January 4, 2023

JF3044: Demystifying the Allure of Family Offices ft. Arti Shah

Arti Shah works at Invest Beyond Multifamily, which invests in necessity-based commercial real estate properties in growth markets. In this episode, she tells us how syndicators can get the attention of family offices, the intensive vetting process family offices go through when vetting deals, and why these groups are increasing capital reserves to take advantage of what is likely to come in the market. 

Arti Shah | Real Estate Background

  • Works at Invest Beyond Multifamily, which invests in necessity-based commercial real estate properties in growth markets.
  • Portfolio:
    • Properties in IL, NJ, and GA
  • Based in: Chicago, IL
  • Say hi to her at: 
  • Greatest Lesson: After working 18 hours a day in corporate, realizing that betting on myself would help me to grow personally and professionally.


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Ash Patel: Hello, Best Ever listeners. Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I'm Ash Patel, and I'm with today's guest, Arti Shah. Arti is joining us from Chicago, Illinois. She works at Invest Beyond Multifamily, which invests in non-residential commercial real estate in growth markets. Arti's portfolio consists of various properties in Illinois, New Jersey and Georgia. And Best Ever listeners, fair disclosure, Arti is a childhood family friend of mine. She's also a business partner of mine in Invest Beyond Multifamily. Arti, thank you so much for joining us, and how are you today?

Arti Shah: I'm good. Thanks, Ash, for having me, and thanks Best Ever for having me, too.

Ash Patel: Arti, before we get started, can you give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and what you're focused on now?

Arti Shah: Yes. So I started my career in finance. I then went to the University of Chicago for my MBA, and then I joined a family office. I've been with them for about eight years; I still help consult in a variety of projects for them, and the family office actually made all of its wealth from commercial real estate and development.

Ash Patel: So when people think of family offices, they're very elusive. What is a family office? How did you get a job there? And why is there such an allure around them?

Arti Shah: So let me start with how I got a job there. I've known the owner of the family office since I was probably in my teens. My mother delivered his three kids, I kept in touch from high school, through college, through a career in finance, through business school, and then I became a very valuable asset to him, because I had an MBA degree from a top finance school, so he had recruited me to help structure actually his family office. And what is a family office, you may ask, right?

Ash Patel: Yes.

Arti Shah: Well, interestingly enough, a family office is an office that has X amount of millions of dollars, and they have to figure out "How do I allocate all my assets appropriately?" There's tax strategies involved, there's trust strategy involved... There's also a number of deal flow opportunities that come through their desk every day. And where should they put money? How should they put it? What are the return targets that they should achieve? And it all really goes down to "What is my generational wealth planning that will come and stay with my family going forward?"

Ash Patel: Does the IRS have separate classifications for family offices, or different tax benefits available to them, versus just keeping your money in the traditional LLCs per property?

Arti Shah: So it's not specifically to family office per se, but there are tax strategies when you're doing trusts, and there's different generational trusts that you can do... There's different benefits that you can get by buying tax credits... So if you do some real estate development in, let's say, some under-growth markets, the cities will incentivize you with tax credits. However, if you don't have the income portfolio to use those tax credits, you can sell them to someone who does have so much income that can use them.

So what my employer would do is he would buy these tax credits, because those developers never had the ability to use them. So there's different tax strategies that you can do when you do have as much wealth that family offices do have, such as moving to Florida from Illinois, because the state tax is ridiculous.

Ash Patel: And this is where that financial education background comes in handy... Alright, so you started working at this company, helped develop the family office; were they already in commercial real estate before you got on board?

Arti Shah: 100%. So the owner of the family office immigrated here from India, and went to a town that was very small, about 80 miles away from Chicago. And he ended up just buying a bunch of land there and making a bet on that city. Lo and behold, he developed his first strip center, and then was able to bring national tenants into that, and now pretty much has developed the whole East side of that town. So he had a lot of different commercial strips, he had sold a decent amount of land as well... But the key in his strategy was not only owning the land, learning the development process, but also owning the real estate going forward and never selling that real estate.

