are there asset classes or specific types of investments that you are more or less interested in these days?
This past year has reminded me that nothing is guaranteed and the peace of mind that comes with supplemental income is priceless. I will say that I’m probably a little more biased towards shorter term debt deals after the turbulence we saw in 2020.
That looks like the makings of a fun Halloween. Did you end up carving jack-o-lanterns and, if so, how did they turn out?
My wife and kids are the talent with the pumpkins. New masterpieces are born every year!
*This customer testimonial may not be representative of the experience of other customers. No testimonial is indicative of future performance or success.
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