BRUCE & AARON NORRIS
A LEGACY ROOTED IN FAMILY & INDUSTRY STRENGTHS Bruce credits his son with a great deal of this exponential growth. “He’s always been a team-builder. It’s just who he is. When Aaron was 10 years old, he was involved in acting and he always got leading roles. One day I heard him methodically calling his friends after landing one of these roles, and I thought I’d hear him start telling them that he had gotten the lead. Instead, he was asking what role they had gotten and then building it up, making sure they felt they were an important piece of the show even if they were just a tree.” Far more recently, Aaron’s teambuilding resulted in TNG receiving “Small Business of the Year” recognition from the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce and Inland Empire Volunteer of the Year from The Community Foundation thanks to similar behavior. “He helped put together about 150 nonprofits that normally do not work together,” explained Bruce. “Normally, they think of each other as competitors for the same funds. Aaron worked with a team and was able to get them to think of themselves as team members, and they went on to raise about almost a million dollars in three years.” TNG’s marquee nonprofit event, “I Survived Real Estate,” is also Aaron’s brainchild and has, thanks to TNG and the wider real estate community, raised nearly $1 million for Make-a-Wish OC/Inland Empire and St. Jude Children’s Hospital. “We created that event in 2008 during the economic recession as a way to celebrate the successes and survival of the real estate industry during hard times. We wanted to bring together thought leaders from all over the real estate space to share insights. We never thought it would also have such a positive impact on our community,” said Aaron. That event and other TNG projects are not just designed to support the
Aaron Norris (R) joined his father, Bruce (L) in 2005 to make Bruce's economic predictions as accessible and actionable as possible for real estate investors.
The impetus for Bruce Norris' "California Comeback" market report had roots in a revelation he had while buying his son a car for graduation. Today, the two produce TNG's influential industry reports together.
“THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN the world is timing. I’d have to say that most of the wealth in real estate I have accumulated is because of good timing, and I would have to give credit for that wealth to the fact that I know when to get into a market and when to get out of one.” Bold words from Bruce Norris, president of California’s The Norris Group (TNG) and a nearly 40-year industry veteran. Norris is neither shy with his skills nor selfish. TNG has been accurately forecasting the housing markets in California and elsewhere since 1997, when Norris released his “California Comeback” report and, when the controversial information proved
accurate, first put his name on the board as a powerful seer in real estate. “Dad doesn’t keep secrets very well, and he doesn’t want to,” observed his son, Aaron Norris, who works closely with Bruce at TNG and is responsible for the compelling presentation that propelled Bruce’s equally controversial report, “California Crash,” to the forefront of industry headlines at a time (2005) when few believed that the housing industry was so close to collapse. Few except for the Norrises, anyway, and those who listened to them. Today, more investors are listening than ever, and the family is building a powerful legacy of real estate strategy,
analysis, and education. TNG’s reach has expanded far beyond periodic market forecasts. Thanks to the combined forces of father and son (and an army of investors, private lenders, and educators working with them), the Norris Group now offers a vast array of educational materials providing direction on interpreting market data and then applying it in real-life scenarios to existing real estate deals. Between them, father and son also host podcasts, radio shows, seminars, workshops, and a number of charitable projects and legacy-building strategy sessions tailored to the needs of the entrepreneurial, independent real estate investor.
community around real estate. They are designed to build up the real estate industry internally as well. “When I first started in this industry in 2005, I think a lot of people saw real estate investors as sharks,” said Aaron. “Really, we didn’t have a very good image even though we provide really important services and do really important things in real estate and in the broader economy that no one else really can do.” “Professional real estate investors bring tremendous value to the marketplace as residential redevelopment specialists, job creators, neighborhood beautifiers, tax-revenue builders, and vacant, blighted home transformers,” added Bruce. “We
are an important partner and solution in every real estate cycle.”
HONDAS, HEDGE FUNDS, AND HEADING HOME: HOW IT ALL BEGAN
The senior Norris had been investing for more than 10 years in 1995, when he began the research for his first major market report, “California Comeback.” “In 1989, after about 10 years as a successful real estate investor, I came off a project where I had made about a million dollars in six months,” he said. “That was from buying 50 building lots, so I decided that next I would build seven custom homes and they would immediately sell because
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