Ash Patel: Even today, do they still hold, or do they divest anything?

Arti Shah: They're starting to divest, mostly because unfortunately it's no longer a growth market. So at the peak of the market, there were enough divestitures. However, there's so many assets that are so in the money per se, that why not just build continuing cashflow with that asset? ...versus just sell it, and then how do you replace that cash flow going forward? That's the thought that really goes into family offices' head; if you have an asset, and I sell that asset, what will I get to replace that cashflow in my future earnings?

Ash Patel: So they don't like having idle cash.

Arti Shah: They do not like having idle cash. Everything has to keep working. However, when we do asset allocation, we set an amount that is idle, just because -- like everyone says, you have to keep your powder dry for the opportunity. So we always keep a set percentage of the net worth in cash, to take advantage of the next opportunity.

Ash Patel: Arti, what was your initial role at this family office?

Arti Shah: My initial role was to take a look at the current asset profile, and then think about what would be growth opportunities for us going forward? And where my career started with that was they acquired a senior housing facility about a month after I joined, and I was part of the due diligence process.

The interesting part about this is I knew nothing about senior housing. I came from a finance background, I had no knowledge about commercial real estate, had no knowledge about operating businesses... And I went through the due diligence, we acquired this asset that was bleeding cash... And when I talk about bleeding, I'm talking about $800,000 negative cash flow. Within a year, we were able to turn it around and have a million dollars of positive cashflow, just because we identified all the mismanagement that was going on.

So not only now have you acquired a piece of solid real estate, and you have cash flow by the rent that comes from that, but also you have this operating asset that gives you another source of income. So that was one play, and then ever since we did that, that was my role I just developed, being like a turnaround CEO; go buy a distressed asset, see if it has an operating concept to it, now we have a physical, tangible asset, and then you have an intangible asset with the operating business.

Ash Patel: How often did you buy real estate with businesses, versus just real estate?

Arti Shah: So in my career there I focus just on real estate with operating businesses. So it started with senior housing, then it became self storage, then it became a family entertainment park that we developed, which has miniature golf and go karts...

Ash Patel: A ground-up development for family entertainment park.

Arti Shah: Yep.

Ash Patel: Okay, we'll dive into that in a minute, but yeah, go ahead.

Arti Shah: And then we have multifamily as well, that we then expanded into. So when I started there, we only had 40 units. Right now we have about 380 units. So that portfolio really grew. And then we had two restaurants that we acquired as well.

Ash Patel: So you're asset-agnostic, and very opportunistic.

Arti Shah: Best way to say it.

Ash Patel: Okay. Restaurants... Now, listen, I get senior housing, I get self storage, and I've gotten into the restaurant business... Why would anybody go into the restaurant business? What did you see that you could turn around?

Arti Shah: So it was a very great brand at that time when we got into it. But it didn't have good management, so that we thought there was upside with that. The other play here was we had a restaurant space that was sitting vacant, right?

Ash Patel: That's one way to fill it...

Arti Shah: So one way to fill it is let's own the restaurant that could pay rent back to us. However, I will tell you, Ash, that out of all the businesses that I managed, I operated, I acquired, the restaurant business was the hardest. And for the dollar money you get for the time you spent, it was a negative ROI, in my respect. Until this day, eight years later, I'm trying to find someone to just buy it for them.

Ash Patel: Oh, wow. You're still in it.

Arti Shah: Yeah, we're still in it. And it's not attractive.

Ash Patel: Yeah. You always hear it's one of the hardest businesses. People that are in the restaurant business will tell you "Never get into it." Neither you, nor I listened to that, and... What a lesson learned. Interesting. So senior housing - what did you do that attributed to most of the turnaround success?

Arti Shah: First thing was just focusing on the actual financial piece of paper that says, "What are my expenses? What is my revenue? What's controllable, what's not uncontrollable?" Every asset has fixed costs and variable costs. I can't change the fixed costs. But what I can do is focus on my variable costs. So that deals with staffing, food costs, renegotiating my electricity rates; even the dumpster. It's everything to do, from the nuts and the bolts. So you had someone that had a third party manager, and then you put someone who actually has skin in the game to go in there, and you're gonna find every dollar you can. So that really changed it.

