While practicing as a CPA, I helped a lot of investors. As part of that process, I realized that real estate performed with consistency in a way that delivered higher returns than most other asset classes. There’s also not as much incentive to buy, sell and trade real estate. It’s a more patient industry combining steady income with growth in asset value and a built-in inflation hedge based on price appreciation. I came to realize that real estate—and in particular Class B multifamily real estate—is a very rewarding asset class.
Early in my career, I saw firsthand how different kinds of real estate perform in a downturn. As a result, today at Aii we always carefully consider the economic profile of a property in the event of an economic decline. I also saw the potential that can be realized through analyzing market data and developing a business plan that will deliver outsized returns. I came to see that creating alpha at the property level is a direct result of how well you analyze and read the market data used to formulate a business plan to transform the property. So in 1994, as I was practicing as a CPA in Beverly Hills, I founded Apartment Income Investors and started my real estate investing career with friends and family. Income growth through strategic capital deployment was a new concept for me, and I embraced it completely.