The FORT Podcast: Andrew Segal

Andrew Segal formed Boxer Property, a Property Management Company, in September 1992. Under his oversight, the company has successfully reached into segments as diverse as resort hotels, retail centers, office and other real estate businesses, accounting for approximately 20 million square feet of space across the United States. He is also the co-founder of Stemmons Enterprise software company, helping organizations of all sizes set, track, and attain business management and operational goals.  He received his B.A. from the University of Southern California. He attended the New York University School of Law and graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1992. In this episode, Chris and Andrew discuss predicting and capitalizing on the ’08 crash, the process of building a real estate company vs. a software tech platform, building a massive workforce in India, and more.

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01:41 — Who is Andrew Segal?
04:30 — Why did you start in Dallas, what was the Real Estate world like in 1992?
07:57 — The co-working style of credit in Real Estate
09:16 — Were you the one closing deals?
11:03 — How did you have capital that was able to close a deal in 7 days?
12:15 — Has anything changed about your strategy from the 1990’s to the 2020’s?
14:13 — You lived through the crash of ’08, did you see it coming? How did you predict to liquidate everything?
18:35 — What happened that led up to the last day of ’09 where you decided “It’s time to buy”?
22:03 — Was this buying frenzy the same strategical route as the ’90s?
23:00 — What does a 7-day closing time window look like?
24:23 — Do you regret not buying more?
26:25 — What is the process after purchasing a property? Especially with the super short closing times.
27:33 — When did you decide to focus on real estate assets?
29:35 — How does a process become permanent?
31:41 — Is it harder to build a real estate company or a software tech platform?
34:58 — You’re now in markets everywhere. Are there any that stand out that’ll look a lot better in 10 years?
37:07 — Are you a believer in driverless cars?
38:59 — You’ve been hiring uber drivers, tell me more about that?
41:39 — How did you know to go build a workforce in India?
44:16 — Is there any Career changing advice you’ve received that got you to where you are today?
46:52 — What grabs your attention at this point in your career when we talk about Focus?
49:33 — What’s your 10-year prediction for the world?
51:32 — Are we going to see more or less regulation in real estate development?
53:50 — You did stop buying in 2016, ironically the stock market is down, what do the next 24 months look like?
58:36 — What did you mean by putting long term cheap debt on something will be seen as an asset on this market you’re predicting?
1:00:33 — If you want to see if Inflation is real or not, go look at a Big Mac….
1:05:27 — What advice would you give your 21-year-old self? What is your Go-to Interview question?

Episode Summary

Andrew kicks off the conversation by recounting his early days in real estate, navigating through the Dallas real estate collapse and learning valuable lessons on resilience and market dynamics. He emphasizes the importance of realistic expectations, highlighting how his pessimistic yet practical outlook has shaped his business strategies. His initial ventures involved a bold move into commercial office spaces, applying an apartment model to office rentals, which significantly disrupted the market and set a new precedent for small tenants.

He shares anecdotes of his innovative advertising strategies, underlining the stability and diversity small tenants bring, akin to the benefits of multifamily real estate. Andrew’s stories from the 2008 financial crisis shed light on his proactive approach, as he sold nearly all his holdings in 2005, minimizing exposure and patiently waiting for the right moment to re-enter the market. His strategic moves during the downturn, capitalizing on distressed assets and building connections with special servicers, underscore his ability to navigate through challenging times.

The conversation transitions to the operational side of real estate, with Andrew discussing the rapid processes post-acquisition, tenant retention, and the evolution of his role from a deal-spotter to a comprehensive operator. He touches upon the integration of technology in real estate management, sharing insights on the development of the Stemmons software, a unified operating system for real estate management. The challenges and rewards of creating such a system are highlighted, showcasing Andrew’s commitment to innovation and efficiency.

Andrew’s perspective on the real estate landscape includes a preference for vibrant economies like Texas, while also recognizing opportunities in other markets. He delves into urban planning and the transformative impact of autonomous vehicles on city landscapes, predicting significant changes in real estate values and a reduced reliance on personal vehicles. His forward-thinking mindset is evident as he discusses the potential shifts in urban development and the need for adaptable real estate strategies.

Throughout the podcast, Andrew emphasizes the importance of discipline, efficient operations, and a comprehensive understanding of market dynamics. He shares his wisdom on minimizing personal financial obligations, the necessity of having information flow back from the enterprise, and the critical role of allocation of focus in business success. His anecdotes and insights serve as valuable lessons for listeners, offering a panoramic view of the real estate industry through the lens of a seasoned professional.

Andrew’s journey, filled with bold moves, strategic planning, and a keen understanding of market dynamics, provides a rich source of knowledge for anyone interested in real estate and business.

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