Ash Patel: And did you guys self manage? Or did you just bring in another operator?

Arti Shah: Nope. Personally, you're talking to the person that had that first year, who would go on every Tuesday and have dinner with the elderly, just to get to know them, so they knew their new operator was invested in them...

Ash Patel: So the MBA that you had got you a job as a senior housing operator.

Arti Shah: Yeah.

Ash Patel: Interesting. Okay. Great. So a great turnaround story. Do they sell? Or do they just keep the cash-flowing asset?

Arti Shah: Kept it. Still with them. Still a cash-flowing asset.

Ash Patel: And then have you rinse and repeat? Have you done more of that?

Arti Shah: No. I will tell you also, with that business -- this one that we owned was an independent living facility. There's independent, there's assisted living, there's memory care... We only owned independent living, which was honestly great. They live there, they're independent, they're not too sick that they need caregivers... They just really just live their life out there.

Ash Patel: And they pay a lot more than traditional rents.

Arti Shah: They do, they pay a lot more.

Ash Patel: It sounds like a great business.

Arti Shah: It does, until you hit can't afford, or don't have the pensions like they used to have, right? So our concept is they have to come in and pay a deposit. And the deposit isn't the two grand you'd pay for an apartment. It's a $20,000 $30,000 deposit, depending on which units you choose. And that's non refundable. You pay it and you're committed to stay there.

Ash Patel: Forever.

Arti Shah: Forever. You can leave if you want, but you don't get that money back. It's a sunk cost. And then they're paying about $3,000 to $4,000 a month. And all they get with that is the living space and the food. Everything else is on them.

Ash Patel: So senior housing was trending for a number of years... Has that industry just cooled off because of the headwinds in the economy?

Arti Shah: I think Independent Living has cooled off. I think assisted living, memory care, that some of it that's still funded by the government, it's still doing okay. But the hiccup in those industries right now is finding the right amount of employees to fill the ratios you need to keep a sustainable operation. So you need X amount of caregivers to one occupant. So that's a headwind, because you can't find labor anymore out there.

Ash Patel: Got it. So Arti, in terms of buying businesses, car washes and laundromats are trending, and I think partly due to YouTube videos... Some of the operators are making videos of them taking the quarters out and shaking them, jiggling them... And maybe because people are finding higher returns versus traditional real estate assets. What are your thoughts on that, people buying businesses? And maybe let's start with specifically car washes and laundromats.

Arti Shah: The best part about car washes and laundromats - they're, number one, not labor-intensive. You can actually own multiple car washes and laundromats with having just one manager. So I don't need 10 staff members on-site at a laundromat. So my overhead costs are so minimal when it comes to those businesses. And there's a lot of opportunities in those businesses to have ancillary income.

So now you go to a carwash - it's not just the carwash. There's like the vending machine where you can get the towel to wipe your car after, you can get a little car freshener... There's all these other opportunities that they say "A little bit more so, pay two more dollars."

Same thing with laundromats - there's now fold and wash. There's "I'll deliver it to your door." There's so many ways to scale that business. But still, it's a truly fixed-cost business. There's only so many variable costs that go into both of those businesses. And there's not the headache - and I'm sorry for everyone in operating businesses - of the labor. Employees are tough; as much as they help you, there's also a new nuance to having that.

Ash Patel: Yeah. Arti, a question that a lot of our Best Ever listeners are going to want me to ask, especially the larger syndicators, is when they're raising capital - again, back to this elusive family office - how do they get the attention of a family office, how did they get your attention, and say, "Hey, I want you to come take a look at my great deal"? And once you look at it, what's the intensive process that you go through?

Arti Shah: Great question. So I head our committee that reviews investments. So when I started there, there was no true committee. We started, "Hey, I have a deal", I would look at it, I'll go straight to the CEO's office and I'm like, "I think this is a good deal. Here's my underwriting model. Here's what I think it is." And he's like, "Okay, put $500,000." That was literally -- like, it was a sniff test. And this is eight years ago.

