In 1988, after graduating from college, I began my first job as a commercial real estate leasing agent. As to be expected, I was excited to apply my education in real estate and finance to begin making money by leasing and selling buildings.
A few years later, after recognizing that leases generate revenue, which then creates wealth, I decided to become a developer so I could lease up my own buildings.
My very first customer was Advance Auto Parts; and over a five-year period, I built over 50 free-standing stores for the auto-parts chain. Next up, I began to diversify my portfolio by developing stores for Blockbuster Video, Sherwin Williams, Payless ShoeSource, and many others.
Through those experiences, I began to see how returns could be enhanced by constructing multi-tenant properties and developing outparcels. That’s why I shifted my focus yet again to building shopping centers while simultaneously expanding into industrial properties. I even became a franchise owner for both Papa Johns and The Athlete’s Foot.
By the time I was 40, I was worth over $20 million. And I genuinely thought I could retire when I was 50.
It seemed like a reasonable objective until a series of unfortunate events occurred. Long story short, I lost almost all of my holdings and was forced to start over again. Needless to say, that was a challenging time for me and my family, but I kept going forward, recognizing that one day I would become stronger as a result of these failures.
It was just a matter of how.
After careful thought and consideration, my official transition began in 2009, just as the recession was ending. My plan was to utilize intellectual property, purposely crafting a blueprint aimed to educate ordinary investors by helping them learn from my mistakes.
This has led to iREIT, which is a dream come true… worth every bit of trial I went through to reach it. iREIT allows me to analyze real estate, meet with management, and – most importantly – help investors like you sleep well at night.
That is why this quote by Benjamin Graham is the mantra I live by:
“ Adversity is bitter, but its uses may be sweet… in the end we could count great compensations.”
With that said, thank you for the opportunity to be of service. I look forward to showing you exactly what iREIT can do for you!
Brad Thomas is CEO and director of Research at iREIT with over 30 years of real estate experience. In addition, Thomas is the Editor of the Forbes Real Estate Investor, a monthly subscription-based newsletter.
Thomas has also been featured in Forbes Magazine, Kiplinger's, US News & World Report, Money, NPR, Institutional Investor, GlobeStreet, CNN, Newsmax, and Fox. He is the #1 contributing analyst on Seeking Alpha in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 (based on page views).
Thomas has co-authored a book, The Intelligent REIT Investor, and is the author of The Trump Factor: Unlocking The Secrets Behind The Trump Empire (available on Amazon).
Thomas received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Economics from Presbyterian College and he is married with 5 wonderful kids.