Around April 2013, Fairless had come across the deal that would kickstart his business: an apartment building in Cincinnati. “I learned a lot of lessons, tactically speaking, from that deal,” he said. The deal opened his eyes to risks that few new investors — and perhaps even seasoned investors — would see coming. The building owner told Fairless it was at 98 percent occupan- cy, but he could get it to 100 percent occupancy before the deal closed. “I said sure, do that,” Fairless said. Fairless later found out how the owner accomplished it: by recruiting people who weren’t qualified from a local homeless shelter and placing

them in units that weren’t rent-ready. He asked residents to pay one and a half months of rent upfront in return for two months free — after the deal closed. “Cincinnati was the first and only community that I lost money on,” Fair- less said. “When I sold the property, I gave investors a 14 percent return out of my own pocket, paid back over a year and a half. As a result, I had investors for life.” Since his entry into multifamily investing, Fairless has learned many lessons that have helped him succeed at Ashcroft Capital, which he runs with business partner Frank Roessler. The business owns nearly $1 billion in

assets, which are concentrated in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area in Tex- as and Tampa, Orlando, and Jackson- ville in Florida. They focus on Class B value-add deals and buildings with 200 or more units. One key risk mit- igation strategy in selecting markets is a diverse employment base where no one industry makes up more than 25 percent of jobs. At Ashcroft Capital, Fairless imple- ments one important lesson: to focus on his strengths. In the beginning, he was doing everything on his own. Now, he said, he and Roessler have complementary skill sets. “We know what we’re good at and what we’re average at,” he said. “If

Can’t Get Away from Loving This Band

f you visit the “Top 10 Interesting Facts About Joe” at, one jumps out: He “attends more Third Eye Blind concerts than anyone you know (yes, they still tour).” So, what is the draw to this ‘90s hit machine? Is it because Fairless has a Semi-Charmed Life? “I don’t know how it became my band,” he said, but he appreciates the authenticity of the lyrics and says, “the songs are meaningful.” As a younger man in New York City, Fairless said he would travel to see the band whenever it was playing a show “anywhere close.” He even saw them twice in one night: He bought tickets to two concerts they played on a New Year’s Eve in Washington, D.C. All told, Fairless said he’s been to more than 30 Third Eye Blind concerts. He has a framed poster with a signed set list. “I appreciate any songwriter who writes about things they truly believe in,” he said. I

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Now that he’s a family man, he said doesn’t see the band as often as he used to, and that’s just How It’s Going to Be. •

26 | think realty magazine :: june 2020

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