Thinking about it today, we're sitting here and we have three people that after the analyst does its underwriting, they pass it to a senior analyst, then it gets into my hands; then me and the CEO of the company will review it together. And then we'll look at it, "Have we invested in similar assets? How have they done? What is the return? Could we make a better return if we just put that money into something that we fully own?" And I'll tell you, family offices get the cream of the crop deals. I must get about 40 deals a week that come through my desk.

Ash Patel: Is that because they know you could potentially fund the whole deal?

Arti Shah: That's because just knowing that if I fund one, there could be follow-on investments. I will never take a full bite at it. And I personally - what my CEO hates is so many layers of fees. So I get to demand those things, being at the position I am. "Hey, you're raising 100k. I'll give you $500,000, but I'm not paying you a management fee, I'm not paying you this, I'm not going to do that. But I'll give you 50% of the deal. You don't have to go raise it, but I need better terms." So we go through those negotiations, because we have the leverage to do that. Funding is never an issue for us. And honestly, I'll tell you a unique situation that's just happened this week, is we funded a deal, we put a couple million into it, and it was supposed to sell last year, the market turned, and now we got a capital call that was not expected...

Ash Patel: From a passive deal that you've invested in...

Arti Shah: From a passive deal... And now I have to put another couple hundred grand in it. So imagine, if I wasn't at this family office, and the family office didn't have enough cash on the side, to try to call another couple hundred thousand just like that, in one week... It sounds like everyone has that just sitting there, but you will see a lot of that happening over the next six months, because people didn't sell when they should have, they were getting a little bit greedy for the higher return, and now there's no market out there for acquisition. So now they have this asset, their interest rate locks are expiring, and we're at a position that you may get a capital call in the future, that you weren't expecting, in these deals.

Ash Patel: And are you increasing your capital reserves to take advantage of what's likely to come in the market?

Arti Shah: 100%. So I'll tell you, we made a quick commitment just a few months ago... We're not even going to look at any syndication deals. We're just not. We're just stopping all process. It's a time-suck sometimes as well. And the quote from our CEO was "No one went bankrupt just holding on to cash." So I think that's a smart position for some people. And listen, I'm a deal junkie all day long. I will still look at every deal that comes in, because there might be a diamond in the rough out there.

Break: [00:18:28.22] to [00:19:30.25]

Ash Patel: The consensus, especially amongst real estate people who got into this business within the last 10 years, is with inflation having capital in the bank, you're actually losing a lot of money. What do you say to those people? We love leverage; real estate people want to leverage everything, we want to deploy capital... And if we have money in the bank, it's a losing value. Your thoughts on that?

Arti Shah: So I tend to agree with that sometimes, and I think a family office is a different scale. They still have money in the bank, and they still can go do deals. I do think when you are at a downturn in the economy, you want to keep your powder dry. You want to go and say, "Is there an opportunity for me to even get into the market?" This is a great opportunity for people that are scared to step into it, to think that they may get an asset for maybe 70 cents on the dollar, because someone is defaulting; the bank has repossessed an asset.

So if you're thinking right now, "I've never done real estate", save some of your paycheck to just start building a fund, because maybe six months from now, you'll have enough to maybe make your first dip into this market.

Ash Patel: You have the luxury of having seen a variety of real estate investments and businesses. What are you personally investing in?

Arti Shah: So I will tell you, about few years ago I was a big venture capital junkie. You send me a startup, I will look at it and I'll be like "Oh, this is great. I'm going to invest in this." And I was such a deal junkie when it came to ventures, series A type of investments. And I will tell you, I'm sitting here three years later, not one return from any of them. I'm still paying the management fees without any distributions... So I've learned my lesson the hard way, that though venture and private equity deals can be huge home runs, you probably have to do about 10 to hit the one that's a home run.

Ash Patel: Yeah. And business school probably doesn't tell you that, because you look at case studies of companies that have had wild success.

