Connecting people one apartment complex at a time
If you ask me, as a real-estate investor with nearly $2B in assets under management, what is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of real estate you might expect to hear me say “cashflow,” which is one of my favorite expressions. However, while I’ve always got cashflow on my mind, these days I’m also thinking of another word starting with the letter “c.” Community.
I’m originally from a small town in Louisiana where everyone knew everyone. I grew up with a pretty big family including a lot of siblings, so I was always part of a close-knit community. Now I’m 62 and I’ve got a family of my own. I got a wife and two daughters. I also own several companies in addition to my real estate fund, Cardone Capital in Aventura, FL, with over 150 employees. I consider every one of them part of the Cardone family. And you know what else? Anyone on the planet who shares my passion for helping people to improve their lives and the lives of those around them, I want to be connected to them. I want people like that to be part of my extended family. So now you can understand why “community” is important to me.
If you visit any of the properties Cardone Capital has acquired on behalf of our many investors, you will see the value I place on creating communities right away. When I scout potential investment properties, which I do personally—this is one thing I do not delegate—the first thing I consider is whether I can transform it into the center of an actual community. This means the property must be located near good schools, plenty of shopping centers, restaurants, gyms and all the other types of retail outlets and services people want. There are a lot of properties to choose from out there, but I’m not interested in locations that are nice if they’re completely isolated from everything.
Once I acquire a property, I put my plan in motion to transform it, so it meets my standards for being a community and not just a collection of apartments. That starts with doing any renovations on the apartments and the grounds to create a welcoming environment where people will enjoy living. Cardone Capital works with the country’s best architects and interior designers to make sure the units look good, as well as being modern and functional. But what really makes Cardone properties communities and not just apartment complexes, are the exclusive high-quality amenities we include. I look for properties that have an atmosphere I would want to live in. In fact, I have a name for this vision: 10X Living.
To promote that sense of community among residents, I add features that people can enjoy together but safely, like walking trails, playgrounds, dog parks and large resort-like pools. Also because physical fitness is so important, I make sure that the fitness centers in my properties are all state-of-the-art like what you’d find at a resort or premium-level gym. Other amenities include modern game rooms with billiards tables, outdoor kitchens perfect for entertaining, fully equipped business centers ideal for working remotely, and luxurious clubhouses for holding social gatherings. Some of our communities even have movie theaters on the premises. Why do I go to these extremes when many other property owners do not? Part of my 10X philosophy is the willingness to do what others will not. I put 10X into practice in every one of the properties I manage across the South and Southwest.
We are all so wrapped up in our personal and professional lives that it’s easy to cut ourselves off from other people, even with all the technology that “connects” us. Now with the pandemic causing shutdowns and isolation, people are more disconnected than ever. That can’t last and when it’s over folks are going to want to hang out the way they used to, going to movies, barbecues, parties. I want to help make that happen. I want to create communities. I want to give them the means to live their best lives, and I can’t imagine anything that has more potential than an entire community of people enjoying life together.