commercial real estate

Don’t Be A Day Late and A Dollar Short in Real Estate

In real estate, jumping into the game sooner than later and using a local broker can make all the difference in getting a great deal.

We are watching owners of properties in development areas make a small fortune if they bought early and bought often.  These are not seasoned investors that know something we don’t know and they definitely are not very wealthy people that “risked a little” to be in the game.  They are people that understand that you can’t make money on it if you don’t own it and the earlier you buy it the more money you can make down the road.  So in this write I am going to explain to you the importance of jumping into the game sooner than later and the value of using a local broker and stopping to listen.  I have lots of examples of 5x and 10x returns that people missed in the last 10 years and I want others to not have that regret.


Pick a radius – People are more comfortable buying real estate that they can drive by for obvious reasons so when you are starting your search, give your broker an area or radius to focus on.  Being familiar with a property before you buy it and during its appreciation can offset some of the angst that comes along with such a big investment.  When you give direction to a broker, take a ride with them and have them show you the new corridors and opportunity areas that seem to be the most likely to redevelop or increase in value.  This is not an exact science but I sure know I can give you sites that are much quicker to appreciate then others with 99% surity.  If they don’t know they are the wrong broker.  Which brings up my next point.

Pick an expert Broker – Yes that’s me but only in certain areas.  I would say that anyone looking to invest in Westfield, Sheridan or Cicero land would be crazy to not engage me for that purchase for several reasons.  You have to hire a broker that is in the conversations early, studying the owners and planning, following the infrastructure and government investment and of course understands what the desires of the community are in growth.  I am blown away by the number of brokers that are sent looking for investment properties that don’t know much about the area let alone where the opportunity lies.  They call and I sometimes suggest we just meet directly with their client to avoid the confusion but once you engage the wrong person you immediately start falling behind the competition.

Find a niche – I think the best investors have a niche or process that they understand very well.  From how the financing works to an ideal size for resale or along a corridor that they have confidence it will expand.  For instance the Monon Trail.  Why 20 years ago investors didn’t start buying eveyrthing they could along the old train tracks or any other train tracks is beyond me but they didnt and today that property is the most expensive land in the state, except of course downtown Westfield but other than that, it is.  We watched Carmel jam high priced homes and developments along that trail for decades and you just can’t recreate it.  So understanding a niche or product that fits your level of investment is just as important as having the right broker on your team.

Buy something – Ok this is where I bang my head and hope those that sat on the sideline while a few made a fortune prospecting, can jump in and reap the rewards.  I say start small or buy something that is easy.  Buying a house on 5 acres in a high traffic corridor is a start.  Or a piece of ground along the Trail System just a bit past the action.  How about a farm house on 50 acres 10 miles north and 1/2 mile east or west?  These are all ways to get in the game and be far enough out that over the next 10 years get a real return worth waiting for.  The hardest part is just doing it and being patient but if you learn to put the two together you will be rewarded greatly down the road.

In closing I want to remind people that real estate is not  for everyone and yes there are ways to get yourself in trouble fast, but missing opportunity and watching everyone else make smart strategic moves is depressing.  Even more depressing than going broke in my book.  So figure out your comfort zone, team up with an expert broker and figure out what interests you so that when you hear about a deal you are ready to jump and make it happen.

Curt has been in the Indianapolis Real Estate business for over 15 years and spent his first years learning all aspects of commercial management and brokerage. He has had great success in managing existing commercial projects and new retail and office developments. Curt specializes in building owner representation and purchases in the Westfield Indiana market as well throughout the Indianapolis Metro area. Curt is passionate about growing the local Westfield community and in his free time volunteers with Student Impact and raising 2 children with his wife Jennifer.

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