Arti Shah: Oh, you're 100% Right. And it's so sexy, that "Oh, I'm doing venture capital." That's what all of us interviewe for. "Hey, I'm gonna go work for a venture capital firm." The best part about being on the family office side is those venture capital funds are just trying to kiss your butt the whole time, because they want your funding.

Ash Patel: Back to family offices for a second... They are fairly conservative, right? And they have a fear of losing capital. Or is that not the case?

Arti Shah: It's 100% the case. It's very calculated? And I'll tell you, you might wonder why do they think like that - mainly because they also know how to make money, and they also know how to make better returns. So every time we do a risk profile, it's like, "Well, I could get this return doing X... Or is it worth taking a little bit less return to have a passive investment, and make Y?" So do I have the resources to just bet on myself because I know we could do it in-house and make X return, or should I passively invest this with this person and save my resources for bigger return projects? That's kind of the toggle that goes through our heads.

Ash Patel: And even though they have seemingly endless amounts of money, they despise losing any money, right? It's a weird thing with family offices...

Arti Shah: Yeah, it is so hard to please them. If I'm telling you that there's a 12% return pref - that's a great deal. 12% pref in this market... I personally would do it. They're like, "No, I could buy this business, and if I just hire two more people, I'll get 25% return." So it's a mind game with yourself. It's, "I have the money to keep on scaling my current operations... So should I take the bet on myself? Or should I go passive?"

And I will tell you, the reason we did a lot of passive as a firm, or why I did a lot of passive, was at that time a) we didn't have the resources to scale the family office operational side, but also it was such a quote unquote, other sexy industry; I invested in Lime scooters. When you see Lime, you're like "Yup, I was part of those angel investing for that." So it's that feel-good touch-in, that over-a-cocktail kind of talk.

Ash Patel: Yeah. Great experience. Back to your individual investments...

Arti Shah: So currently, I have some medical offices in Jersey, I'm doing a co-working space in Georgia... In Illinois we've worked on some self-storage as well. That has been really interesting. And I've personally invested -- I'm helping someone with a self-storage deal in California, and that's truly just something to help someone scale their experience.

Ash Patel: Let's dive into the co-working. Tell me more about that.

Arti Shah: So it's a co-working space in Georgia. It's a really interesting business, and I'll tell you why. What my experience was with the family office was buying real estate, but then inside you have an operating business. That's exactly what this co-working space is. I'm buying a prime piece of real estate in a downtown district of Georgia. And inside of it, there's a very lucrative co-working operation setup that also has cash flow.

The way the family office I work for did it, and which is why I like the model of the co-working space, is you take that cash flow, you pay down your asset, and you pay down a lot faster by using your own operating income to pay down the asset. Additionally, there's a rent you can pay internally. So similar to that restaurant model - why did we buy the restaurant? Oh, because we had a vacant space. Right?

Ash Patel: Right.

Arti Shah: But it's just one paycheck going into the other paycheck. But the operating aspect of the business is just something that -- if you ever wanted to separate the two, you could honestly just go sell the operating business, and probably you would own the real estate free and clear.

Ash Patel: And you could sell them both...

Arti Shah: Exactly.

Ash Patel: ...and really cash-out and profit.

Arti Shah: 100%.

Ash Patel: What are the returns on that whole entity? ...because you own it all. The returns on the whole deal.

Arti Shah: Yeah, so you don't even do any rent increases, you take it as is. It's about a 35% return across the board.

Ash Patel: Is that annual?

Arti Shah: Annual.

Ash Patel: How did you find that deal?

Arti Shah: So luckily, in the spirit of partnership, I always say "Going alone, you can go fast, but going together, you can go far. And now our business partner, Rinku, had found that property initially. And then knowing my operating experience, we went down and tackled it together. And I think the best part about this is building a relationship with the seller. The seller did so much to get this property up and running, but he actually didn't want to sell it when it came down to giving an offer. Even though he put it up for sale, I think his heart wasn't into selling it.

Ash Patel: Oh, he was emotionally attached.

