have a lot of my own money when I started, so I worked with a wealthy guy at the country club who was looking for ways to invest money. He agreed to be a co-sponsor on the deal with me, which was really important. That first, vital partnership allowed me to say to investors, ‘The sponsors are putting in $2 million, or 20 percent’ instead of having to say, ‘I’m putting up one percent.’ Your investors will be satisfied that the sponsors are putting in 10 or 20 percent of the deal, and it usually will not matter as much how the initial money is split as long as you, the

syndicator, have a good amount of your own money in there.”

commercial real estate and lending. “We were involved in the management and leasing of approximately 1 million square feet of office properties shortly after our founding,” Freshman observed. “By the 1970s and 1980s, we had acquired more than 6,000 multifamily units, were operating industrial properties throughout the U.S., and had large projects in Burbank, Santa Maria, Ontario, and Sacramento, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; Nashville, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia; Columbus, Ohio; Houston and Dallas, Texas; and

"WHAT I HAVE LEARNED FROM SOME OF MY BUSINESS AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCES" B elow, find an excerpt from Samuel Freshman’s book, Never Old Enough to Know Better . 1. AS A BOARD CHAIRMAN, I LEARNED: Start board meetings on time and keep them focused. Prepare an agenda and stick to it. If the discussion strays, defer the issue to a committee. 2. AS A BORROWER, I LEARNED: Shop for competitive bids for loans, just as you do for any other product. It’s the banker – not the bank – that deter-

A LEGACY OF EXPERIENCE After 60 years in the business, Freshman has a lot of perspective on today’s real estate market. Very little surprises him. Today, Standard Management Company offers property management and asset management services, runs a full-service brokerage, and serves in an advisory capacity to many of its investors in addition to investing in multifamily and

mines the outcome.

decision making.

5. AS A COMPETITIVE HORSEBACK RIDER, I LEARNED: Sometimes the horse knows better than you. 6. AS A HUSBAND, FATHER & GRANDFATHER, I LEARNED: Always be available for your family, be sensitive to their needs, and look for opportunities for quality time together. 7. AS A YOUNG MAN, AS AN OVERNIGHT CAMP DIRECTOR, I LEARNED: Keep your campers busy learning, and most importantly, have fun.

3. AS A LENDER, I LEARNED: Be cautious about anyone who offers more than the current market rate. 4. AS A BUSINESS PARTNER, I LEARNED: You need to have a strong compatibility with your business partner. You and your partner need to share in the

8. AS A STUDENT, I LEARNED: Never stop learning.

9. AS A NETWORKER, I LEARNED: Always carry business cards.

10. AS A COLLEGE PROFESSOR, I LEARNED: You learn more from the students than they do from you.

Lawton, Oklahoma,” he said proudly. He added that the company still actively seeks acquisition opportunities in multifamily and retail property and land investments in the western U.S. (see sidebar on p. 27 to learn more about Freshman’s favorite markets). Freshman and his company are

dedicated to educating investors at all levels, and the company hosts two annual conferences in southern California in addition to a vast array of conferences, webinars and podcasts (see sidebar on p. 26). Freshman specializes in tactics to maximize the opportunity in every deal, including strategic uses of 1031

exchanges and other tax-advantaged strategies. “There is always a better way to structure a transaction,” he said. •

Carole VanSickle Ellis is the editor of Think Realty Magazine. She can be reached at

Sam Freshman and Mark Wittcoff, a loan consultant with SMC, discuss strategy.

28 | think realty magazine :: march 2018

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