I remember the feeling when I stepped through the threshold of my first CRE investment property. It smelled of pizza––lingering remnants from the Vescio family dishing up Italian food to U of M students for over 60 years. In 2018, they closed their iconic Dinkytown business and sold the building. There was something about owning a piece of history, and it was fitting that my first property had to do with pizza. I often think investing is like a pizza. Here’s why:
1. Hot pizza? Cold pizza the next day? Whatever your preference, timing is critical. I wish I would have made the jump to CRE investing ten years earlier. But my first deal was the right deal to get me started, and I haven’t stopped since.
2. Order pizza, share pizza. My partner didn’t need me to buy the Vescio’s building, but he was willing to bring me in and share the deal. I’m grateful for that because it gave me my first slice. And then I kept ordering, which allowed me to share.
3. If you’re a pizza lover, there’s an exciting anticipation after you’ve ordered your favorite. Mix in a little nervousness, and that’s how I felt going into my first deal. But trust me, once you make the jump into investment, each deal gets easier and easier.
4. You know that feeling when you’re at a pizzeria, and you watch the table next to you get served a delicious-looking pie that makes your mouth water? That’s how I made the decision to finally jump into CRE investment. I was getting my investment clients good deals and watching them do well. I knew that had to be my next step.
5. Some say there are 687 different types of pizza in the world. Included in that list are some creative combination of toppings. Investment deals also require creativity. You might have to think differently to get your foot in the door. It can also take a creative-thinking broker to make a good deal with the right terms.
There’s a different feeling between seeing a stock listed on a statement and driving up to and walking through a building you own. You can touch it. You can show your kids. CRE is tangible. And there’s nothing like a good slice of the pie.
Jeff Salzbrun is the managing partner of Commercial Equities Group (CEG). As a veteran-owned real estate brokerage, CEG has been involved in thousands of sale and lease transactions, ranging from single offices to 250,000+ square foot buildings. At CEG, we get your deal done. We know space, and we know the CRE business.
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