Top Lessons Learned from Owning $1.5 Billion in Real Estate


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After working in the industry for 30 years, and managing 5M square feet of assets worth $1.5B, what are the best pieces of advice out there? Chris Rising, co-founder of Rising Realty Partners, will share his extensive list of lessons learned.

You can read this entire interview here:

What are some of the scariest things besides COVID that you have dealt with? And how did you get out of them?
I do have a couple of stories but one that sticks out, it still makes me want to throw up. We were buying an asset in Pasadena, it was in office, it was after the GFC, and I got introduced to a tech celebrity who was a wonderful person, I like him a lot. He made a ton of money twice but had never been in real estate. He had hired someone to do his real estate because he wanted to diversify. We found his project that we were buying, it was a bit distressed, we were bringing in at the time a competitor to We Work, so we were going to have some leasing and the whole deal made a lot of sense. I talked to him on the phone and I said, Look, we've been underwriting this, our money goes non refundable on Friday, but if you're not there, we're not going to go non refundable. And he said, Yeah, we're going to, I think, yes. It was mumbling "yes" and I said, okay, good. I remember calling the broker and saying, let's let the money go non refundable. It was a million dollar deposit. Literally about an hour after I called the broker and the escrow, I get a call from one of this guy's representative saying, We're not 100% sold, we're going to want to look at this deal longer. I said, no, no, no, that's not how real estate works, I just relied on a commitment from your boss, and I just put a million dollars at risk. He said, Oh, what are you talking about? You can't do that on that. I had a good 24 hours before the principal called me and said, Chris, I apologize, I didn't realize that, of course I'll honor what I'm going to do.

What are the top three biggest lessons learned in your career?
1. The smartest person in the world is asking the most questions. And those questions sometimes come across as dumb questions. When I was young, I thought asking questions was annoying, and I shouldn't have a place for that, I should just be there and take my notes. What I realized is that people that aren't asking questions are not engaged, and probably not someone I want to do business with.

2. You don't have to be a jerk in business. However, you also have to understand that business isn't personal. That took me a long time. We're a family company, I want everything to be great. But as long as you treat people with respect, and you're ethical, and honest, that can happen in business and it's not personal, deals can blow up. I'm always amazed how people don't realize that a Pro Forma is just a guess. We don't have crystal balls. We try to make it as educated as possible, but recognizing that it's not personal allows you to sleep at night a little bit better

3. No matter how important all your business seems, and all that stuff, it's all very fleeting. If you're not enjoying your family, your life, it's a hard road to get to your 50s and realize that you don't have a great family, and you don't have a great thing. My father is 80 years old now, he pretty much moved on from the business. And I think of things that were so important 15 years ago, and they're just not now. The people that were important aren't in the business anymore.

Chris Rising
The Real Market With Chris Rising

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