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Start Now Before It’s Too Late

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  • Ahmed Seirafi is a real estate investor with over 20 years of experience and a portfolio of 178 units.
  • Seirafi believes the next six months will offer more opportunities than ever for investors.
  • He shared four pieces of advice for novice investors to maximize their long-term returns.

Ahmed Seirafi is all about going against things. In fact, it’s one of his ground rules for real estate investing that has helped him achieve success.

An industry veteran, Seirafi has accumulated these rules through 20 years of real estate experience, starting with his first job after college as a junior broker for CBRE specializing in industrial and office space in Southern California. . In 2007, Seirafi and his father sold the family gas station and purchased Arizona’s first multi-family home. Shortly thereafter, he began pursuing real estate investing full-time.

Today, 48-year-old Seirafi has amassed a real estate portfolio that spans from his home state of California to Texas, comprising more than 178 units across three properties. Combined, the apartment complex and his two retail office buildings are worth over $50 million. According to documents viewed by insiders.

He also has several projects in the pipeline developing real estate on land he owns, which he estimates will be worth between $400 million and $450 million when completed. These projects include his 300-unit development proposed in Anna, Texas, where Seirafi owns 60% of his stake.

Now is the time to start investing in real estate

For anyone interested in real estate investing, Seirafi believes it is important to start sooner or later. “People can definitely get into investing, especially in the next six months,” he told his Insider in a recent interview.

Seirafi says there are more opportunities available today than there have been in the last decade. He believes sellers are still clinging to the very high prices they got six months ago, but these prices should drop soon as bids dry up.

“They’re going to have to let go of that selling price and lower the price of whatever they’re selling because as interest rates go up they have to lower the price to get a return that justifies the higher interest rate. ‘Rate,’ he explained. “So people are holding on high, but they need to loosen their grip on that soon.”

For investors looking for long-term success, Saylafi is the first to admit that it took a long time to establish a winning strategy. For example, two of his retail office buildings in Southern California are actively being sold because they no longer fit his approach to real estate.

“When we started our business — when we started growing and developing real estate — we weren’t focused on a specific niche, we were focused on the opportunity,” said Seirafi. “Now that things have grown and expanded, it’s time to focus on what I’m good at or passionate about: apartment complexes and industrial buildings.”

But with more opportunities for real estate investors comes more potential pitfalls. Having been in real estate investing for his 20th year, Seirafi uses his own experience to help new real estate investors not only capitalize on short-term opportunities, but also sustain success in the long term. We’ve rounded up his four key pieces of advice to help you.

Chasing steaks, not sizzles

Seirafi’s first piece of advice for novice investors is to pick a particular real estate product and stick with it. This is a particularly important message these days.

Investors jumped on the real estate bandwagon in 2020. That’s when the combination of pandemic stimulus and low interest rates set off a housing market frenzy. But Seirafi said new investors shouldn’t blindly follow the latest trends, regardless of their specific geography or property type.

“There are a lot of people today who are not traditional real estate investors who spend a lot of money on their real estate and have money that’s scratching their heads,” he said. You don’t really understand the basics of that thing.”

“Don’t chase sizzles because most people do. They want cool things, they want hot things, and that’s what’s bothering people,” Seirafi continued. “They go after sizzles, not steaks.”

Real estate, on the other hand, is so wide-ranging that Seirafi believes everyone has a chance to succeed as long as they find a niche and stick to it.

“There are a million ways to make money in real estate. There really is, and everyone makes money in real estate when they focus and stick to their lane,” he says, and this is what makes his office retail building so much more. Supports many multifamily and industrial developments.

don’t agree with the story

Seirafi also believes that if investors want to squeeze out all the value in real estate, they have to learn the story, not just accept it.

Seirafi said it’s normal for investors to think that a development must be built to make money to maximize profits. But when he approaches an investment, he asks himself how he can go beyond the best use cases — though this often requires extra time and money.

By thinking outside the box, Seirafi is able to get the most value out of his acquisitions. That could mean changing zones of real estate from low-density to high-density multifamily housing, or converting industrial buildings to individual condominiums, as we are doing in the South today. California.

“Instead of just renting or leasing as a building, we’re going to split it into four and sell them as condominiums, which will give us a higher price per square foot,” he explained.

Invest in funds or syndications

Anyone just starting out in real estate will find it especially helpful to partner with an experienced investor. Seirafi believes one of the best ways to learn the nitty gritty of the business is to invest in syndications and funds, especially those with a long track record of success and transparency.

If an investor chooses to work with another private investor, their knowledge pool is limited to one person’s experience. But by investing in syndication, investors can instantly expand their reach and expertise.

“The syndicate is very strategic in what they do, whether it’s location or product type. “And by following and investing in them, you’ll know exactly what and how they do and why they do it, and you’ll become an expert yourself.”

Don’t overuse your portfolio

Finally, Seirafi stressed the importance of tracking leverage and keeping it from getting too out of hand.

He maintains a very low debt-to-equity ratio and estimates that he currently utilizes up to around 30% leverage as some of his assets have not been refinanced for quite some time. . This multiple, which he considers low, has recently risen thanks to the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic. But Seirafi plans to keep leverage as low as possible going forward, and advises other investors to do the same.

“If you are using 80% or 90% leverage and there is a slight sneeze in the economy, you lose everything because you have no margin,” he said.

Sayrafi is curious that some of the big syndicates like Cardone Capital are still buying properties like crazy and paying top market prices for acquisitions.

“Where are we going to make these adjustments to remain profitable? Because if we buy meatless on the bones and the economy changes, we still don’t have meat on the bones,” he said. .

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