Previously at Dakota Pacific and Duff & Phelps
Where To Find Them
Type of Investing
What was your college background?
Ryan is from a blue-collar family (dad is a mechanic, mom worked at a restaurant) but his dad was able to provide a comfortable life for their family because he made some great investments in real estate. That inspired Ryan to pursue real estate and that was his main focus throughout his college experience.
How did you decide on real estate?
Ryan's initial plan was to do corporate finance and put extra money into real estate investments on the side. But then he did an internship with Sundance Bay (real estate private equity shop) and that's what helped him really decide to pursue that kind of investing. That helped him learn more about his career plans than school ever did.
What is it about real estate that gets you excited?
- Real estate technology is going to bring about a big disruption in the industry
- Being a part of what someone will call home, whether that be their actual home or the office they're going to be working in
- Making a home/office that people feel proud to be in
- Building communities
Most valuable experience during college?
- Internship with Sundance Bay
- It really showed him that he could live his passion for real estate using someone else's money as well as do it on the side
- Allowed him to see the entire process
- There are some internships that are designed to provide value to the student and there are some that are designed to provide value to the company. Sundance was definitely one that was designed to provide value to the company, but in so doing, it allowed him to get really great exposure.
What would you do differently if you could go back to undergrad?
- Do internships quicker because those experiences really helped him define his career
- Take real estate finance classes, participate in real estate clubs, etc.
- Be more involved in order to build out his network more
What to do without a great GPA or SAT/ACT score?
- If you can't prove "intellectual horsepower" on paper, then you need to demonstrate passion
- Be very sure about what you like and make sure you can provide evidence that you like it
How do you manage the learning curve?
- You have to be scrappy. Be willing to call people, dig deep, etc.
- Be proactive. Don't ask a million questions during a project. Figure it out first and then bring your supervisors a finished product, even if there are corrections that need to be made.
Most important hard skills?
- Excel is hands-down the most important hard skill for anyone in finance
- Firm understanding of finance is next (all financial statements)
- Argus is a tool specific to real estate that helps calculate cash flows
Most important soft skills?
- Be Scrappy. You need to be proactive about assignments that are given to you. Be willing to figure things out on your own.
What makes a good real estate investment?
- There are a bunch of different asset types (residential, commercial, etc.) and there are a bunch of different trends that affect everything (everything is interconnected)
- People are moving out of San Francisco in large numbers but ten years ago the opposite was true
- Retail is waning and is being replaced with warehouse distribution centers
- Any big company like Amazon or Microsoft deciding to build an office somewhere also causes ripples in the market
- So you need to be aware of the trends in the market. But you also need to think long term (5-10 years) because real estate doesn't move quickly.
Advice on writing a great investment thesis?
- Make sure that you understand the most important trends and macro-level forces at play
- Where are people moving? Where are companies moving?
- Be very familiar with the asset type
- Warehouse space is very different from multi-family residential.
- Who are the tenants? Who are the potential tenants? Why do people move out or in?
What is the culture like in real estate investing?
- Very much rooted in tradition (old school)
- More seasoned individuals for the most part
- You have to pay your dues when you're starting out
- More formal, fewer perks, very clear right and wrong answers