As Chris Coleman originally planned his career path, he was driven by an avid interest in healthcare. Initially inspired by the clinical side of the industry, it didn’t take long for Chris to to realize that he wanted to trade in his dreams of a white lab coat to pursue a career on the business side of healthcare.
After earning a master’s degree in public health administration, Chris and his family made Washington, D.C., their new home as he climbed the ladder to become a partner in a specialized boutique consulting firm that helps enable healthcare organizations to meet regulatory requirements.
Beyond following his passion for healthcare, there was an additional benefit to working in this more focused environment — exposure to investing and an entrepreneurial mindset.
“We were always innovating into new business lines. Then, if it was successful, a few years later the new business line all of a sudden became a new subsidiary,” Chris said. “That was my upbringing in the business world. I thought, ‘Oh, this is entrepreneurial. This is what we do. We start new things and we invest in new things.’”
Investing in new things didn’t stop at new business lines for the consulting firm. After becoming a partner, Chris entered the world of earning distributions, pushing his income to a new level where he realized that he needed a responsible investment strategy.
“I didn’t grow up in a business family or anything like that. Quite honestly, I was making more money than I thought I would, and more money than I honestly knew what to do with,” Chris shared. “I wanted to do something to be a good steward and make it last, make it grow. Real estate attracted me for a couple of reasons. From the very beginning, I think I realized real estate was something that was more like a business.”
Chris started his investment journey like many investors do — with single-family homes. After achieving success in his early endeavors, he began investing passively in 2016, adding multifamily syndications to scale his business.
“… You need to have a mindset to run and grow [real estate investments] like a business. Especially when you’re getting into multifamily real estate, I mean, that is a business,” Chris said. “Even the way it’s valued is more like a business, not like a single-family home. And that’s what my experience was — business, you know? And so that really attracted me when I got into real estate.”
Entering 2019, Chris was becoming even more active in his multifamily syndication investments. Looking for ways to continue to grow as an investor, he saw the Best Ever Conference as one of the most notable opportunities to get involved in building his network and extending his industry knowledge.
“Everyone was convening at the conference, so it was a great opportunity to meet people. I had only met a lot of these people over conference calls —colleagues and folks that I’ve known for six months, a year, but who I’d never actually sat down and met in person,” Chris reflected. “You got to come together in person with someone that you’d probably been talking back and forth with on LinkedIn a hundred times.”
Beyond extending and deepening new and existing relationships, for Chris, the Best Ever Conference is also a golden opportunity to grow his knowledge from other investors, experts, and syndicators.
“No matter where you are, there’s always a learning curve. It’s not about trying to know everything. It’s working within whatever your strengths are, but there’s always more to learn, particularly when you’re talking about so many different areas of multifamily real estate,” Chris said. “Whether it’s working with investors, the whole asset management side of things, working with property managers, or whatever it may be. From that perspective and particularly everything we’ve come through in the last year, it’s a very interesting time to be in the real estate market.”
About the Author:
Leslie Chunta is a marketing consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in creating dynamic marketing programs and building brands for startups to enterprise organizations. She has worked agency- and client-side with high-growth companies that include Silicon Valley Bank, JPMorgan Chase, SailPoint, EMC, Spanning Cloud Apps, Ashcroft Capital, Netspend, and Universal Studios. www.thelabcollective.com
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