Arti Shah: He was emotionally attached, and it was really just showing that he could trust us, we'll work together... We really respected all the work he did with this building, and I've just kept in touch with him and just -- even sending him a text saying like, "Hey, how's your weekend?", just to really build that relationship. So he felt very comfortable selling it to us. And to the point that since I'm based in Chicago, and this is in Georgia, he was willing to stay on for a few months, at no expense, and help transition this property very slowly.

Ash Patel: Yeah, that's incredible, and a lot of lessons to be learned there. When somebody is emotionally attached, whether it's real estate or a business, it's so important to take that into account; find a way to ease ripping that band-aid off. If you can include them in the transition, if you can make them part of something, it's so important to do that... So good for you. So he had seller's remorse, and really didn't want to sell, and by you working close with him, you were able to get the deal done.

Arti Shah: Yeah, and by keeping him close and truly respecting all the work he did. And it wasn't even just trying to kiss his butt, or anything. I really respected that he turned the space around completely. But in doing that also, we found out he was on the board of Conservation Association, which provides grants if you want to do a site improvement or whatever, and he's able to now guide me into doing that for our properties.

This relationship I think about is not just "At closing it's going to be over." I truly believe in investing in this, because let's just say one day I do need him to step back in to just help, and I could even pay him to do it. He built it from scratch, he was attached to it, he's gonna treat it like his own, even after he sells it. And I think that's really important.

Ash Patel: Yeah. Again, it is really important, because us real estate people - everything's transactional. And once the seller signs at the closing table, we're kind of done. So it's been trendy lately for real estate people to buy businesses, because the returns aren't what they used to be. So thank you for sharing that. It's a great lesson to learn. When you're buying a business, it's not transactional, because you've got customers, you've got employees at stake. And it's very important to look at the human factor in that. So again, great story.

What else are you buying or building in terms of real estate? And sorry, before you answer that - co-working seems really lucrative. Would you do more of that?

Arti Shah: I would. And I'll tell you, there's pros and cons. Some people will say coworking, you have 14,000 square feet and you have 50 tenants; what a pain in the butt. And you can see that some people are like "Not my cup of tea." But honestly, if you have your operational setup automated to the point that there's so much technology and you use it to your advantage, whether you have 50 tenants in a 14,000, or you have three, it can be just as seamless.

Ash Patel: And then you also have employees, right? There's got to be somebody at the front desk, or filling up the amenities, the coffee, the water...

Arti Shah: Yeah, you do, but you can also have those employees help in other places as well. So now you have an employee that's stationed at your co-working, but if I have other assets in the same area, they can also be my eyes and ears for those, too. So now I have invested in someone that has my back in not only this property, but other ones as well. They can grow with me.

Ash Patel: Oh, a pseudo-property manager.

Arti Shah: Exactly.

Ash Patel: Nice. Okay. Sorry, back to the question that I cut myself off on - what other businesses or real estate are you buying or building?

Arti Shah: I'm really interested right now in the flex space model. I think that there's just going to be such a need for it. I've been in the self storage industry for a while, and those costs are skyrocketing. So I always think that if I can build you a 1,500 square foot flex space, and you're paying me 1,400 in rent, it's better than paying $300 for a 10 by 30. So why wouldn't you want something like that? So now you can store your stuff, but you can also operate a business out of there as well.

So I've always been thinking, what is the disruptor for self-storage? I don't think it's going to be flex, but I think it's an in addition to self-storage, and there's a lot more growth opportunity there that hasn't been capped fully.

Ash Patel: Interesting. I know you threw some of the numbers out there, and a lot of the Best Ever listeners probably did the napkin math... I didn't do it in my head. So you're telling me that your revenue per square foot is higher with Flex, versus self-storage?

Arti Shah: Yep.

Ash Patel: Okay, good. I would imagine --

Arti Shah: Well, no, it's better for the user to do flex over self-storage.

Ash Patel: I see. So it's cheaper for me -- if I'm a landscaper or an electrician, it's cheaper for me to rent a flex space that I could store stuff and run a business out of, versus storage.

