Headshot of Scott O'Neill, smiling in a collared shirt and tie with an orange microphone to the left of the image

The FORT Podcast: Scott O’Neill

Scott O’Neill is a Principal and Co-Founder of FSO Capital Partners. Scott O’Neill specializes in the acquisition, financing, syndication, and development of multifamily properties throughout Arizona. Since entering the Arizona market, Scott has been directly involved as a principal in the acquisition, development, or disposition of over $15,000,000 of multifamily assets.

On this episode, Scott and Chris discuss his career in brokerage before pivoting into principal. Scott details his 100 cold calls per-day strategy to become successful right out of the gate as a broker, the founding of FSO Capital Partners, and his Ice Hockey Career. They also break down what the process of a multifamily deal looks like from acquisition to rehab and management. Scott also gives advice to brokers who are looking to move to the principal side of real estate. Enjoy!

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(02:12) – Scott’s Background

(06:07) – How did your father’s experience in the ’08 crisis impact you?

(08:41) – Scott’s Ice Hockey Career

(10:23) – How did you become successful right out of the gate as a broker?

(14:31) – Did you come up with this 100 per-day cold call strategy?

(17:24) – How do you think the pitch has changed from 2010 to 2021 in a market that’s clearly much better?

(19:12) – Is there a reason you were focused on small multi-family deals vs. “Elephant” deals?

(20:25) – What’s an All-Inclusive Trust Deed?

(21:16) – Carnivores, Omnivores & Herbivores

(23:15) – Scott Rounding Out His Broker Journey

(23:55) – Was there a deal in brokerage that you’ll never forget?

(24:50) – Did you ever run into Moses Kagan?

(25:46) – What is the usual ambition toward investing when it came to working with doctors and dentists?

(29:20) – What does FSO Capital Partners do?

(31:41) – What do you do and what do your partners do?

(33:10) – How do you find most of your deals?

(34:54) – What are you looking for to decide whether a deal is worth spending your time on?

(36:55) – How do you create value for a deal?

LIHTC – Low Income Housing Tax Credit

(39:46) – The Seller Perspective 

(40:36) – How do you get really comfortable with getting restrictions removed on a deed?

(42:34) – Why wouldn’t the seller go through this process themselves?

(43:39) – What are you doing with all the money you put into a property?

(45:46) – How long is the rehab taking?

(46:55) – How do you go about rebranding a property? 

(47:48) – Utilizing Bridge Debts and Raising Rents 

(49:54) – What was the interest rate on this deal and were there any covenants?

(51:14) – When do you start engaging with agencies to get a re-finance loan and how long does it take to get the loan?

(53:22) – How do you typically structure your deals?

(54:22) – 3rd-Party vs. Self-Management

(55:37) – How do you select management companies?

(56:24) – How do you think about growth going forward?

(57:34) – How are you set up to hold your 3rd-party property management partners accountable?

(1:01:17) – What excites you about the Phoenix & Arizona market?

(1:04:42) – What advice would you give to brokers who want to get in on the principal side?

(1:05:49) – Book Recommendations

Am I Being Too Subtle? – Sam Zell

Principals – Ray Dalio

Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki

Gary Keller – Millionaire Real Estate Agent

The One Thing – Gary Keller

(1:06:27) – What’s the best way for people to find you?

Twitter –

Email –

Phone – 310.365.4861


Episode Summary

The dialogue kicks off with an exploration into the realm of value-adding in property investments, where O’Neill emphasizes the imperatives of recognizing and harnessing the potential in properties. Focusing on aspects that can be improved or modified, he advocates for a balanced approach that meticulously intertwines risk and foresight, enabling investors to maximize returns by strategically enhancing both tangible and perceived property values. This strategic enhancement, O’Neill posits, is pivotal in ensuring that investments not only align with market dynamics but also resonate with investor objectives, thereby crafting a trajectory that promises sustained returns and financial stability.

Navigating further, O’Neill delves into the practicalities and challenges that envelop property development. From managing relationships with contractors to navigating through unforeseen challenges, the segment underscores the imperatives of adaptability and strategic planning in steering development projects to fruition. O’Neill illuminates the pathways through which prudent decision-making and pragmatic problem-solving can effectively mitigate challenges, ensuring that projects are not merely completed but are also aligned with envisioned objectives and quality benchmarks.

In a segment exploring the dynamics of property flipping and quick sale strategies, O’Neill underscores the significance of meticulous planning and strategic pricing in the fast-paced flipping market. From identifying suitable properties to managing renovations and facilitating effective sales, the discussion traverses through the various facets of flipping, illuminating the strategies through which investors can navigate through the complexities and uncertainties that characterize the flipping market to ensure profitability and financial success.

As the dialogue transitions into the domain of rental properties, O’Neill shares insights into the long-term investment strategy that characterizes this segment of the real estate market. From managing tenant relationships to ensuring regulatory compliance and property maintenance, the conversation explores the various facets of rental property management. O’Neill emphasizes the continuous balancing act that is required to ensure sustainability and profitability, highlighting the significance of ensuring that management strategies are not merely compliant with regulatory frameworks but also aligned with the needs and expectations of tenants.

In the latter segments of the podcast, the discussion pivots towards the financial aspects of real estate investment, risk management, and the impact of economic cycles on property markets. O’Neill shares strategies to optimize financing, manage investment portfolios effectively, and navigate through the various phases of economic cycles. From understanding financial metrics and leveraging debt wisely to ensuring that investment strategies are calibrated in alignment with financial health and market conditions, O’Neill provides a comprehensive overview of the financial management strategies that are pivotal in safeguarding against undue risks and ensuring sustained profitability in real estate investments.

In the concluding segments, O’Neill and Powers explore the impact of economic cycles on real estate investments, discussing strategies to harness the opportunities presented by different phases of economic cycles. From adaptability and strategic foresight to prudent decision-making, the discussion provides listeners with a roadmap to navigate through the fluctuations of the property market in correlation with broader economic trends.

The FORT with Chris Powers is produced by Straight Up Podcasts

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