College is a time for classes, internships, friends, and parties. For Prady Tewarie, it was also a time for launching a commercial real estate business. That’s right: He became a buy-and-hold investor while still an undergraduate.
Today, Prady’s based in Boston, and his real estate investment company specializes in converting condos. And he currently has more than $100 million in assets.
What’s behind Prady’s astonishing success? His intelligence, creativity, and business aptitude account for a great deal of it. For example, he recently bought a property in East Boston with two condos, and he turned those two spaces into four luxury condos. In essence, he purchased two condos for free.
Then there’s Prady’s willingness to work really hard. As a college and law student, he often spent more than 100 hours per week on his coursework and fledgling firm. He’s remained a prodigious worker to this day.
Beyond those attributes, three other qualities have played an outsized role in getting Prady to where he is now.
1. An Eagerness to Evolve
Over the years, Prady’s career has continually progressed. In college, he bought and sold small businesses that were struggling: cafes, barbershops, and so on.
Later, Prady started purchasing multifamily properties. He rented many of those units to Boston-area college students.
A major step forward came when Prady started developing his own properties. He was craving a new professional challenge, and one of his brokers suggested apartment development.
Becoming a project developer definitely changed Prady’s life. He had to learn multitudes of new skills. He had to be a hands-on leader, and he needed to be present at construction sites for many hours a day. He had to set up his own complex systems and stay exceptionally organized at all times.
Prady also had to take some serious risks. Development projects can be extremely expensive, and they generate no cash flow until they’re finished.
2. The Ability to Build a Team
Teams of experts have been instrumental to Prady’s success. In fact, he assembled his first such group when he was still in college.
Soon after getting started in business, Prady realized he could only do so much himself. Even more challenging, his real estate knowledge was scant at best.
Prady understood that, without contractors, brokers, and others to assist his projects, it would take him a long time to learn everything he needed to know.
Thus, with some humility, Prady approached various professionals. He told them about his new real estate investment company, and he freely admitted his lack of knowledge.
The alternative to seeking help was to feel underskilled and overwhelmed. In that case, he might have abandoned his entrepreneurship dreams at a young age.
Prady says that many budding business people don’t even try to contact experts in their field, believing there’s no chance they’ll get a response. Naturally, some people won’t ever respond. But Prady has found that many pros are willing to give advice to newcomers.
Some of those experts may eventually want to collaborate with you. However, you should do a few things to forge that kind of partnership:
- Express your love and enthusiasm for your industry.
- Build those relationships slowly, putting care and effort into them. Over time, bonds can form.
- Have an enticing incentive structure in place.
Because Prady was so persuasive, he assembled a team of real estate authorities relatively quickly. And he was able to leverage their expertise to dramatically scale up his business.
In addition, whenever Prady wants to add someone new to his team, he looks to his existing team members to find that person. That is, if he wanted to hire an architect, he wouldn’t just go out and recruit one. Instead, he’d ask his employees to recommend architects they know personally.
That way, everyone on the team is connected to each other. There’s a greater sense of loyalty within the group, and Prady can feel confident in his hiring choices. After all, if someone ever failed to deliver, the employee who recommended that person would, as Prady puts it, “feel the heat.”
That level of trust and camaraderie is vital. Indeed, Prady relies on his team before a project even begins. Whenever he goes to an open house, he brings along several of his experts so that they can all evaluate the property together. That input leads to much more lucrative purchasing decisions.
3. The Personal Touch
Throughout his career, Prady’s people skills have provided him with major advantages as well.
For example, when Prady was renting multifamily units to Boston-area college students, he added high-tech elements like iPads and automated systems to those residences. By contrast, his competitors focused on upgrading the look of their apartments: installing new countertops, flooring, and so forth. But, since most students were more interested in technology, Prady could significantly raise his rents.
Nowadays, when Prady passes by properties that appeal to him, he’ll often stop and chat with the owner. He’ll also state that he’d be interested in buying the place should it ever go up for sale.
Furthermore, Prady offers to assist property owners in making those sales. For instance, he might pay their brokers’ fees, help them move their belongings, or supply them with legal counsel. Once again, this human touch can pay considerable dividends.
In the end, Prady’s overarching philosophy is simple. While skills and knowledge are valuable, the most important thing in commercial real estate — and every other business — is taking action. Those who take action are those who win. And Prady Tewarie will surely be taking bold, decisive actions for a long time to come.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.