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Every Sunday, Tyler sends interesting finds and strategies relevant to commercial real estate investors - come along for the journey.

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Tyler Kastelberg

Founder & CEO, Bullpen

Catch up on the latest newsletters

Box of chocolates

For all you Alabama fans – congratulations on a nailbiter. To my Longhorn friends … heartbreak strikes again. Welcome to the life of a Hokie.

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LDW

Long weekends are some of the most profound for my business. When I spend time away from my desk, I think more creatively and come up with new ideas that become game changers.

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Free Rent

In today’s newsletter, I’m going to share some content from a CRE expert in SoCal who I really respect, Joe Killinger.

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Pricing

One of the most common questions we hear from customers is, “what does it cost to hire a(n) [analyst, asset manager, marketer, etc]?”

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Offsite

I planned 3 sessions. The first was held on the evening that we arrived, followed by the next two on Thursday and Friday morning. I’ve outlined the sessions below and their outcome.

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Operating System

This week’s newsletter is dedicated to business operating systems. WTF is a business operating system and why should CRE leaders care? … we’ll get there.

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Small LP Investments

My friends love to ask where they can invest in real estate as an LP. The problem? They’re not able to write million-dollar checks, and the “syndication” landscape is the wild west. This newsletter is dedicated to where small LPs can put money.

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$0 to $65M

This multifamily broker turned a career transition into a strong business anchored by a clear niche in an underserved area.

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This blew my mind

One of these investors focuses on church real estate. The other transformed expertise in brokerage into multifamily success.

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5 things

Five real estate headlines that you should know this week, and our analysis of what they mean.

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WTF San Fran?

San Francisco is the only city in the US where rents are still lower than pre-pandemic rates, and the reason is complicated.

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CRE Moguls

Why start in affordable housing? You can do massive projects with relatively little initial capital. The majority of the development costs are covered by government incentives and debt.

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W2 to Freelancer

“It’s a credit to my client, I’ve had the opportunity to build relationships with brokers and keep track of a deal pipeline.”

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4 grocery-anchored, value-add strategies

I recently had a great conversation with Matt Annibale, a Senior Director of Acquisitions at First National Realty Partners (FNRP). On top of sharing that FNRP has embraced a remote work policy for their 100+ employee team (which is fascinating in its own regard), Matt dove into the intricacies of their grocery-anchored retail platform.

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Help please

Things have been rockin’ and rollin’ over here at Bullpen for the past few weeks, so much so that we need your help.

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My Woodstock

One of my favorite parts about running Bullpen is that every three-ish months I am forced to massively grow as a leader. As I write this, I’m in the middle of a two-front effort…

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Office is dead – change my mind

I recently had a conversation with a freelancer at Bullpen who gave me a juicy diatribe against office investing in Chicago and Houston. The bullet points from our conversation are too good not to share.

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Growth Strategy

For the first time in years, I’m hearing mixed sentiments about the commercial real estate market from our community. Some folks are experiencing a slow down in their business, while others claim inflation and Fed actions have had zero impact on their markets.

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Coworking Business Models

WeWork and Industrious have very different business models. While WeWork engages in rent arbitrage, Industrious forms partnerships with landlords …

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Ukraine Ripple Effect

In light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I’m going to use this newsletter a bit differently. We’ll be back to our “regularly scheduled program” next week.

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Staff-less Multifamily

There is a big “missing middle” in the new construction of multifamily assets. Developers typically build luxury assets or take advantage of LIHTC programs because they pencil. As such, there historically hasn’t been new construction that targets middle-class renters … until now.

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Three WILD Proptech Companies

Whether it’s artificial intelligence, electric vehicles, or blockchain technology, the world is accelerating at an exponential rate, and commercial real estate isn’t being left behind.

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CRE data that you won’t get anywhere else

This week, I’m going to share insights from our nearly 500 inbound sales data points. Given that this data is from our inbound sales pipeline, it’s going to be skewed a bit towards the demands of our non-enterprise customers. However, I think it paints a really interesting picture of how small businesses build teams.

