The FORT Podcast: Sean Dalfen

Sean Dalfen is the President and Chief Investment Officer of Dalfen Industrial and is responsible for the firm’s investment activities, the origination of new business, and implementation of the last mile investment strategy. Sean is also a member of the firm’s Executive Advisory Committee and the General Partner’s Fund IV Investment Committee.

On this episode, Sean and Chris discuss his journey into the real estate world with his father, his decision to launch a fund business within the organization, why he’s bullish on Industrial, Dalfen’s Last Mile analysis, and more.

Listen on:
Apple Podcasts

(03:15) – Sean’s Story Growing Up and Leading to His Role Today

(05:44) – Is there anything that stands out that your father did with you at a young age to keep you hungry and motivated?

(07:18) – What did the company look like when you first joined?

(08:52) – Why did you decide to launch a fund business?

(11:26) – How large was your first fund?

(12:17) – Can you paint a picture of the benefits of working with institutional capital vs. private capital?

(14:02) – Do you raise institutional funds in-house?

(15:02) – What’s a Top-Up?

(15:23) – What is your role today as President and CIO?

(16:21) – What are the big fundamentals that are appealing to you in looking at the future of Industrial?

(20:58) – Last Mile Analysis

(24:29) – How do you use the analysis to create deals?

(26:02) – Dalfen’s 4 Buckets (Value-Add, Core, Core-Plus & Development)

(27:27) – What are the fundamentals of a Core vs. Value-Add deal?

(29:03) – How do you think about development?

(31:57) – Do you do any forwards with development?

(33:02) – Do you still participate in Co-GP or JV deals?

(33:47) – Is there a situation that comes to mind where you would get into a JV deal?

(35:02) – Is there a data point that you look for when folks say that Industrial will become over-built?

(38:50) – Is there anything interesting about working with Amazon?

(40:53) – Do you have any insight on the border trade-market?

(43:07) – How are your offices set up across different markets? How do you manage them?

(45:10) – How do you describe a full-team setup?

(46:00) – Are there different rules and guidelines when it comes to ownership in Canada vs. the USA?

(48:01) – Capital Markets for Industrial: where do they sit today vs. pre-COVID?

(49:48) – Do you have a childhood experience that helped shape the trajectory of your life?

(51:01) – What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

(51:31) – What’s your favorite book?

Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl

Extreme Ownership – Jocko Willink


Episode Summary

Sean, whose name reverberates across the industry for his insightful navigations through the multifaceted realms of industrial real estate and capital markets, offers listeners a journey through his experiences, insights, and strategic perspectives that are as enlightening as they are invaluable.

The dialogue, emanating a depth of knowledge and expertise, inaugurates with an exploration into the complexities and strategies of the last-mile delivery process in supply chain management, particularly underscoring the financial and logistical facets inherent in the sector. Sean brings forth a profound understanding of the economic and operational dynamics, elucidating the meticulous investment, strategic planning, and cost management essential for navigating through the multifaceted realm of real estate, particularly with a lens focused on the restaurant industry. His discourse, while rooted in the pragmatic landscapes of investment and cost management, also weaves through the strategic and operational pathways that delineate the supply chain, providing listeners with a panoramic view that is rich in strategic and operational insights.

Seamlessly transitioning into a reflective narrative, Sean offers a nuanced view into his journey through the real estate sector, particularly exploring his experiences, investments, and the evolutionary trajectory of his ventures. The dialogue delicately intertwines his personal narratives with strategic insights, exploring themes of investment, growth, and strategic management in the realms of real estate and restaurant sectors. His reflections not only navigate through his personal experiences and learnings but also delve into the strategic and operational considerations that have shaped his ventures and navigations through the sectors, offering listeners a perspective that is both personally reflective and professionally insightful.

The podcast further explores the intricate operational and strategic aspects inherent in managing real estate and restaurant spaces, particularly emphasizing the complexities and dynamics of managing outdoor and restaurant spaces within the post-pandemic context. Sean’s dialogue, while embedded with practical insights, also reflects upon the strategic, operational, and financial considerations pivotal for managing and strategizing within the evolving real estate landscape. His insights not only provide a view into the operational and strategic dynamics but also offer practical strategies and considerations essential for managing, sustaining, and growing in the post-pandemic real estate landscape.

As the dialogue ventures into the dynamics and shifts in the real estate market, Sean provides a comprehensive view into the strategic and investment facets of the sector, exploring elements like relocation, market dynamics, and professional influx into various markets, particularly Dallas. His insights, while providing a view into the dynamics and shifts, also offer strategic perspectives into investment considerations and strategic navigations through the real estate market, providing listeners with a nuanced understanding of navigating through and leveraging the opportunities and challenges within the market.

In the concluding segments, the podcast explores themes related to managing and investing in industrial real estate, particularly emphasizing the strategic navigations through diverse markets and the dynamics of the capital markets within the sector. Sean, through his reflections and insights, offers listeners a panoramic view into managing and investing in industrial real estate, providing strategic insights into investment, market dynamics, and financial navigations within the sector.

The FORT with Chris Powers is produced by Straight Up Podcasts

Back to Top