Master Investor

SO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN you’re only 30 and you’ve already been wildly successful in a career you love—real estate? If you’re Carl Dean, managing director of American Real Estate In- vestments, you think even bigger. The über-successful investor al- ready has his next 10 years planned out. And his goals are quite ambi- tious. “The goal really is to be able to ring the bell for my company when I go public,” he says. “I want to create the largest single-family rental pro- duction company in the world.” That company, Dallas-based AREI, provides investors with turnkey real estate investments. AREI’s bread and butter is providing single-family homes to domestic and international investors, but it also handles multifam- ily investments as well. Confidence, hard work and a laser focus on his goals have helped make Dean a top investor at an age when many young people are still living with their parents. REAL ESTATE IS INHIS BLOOD It seems almost inevitable that Dean would pursue a career in real estate. He was practically weaned on hammers and nails. Dean was raised in a “lower middle class neighbor- hood” in Michigan. His mother man- aged multifamily properties, and his father and stepfather rehabbed homes for investors. In an interesting

ment and construction my whole life, while also being a tenant and knowing what that demographic looked for in a rental property,” he says. “Even at a young age, I can remember thinking how simple the business was to me and how streamlined it can be to replicate over and over with the right man- agement. Real estate, in one way or another, has really been all I have ever known.” Dean believes that being raised by parents in the business gave him a leg up on “understanding the busi- ness from both a macro and micro point of view.” He was a business and marketing major in college while also obtaining his real estate license. The small college he attended stressed team assignments, which Dean enjoyed. Dean still enjoys putting together and leading teams. “I have always wanted to be part of a team, have a say in the direction of the company and how to make it better, share in revenue and work together to achieve goals. Having success is much better when there is someone next to you that you can high-five as it happens,” he says. He started to have success in con- struction while still in college and found that he didn’t have the time to

success. “Everyone around me seemed content, and I realized I would never be a fit for somewhere where I couldn’t outperform the person in front of me to get ahead,” he says. Bureaucracies help create entrepre- neurs, Dean believes, as the stifling atmosphere makes them want to prove themselves on their own. His last corporate job at a restoration firm in Michigan convinced him that he need- ed to be his own boss. “I wanted to be one of the bosses so badly that I went out and spent all my money on a large white pickup truck like all the managers had through the company and even put a company logo on it to give the owner a hint at what I really wanted,” he says. He knew it was

keep leading teams in school. ‘ABURNING DESIRE TO BE THE BEST’

Dean’s competitive fire runs hot. After excelling at sports as a child, he realized he liked competing and applied his “burning desire to be the best” to more adult pursuits like having a high income. After a short stint in the corporate world, Dean became disillusioned

twist, his parents were renters for most of his upbringing. His moth- er managed Dean on painting crews, and he painted high-rise units in Detroit. “I never realized

why I had such a sim- plistic understanding of this space until later in life when I realized it was because I had been around property manage-

with that lifestyle, as he felt that others didn’t have his drive for

32 | think realty magazine | mar :: apr 2016

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