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Our game plan

To date, we have prioritized matching the skills of freelancers in our network with employer needs. While this works, we’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) that skills aren’t always the most important criteria when hiring.

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2021

Bullpen looked very different when we started the year …

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Right Hook

Gary-Vee published a book called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook in 2013. I never read the book, but YouTube says it’s about giving (jab) before asking (right hook). This is my right hook.

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Sovereign Individual

“The pandemic has unleashed a historic burst in entrepreneurship and self-employment. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are striking out on their own as consultants, retailers, and small-business owners.”

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Quiet

Holidays are a special time for me. They’re some of the few times of year that work slows down enough for me to get quiet.

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Major news that you probably missed

Depending on your opinion of web3, you’re going to either LOVE or HATE this week’s letter. If you’re in the latter camp, take a deep breath, and try to keep an open mind.

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Is iBuying Dead?

iBuying has been all the rage, as companies like Zillow, Redfin, and Opendoor use artificial intelligence to actively acquire, improve, and flip homes in hot markets of the US. In total, ibuying accounts for less than 1% of total home sales in the US. However, in Phoenix, it accounts for more than 5% of all transactions.

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Thoughts on my last letter

Happy Sunday! Thanks for all of your replies to last week’s letter! We hit a massive milestone at Bullpen in October – more than $1 million in

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MASSIVE opportunity in RE market

Public markets are supposed to be more efficient than private. However, in times of fear and uncertainty, public REITs can trade below, and sometimes far below, the private-market value of their assets.

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Not In Distress

Ivy League universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and MIT quietly run some of the most successful endowment funds in the world. Fueled by donations from wealthy alumni, the endowments are not beholden to limited partners like most investment managers, allowing them to take unique risks. In recent years, endowments have been growing their positions in natural resources like farmland. 

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In Distress

Most commercial real estate investors have benefited from the government and fed’s response to covid — stimulus and cheap borrowing costs. However, this story isn’t consistent for all asset classes … senior housing is in distress.

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1 way to invest forever … at scale

Family offices typically (1) buy quality assets (2) in good locations with (3) little debt and (4) an infinite investment horizon. They also (5) choose metros where rent growth is expected to exceed inflation over the long term. It’s not sexy, but it works.

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$300B Screw Up

This week, we’re shining a light on a MASSIVE story unfolding in China, the $300 billion (with a B) implosion of homebuilder Evergrande. Big shoutout to Max Shedlosky from our team who is keeping a pulse on Evergrande and contributed to this week’s letter.

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3 Things

Happy Sunday! Last week I foreshadowed a discussion on the marketing strategies that have (and haven’t) worked at Bullpen. However, I’m going to punt that discussion

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You’re asking the wrong question …

Sales and marketing without a product that solves a problem that a lot of people have (and value) is akin to starting a dumpster fire with cash. The flames might grow quickly, but they’ll burn out when the cash is gone.

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THE top fundraising strategy for real estate

How do you create a good brand? This is a million-dollar question, and it evolves constantly. I haven’t found a scientific formula, but I’ve observed top brands have a decent product and are exceptional at the one or more of the below.

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I had a bad idea …

Every bad idea must come with a problem. No matter how cool a bad idea is, if it isn’t solving a problem, then it’s a worthless bad idea.

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Keep your deal pipeline full like the pros

Before working on this piece, I thought that institutional real estate firms exclusively sourced their deals from brokers. However, I was wrong. In addition to brokers, institutional firms leverage relationships with other firms and public auctions to keep their deal pipeline full.

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We’ve gone rogue – burn the ships

You’re getting this email because at one point or another, you signed up to be a part of Bullpen’s blog email list. However, you’ve probably noticed that we haven’t been sending out very many marketing emails. Frankly, marketing emails suck, and I don’t like reading them.

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