Bruce and Stephanie Petersen
Husband-wife real estate investing team Bruce and Stephanie Petersen decided to join the Think Realty Presidents’ Circle to surround themselves with other driven professionals to collaborate with and lean on for support and for answers when they “get stuck.”
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” Bruce said. “So, this decision was part of leveling up our circle of influence.”
Bruce grew up rather poor in government housing in Corpus Christi, TX, raised by two high school dropout parents. Although he graduated high school and attended college, he ended up dropping out of higher education and fell into what he calls a ‘miserable’ stockbroker gig followed by a retail job.
“I worked for big box retailers for roughly 18 years and climbed that ladder to become store manager. Eventually, the drag of 60-100 hours a week drove me into the ground, and I had to move on. I had saved some money listening to Dave Ramsey and using my training as a stockbroker to amass enough to afford to walk away to ‘find’ myself,’” he said.
In 2008, Bruce paid cash for a house in an Austin suburb. Then he decided to pursue real estate further.
“I found a mentor who taught me how to invest in real estate and why I should not only start in multifamily but lead my own deal as a syndication sponsor,” he recalled. “The first deal was a huge success. I returned a 300 percent profit to my investors within 2.5 years! I used my proceeds from that sale to fund my next two investments in subsequent syndications that I sponsored,” he said.
Bruce and Stephanie have since syndicated six projects consisting of 1108 units. They have earned the Austin Apartment Association’s MF Rental Owners of the Year and the National Apartment Association’s Rental Owners of the Year. In 2019, they were awarded the Think Realty Multifamily Investors of the Year.
“In addition to the syndications, we now teach others how to do what we have done,” Bruce said. “We have created online courses on how to invest passively as well as do your own syndications for more experienced and advanced investors, and we offer small business/real estate investor accounting because Stephanie is a CPA.”
Their evolution as investors has led to opening their own construction company, asset management company, and property management companies—one in Austin for their personal syndicated portfolio and one in Nashville that manages all forms of commercial real estate. They describe their main roles now as “job creators and company builders.”
Stephanie said, “Starting our own management company and hiring and empowering smarter people than us in their specific disciplines [has been invaluable.]”