Arti Shah: Exactly.

Ash Patel: Got it. Okay. Makes sense. Flex is very easy to lease out these days, right?

Arti Shah: Yeah. The user possibilities are endless in flex.

Ash Patel: Such as?

Arti Shah: You can do landscaping, you can do a tinting shop... I've had people do bridal makeup in a flex space, and they have just made it look outstanding inside. I've had a pseudo delivery service out of a flex space. So the uses are just so multiple. And the other thing about it is it's easily convertible. So if a tenant leaves, I'm not ripping out a bunch of stuff. I can lease that within 30 days to someone else if I needed to. It's not a big turnover process.

Ash Patel: And Arti, so the Best Ever listeners know exactly what flexspace is - can you describe that? What is flex space?

Arti Shah: So flex space can be multiple things. So it can be a roll-up steel door with an open concrete shelf that has a bathroom, has maybe a little office space... Really, it's like a blank slate. The average is about 1400 square feet... And there's multiple; so every flex space I've dealt with has maybe three or four in one center, if not six, and everything is partitioned by one demising wall... And you kind of have your own little unit that it's a blank slate that you can do what you need to do with it.

Ash Patel: And typically, there's a bay door, garage door, some kind of drive-in type deal.

Arti Shah: Exactly.

Ash Patel: And the front of it could either be office, retail, or warehouse... We've seen churches in flexspaces... So yes, a very versatile asset, easy to lease out. Arti, what is your best real estate investing advice ever?

Arti Shah: Don't be afraid to take risks... Because if you don't take the risk, you never have a chance to even make it.

Ash Patel: Great advice. Arti, are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?

Arti Shah: Yeah.

Ash Patel: Arti, what is the Best Ever book you've recently read?

Arti Shah: Hard things about hard things.

Ash Patel: What was your big takeaway from that?

Arti Shah: That you really need to appreciate the people that have mentored you or helped you get there. One of the best quotes I think I got from that book was "Take care of people, products and profits, but do it in that order."

Ash Patel: I like it. Arti, what's the Best Ever way you like to give back?

Arti Shah: So one Sunday every month we go to the Foods Kitchen, and my daughter comes with us - she's four years old - and we just volunteer there. And I think for me, it's teaching those values from a young age, and going forward. I had the luxury of doing a lot of volunteering in India when I was younger. I took about four months off of work, and did it in India... So I wanted to teach those values to my kid.

Also I had a sisterhood pediatric brain cancer, and so every year we send a ton of toys to St. Jude's, and they're able to donate them to the kids. So we don't do it over Christmas, because that's when they have the majority of the toys coming; we just do it off-season, and it's really great.

Ash Patel: And Arti, how can the Best Ever listeners reach out to you?

Arti Shah: You can do it [unintelligible 00:33:59.04] So we are starting a women's mastermind, and you can find us on Instagram at @crewomenmastermind. You can also learn more about our mastermind and everything about Invest Beyond Multifamily at investbeyondmultifamily.com. Or you can reach me by email. It's arti [at] investbeyondmultifamily.com.

Ash Patel: And what do they learn in the women's only mastermind?

Arti Shah: So they will be learning everything about commercial real estate and how to navigate that world as a female. I will tell you, not only in the syndication venture private equity world, and the real estate commercial real estate world, I have not crossed paths with many women. And it's been a goal of mine to have the women rise up with us in this world, because there's so much opportunity, and it's just untapped, and I think multifamily has oversaturated the market and there are a lot of women in it, but I think all the women out there are missing out on the opportunities that are available in commercial real estate.

Ash Patel: Awesome. Arti, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. You've got an incredible varied background. Thank you for demystifying some of the allure around family offices. We touched on a lot of different assets... Again, thank you for your time.

Arti Shah: Thank you, Ash, and thank you, Best Ever.

Ash Patel: Best Ever listeners, thank you for joining us. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave us a five-star review, share this podcast with someone you think and benefit from it. Also, follow, subscribe, and have a Best Ever day.

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